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Mommie Dearest

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  6,362 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
Book
Unknown Binding, 420 pages
Published April 27th 2001 by Seven Springs Press (first published January 1st 1978)
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Popular Answered Questions

Heather Hare I'm not sure I understand this question as it was meant, but I'll give it a try anyway:
Although Joan is said to have abused alcohol and at times…more
I'm not sure I understand this question as it was meant, but I'll give it a try anyway:
Although Joan is said to have abused alcohol and at times other substances this story is not focused on drug addiction or substance abuse, no. - These are Christina Crawford's accounts about her movie star mother Joan and her abusive upbringing by said mother, who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder.
Something which is not stated in this book/by Christina Crawford herself but has been the subject of many other papers and books such as "Understanding the Borderline Mother" by Christine Ann Lawson for example.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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kisha
Ok reading the reviews had me so upset. Not because people didnt like the book. Thats a matter of preference. But because the nerve of some people to choose sides as if they know either parties. That concerns me. People are abused everyday and they have so much support, but the second someone is abused by someone rich, famous, and beautiful; everyone wants to debate it and take the side of the popular. I dont know if Christina is telling the whole truth about her childhoold. But even if she fabr ...more
Kimberly Rahi
Jan 04, 2013 Kimberly Rahi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
JoanCrawford

First let me start off by saying that I do not under any circumstances condone child abuse. With that being said,there are several contradictory statements in Christina Crawford's story.

For those unfamiliar with this book. It is a tell all from Joan Crawford's eldest adopted child, Christina. Christina speaks in depth about her mother's strict discipline which included: harsh chores, seclusion, and "being nearly beaten to death." Does anyone remember the cult classic movie "Mommie Dearest?" "NO
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Joan Crawford, one of the world's most famous actresses, has never come across to me as abusive or cruel, at least not in any of the films I've watched or interviews she's done in videos and magazines. I can't say that she certainly wasn't cruel to her child because I wasn't there to witness any of it, but from reading this book, which is full of inconsistencies, repetitive moments of self-pity and a style that evokes feelings of a horror novel rather than a memoir, I can definitely say that per ...more
MAP
What a ride! This book is completely insane. Which doesn't mean I don't believe Christina. I do. I have friends whose parents are drunks and I have friends whose parents are just plain nuts. This kind of crap really does happen. The emotional manipulation especially -- the child constantly reaching, constantly feeling that if she does one more thing or something a little better that longed-for love and acceptance from mom will finally come, and the shattering that occurs when one realizes it nev ...more
Colleen
Nov 06, 2008 Colleen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love crybaby stories
Recommended to Colleen by: No one
Written by a grown woman, the first of Joan Crawford's adopted children, the book reads like one big whine-a** 13yr old journal entry. Christina Crawford complains about how her mean mommie had loads of cash and didn't spoil her and her equally bratty brother, Chistopher, even more rotten than they already were. Funny how out of four adopted children growing up in the same house, two were bitter and two have happy memories of their childhood. I read this with an objective eye, what I saw was con ...more
Jackie
May 01, 2011 Jackie rated it it was amazing
This book taught me to never, ever, use wire hangers! o.O

I believe Christina's story. She was emotionally and physically abused by Joan Crawford. No doubt in my mind. The only reason Joan's twin daughters didn't talk was because they had "hush" money.

SurvivorSurvivor No Safe Place: The Legacy of Family Violence
Ronda
Jun 24, 2009 Ronda rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults
I grew up watching the Joan Crawford movies, my parents were fans. When I saw this book out, I had to snap it up and read it.

It was a very good book even if the content was not only surprising but upsetting.

To know a child has been abused and not much was done to help her is sad.

To know someone is such a well respected woman and is doing the abusing and getting away with it, got away with it, was/is criminal.

I'm glad Christina wrote the book so all could see the truth about her mother. I hope it
...more
Nicole
Jul 13, 2009 Nicole rated it it was ok
Good movie, not so good book.

I don't doubt that even some of the more severe abuse took place, but that really isn't the issue. The real abuse is buried under chapters and chapters of boring whining. It's harder to take the real abuse seriously when the author is complaining about every single thing her mother ever said and did for the duration of her life.

At one point she says her mother is treating her brother "hatefully" because he isn't allowed to trample the flowers in the flower beds while
...more
Hester
Joan Crawford like many stars of her day had a carefully crafted image. I don't doubt much of this book, especially while reading "Not The Girl Nextdoor". What amazed me the most about this book was that Christina still came across as loving her mother very much even after enduring horrific abuse. Most children who are abused still love their parents which is something that puzzles me. I can understand the anger and outrage Joan's public felt after this unflattering portrayl was released, Joan l ...more
Meichler
May 31, 2012 Meichler rated it really liked it
I grew up in the 80's and was irrationally obsessed with the movie Mommie Dearest; to this day, if I see it on TV, I have to stop what I'm doing and watch. Why the obsession about a pretty tragic story of a little girl who was abused? I have no idea, but I know I'm not alone.

As an adult, who loves bios of old Hollywood, I don't know why it took me a while to actually read the book, but I just did and I enjoyed (? - not sure if that's the right word) it. It delved deeper into Joan Crawford and Ch
...more
Liz
Mar 14, 2013 Liz rated it liked it


Some great scenes in this book that show Joanie to be the crazy broad we all hope she actually was. However in a good chunk of the book Christina Darling bores us with her 'acting' career and life. However she did come up with more gems than Bette Davis's daughter.....Bette was mainly just scathing and difficult.

I saw the movie before I read the book so in my mind Faye Dunaway is Crazy ol' Joan. But if you only want to read the book or watch the movie, watch the movie. The movie compacts all the
...more
Vicki
Feb 21, 2016 Vicki rated it liked it
A vicious story of an unhinged adoptive mother. She was also a highly admired star of her day. The story was written by her adopted daughter Christina and it paints a very abusive picture. The pain that the book shared was a terrible situation for these little children to be caught up in. There were midnight raids on the closets to check for wire coat hangers. It was a nerve wracking read.

Joan Crawford was depicted as a woman that wanted to have a perfect image for the news and magazines, but k
...more
V
Jun 01, 2014 V marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition




Obligatory.
Olivia
May 15, 2015 Olivia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had a friend who adored the movie so I decided to read the book. I'm a big fan of old Hollywood but I do not like Joan Crawford. I don't think she was pretty, talented, or even that good of a person so I thought I'd like this book. However it was nothing but TRASH.
This girl is just complaining about ridiculous things. For example:

- Fans would send her oodles of presents for Christmas and Joan would let her keep one and donate the others. She complains about that. Joan was trying not to have h
...more
Jim Giddens
Mar 10, 2013 Jim Giddens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Narrative nonfiction, biography of Joan Crawford, autobiography of Christina Crawford, exposé of the dysfunctional family life of a famous person. This book also accounts the death of Joan Crawford as well as the three memorial services held for her family, her business associates, and her movie and television associates.

"From her throne in the eye of the hurricane, brandishing her wand of obsession, rules the queen of chaos herself: Mommie Dearest." Christina Crawford tells of the dysfunctional
...more
Rebecca  Porter
May 01, 2013 Rebecca Porter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: assorted
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine
Jun 15, 2015 Christine rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-reads
As far as memoir writing goes, Mommie Dearest isn't terribly strong. I do think that Crawford was able to get her experience on paper and that this was probably therapeutic to finally share her truth. I also think she captures the constant struggle between seeking a mother's love while also hating her and enduring her abuse. And the abuse she endures is overwhelming.

That being said, I don't find her writing style very strong. She jumps around, repeats, and is often so enmeshed in her mother's h
...more
Regan
Oct 18, 2010 Regan rated it it was amazing
I'd watched the movie several times and honestly, I laughed at most of the over the top scenes. The whole issue of child abuse was lost on me in the movie. When Joan Crawford lays into Christina over the wire hangers I tried to figure how an 8 year old got a hold of wire hangers. It wasn't like she could run to the store and buy them.

the book clarifies that -- they came from the cleaners that way. Other scenes that came across as humorous and turned the movie Mommie Dearest into a cult classic m
...more
Autumn Lamkin
Bitter much? lol
Diana Long
Jan 11, 2015 Diana Long rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book was written by the daughter of Joan Crawford, a Hollywood icon of a past era who will be remembered as one of the greatest actresses of the early days of motion pictures. The author Christina Crawford paints a dark picture of the private life of her mother, her abuses of alcohol, abuses of her two older children especially Christina, her obsessions with cleanliness and order, her many lovers, her horrific mood swings and everything else not normally shared with the public. I am not inc ...more
Karen
Mar 01, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome...definitely a HUGE insight to Ms Joan Crawford..I'd been searching for an affordable copy of this book for 3 years through my local trade in bookstore...my friend happened to find it before me & was kind enough to let me read it first.
The movie, follows pretty closely to book...with exceptions to the extra children that were left out of movie.
I think Ms Joan Crawford was an interesting and savvy business woman but she also had a lot of personal demons that she carrie
...more
Sofina Khan
Sep 21, 2013 Sofina Khan rated it it was amazing
I thought this was an excellent book. Joan Crawford's irrational, voilent behaviour often times reminded me of my best friends mom. It was alarming how many similarities there were between Joan and my friends mother. I also read a mirror image of Christina's personality and my friends. This type of abuse DOES exist. There are SICK people in the world and I don't doubt Christina for one bit. The events and experiences you endure as a child play a pivotal role in the adult you become.
Kim
Apr 30, 2008 Kim rated it did not like it
Why did I reread this stinker? Because I wanted to read Christina Crawford's book Survivor, but this was all they had at the library. I could not be more sympathetic toward the author (or anyone with a schizophrenogenic parent or who experienced abuse of any kind as a child). However, this book is bad. I'm kind of thinking never mind about reading Survivor.
TJ
Oct 16, 2013 TJ rated it did not like it
What a pile of self serving crap! Joan should have picked another kid....one without a need to be in the spotlight so badly that she throws her own mother out with the trash two minutes after she passed away. I think this account is that of a 6 year old, and she still sees her mother from that perspective, and that is the problem.
DeB MaRtEnS
Awful woman. Classic narcissist before we knew the term. Well written.
Janice
Sep 28, 2013 Janice rated it it was amazing
Read many years ago. Hated wire hangers ever since.
Kelsey Hanson
I just finished this book and personally I found it believable. It wasn't until I read the reviews on Goodreads that I realized that there are a ton of people who question the validity of her claims. Personally, her story sounds very in line with someone who was raised by an unpredictable, alcoholic mother. It's really hard to get the true story when it comes to famous people. Partly, because of the tabloid nature surrounding and partly because their careers depend upon them being viewed a certa ...more
Amelia
May 24, 2014 Amelia rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sammantha
I have always been a fan of Mommie Dearest the original movie. The movie was very intense and something you’d never forget. So anyhow, that brings me to this review. I can’t really remember where I was but I was somewhere browsing through the books and I came across this book. It didn't have a cover on it but it was in great condition. I had already seen the movie so I knew I had to get this book. The excitement was great when I found this book! Being able to read into the life of Christina Craw ...more
Alexander
Oct 14, 2011 Alexander rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of celebrity tell-alls, shocking novels, family dynamics books, and "The Valley of the Dolls"
Ok, so where do I begin? First, this book is not just some gossip-queen purely-for-entertainment trash novel a la Valley of the Dolls (which happens to be a favorite of mine also). Sure, the book is full of stories of mental, verbal, and physical abuse, raging alcoholism, bipolar obsessive compulsion, and even allegations of lesbianism. But one of the best facets of the book is that it is also somewhat of a psychological novel. Christina goes through great pains not only describing the events an ...more
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The book or the film? 1 14 Nov 27, 2012 02:29PM  
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Christina Crawford (born June 11, 1939) is an American writer and actress, best known as the author of Mommie Dearest, an autobiographical account of alleged child abuse by her adoptive mother, famous Hollywood actress Joan Crawford. She is also known for small roles in various television and film projects, such as Joan Borman Kane in the soap opera The Secret Storm and Monica George in the Elvis ...more
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