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The Bad Daughter: Betrayal and Confession

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  10 reviews
When Julie Hilden's mother became ill her daughter didn't do what was expected of her. Julie chose to abandon her mother and make her own life. As a child, she used books to escape her mother's silent retreats and bewildering rages. When Harvard's acceptance letter came, she fled. She blamed no one for her sad childhood, and she never asked for forgiveness. THE BAD DAUGHTE ...more
Hardcover, 198 pages
Published January 4th 1998 by Algonquin Books
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As you could infer also from its subtitle, “Betrayal and Confession”, this memoir is not cheery. It’s not long. Though competently written, it has a lot of flatly delivered factual reporting and little lyricism.

The betrayal is by both mother and daughter, early and late. The daughter’s betrayal seems almost minor: busy, emotionally estranged daughter does not visit Mom in nursing home great distance away til almost the last moment of Mom’s final two years of life. The narcissistic mother’s seem
Pierced Librarian
I really have a hard time negatively reviewing stories when authors have shared their stories. I want to honor their courage for coming forward with hard stuff, especially hard personal stuff.

Reading this felt like reading a laundry list of boring facts. The only thing missing was bullet points. But for such a painful story: daughter leaves home to basically never return- even after her mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and enters a nursing home then ultimately dies- the telling was as dry as
Leslie Jem
The book took a very long time to tell an exceedingly depressing story. I got tired of the author's continual infidelity and deceitfulness.
I find it hard to identify with this book since my mother and I are so close and I can never imagine our relationship becoming something like this. It did however incite a discussion with my future husband about what either of us would do about having children if we had a predisposition or knowledge of a potentially fatal disease that could be passed on through one of us. It was thought provoking and worth reading the book if only to have had that discussion.
Hilden shows herself to be a selfish young lady who found out ironically finds herself alone. This memoir also reveals a side of life marred by Alzheimer's--how the early mental and emotional signs of the disease can affect a family.

She is a true picture of humanity in that neither she nor her life is neatly tied up nor resolved. Her honesty and explicit description left me slightly uncomfortable yet intrigued to read on.
Jennifer Campaniolo
This book is beautifully-written, if a bit too detached. It feels like this is just the beginning of a longer story, one that would give the mother more of a voice. But I admire Hilden's honesty--she may be unlikeable, but she tells a compelling story that many in her shoes would be afraid to tell.
I think this book deserves 2.5, but Goodreads won't let me. It is a confessional novel that put some off, but worth a look at. Alzheimer's is a disease that baffles the minds of those without the disease; I cannot imagine what it does to those whose minds are darkened with such a genetic ailment.
penny roth
Another story of a bad mother getting a bad daughter. Just more gossip I guess. Helps remind me of how lucky I was to have a mother who loved and cared for me.
A very different view and effect life and Alzheimer's has on the author and her outlook on life and choices she has made. Very though provoking...
Jan 15, 2010 Stephanie is currently reading it
this book is good so far i highly recamend it.
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