A harrowing memoir of how Craig (If We Could Hear the Grass Grow, 1983, etc.), a practicing child psychotherapist, finds herself powerless to help her own daughter, who succumbs to depression, anorexia, heroin addiction, and, finally, death from AIDS. Ann Craig was a magnetic, talented, beautiful young woman seemingly destined for success when, at the end of her senior year at Brown, she called her mother and begged her to visit. Eleanor arrived to find Ann depressed and overwhelmed by schoolwork- -extremely uncharacteristic for this former star student. Then began a long, perplexing cycle of trouble: Ann was hospitalized for months, starved herself down to 82 pounds, and played a maddening game of ``come here, go away'' with her frantic mother. Meanwhile, Eleanor's marriage collapsed under the strain. Ann's recovery finally seemed underway when she moved to New York, opened up a cabaret, and became a minor celebrity. But gradually she slipped into heroin addiction, stopped working, and became virtually a street person. For long periods, she evaded her mother's attempts to get in touch; one Christmas Day, Eleanor, exultant that Ann had come home for the holidays and desperate to do anything to keep her daughter with her, actually drove Ann into the city to make a drug deal. During the long silence from Ann that followed, Eleanor went to Al-anon and tried to get on with her life, a new marriage, her work. But anxiety finally impelled her to track Ann down, and her search ended in a hospital room in N.Y.C., where Ann, now from all appearances a bald, wasted crone, was dying of AIDS. Her mother took her home and, in the short time that remained, the two reached peace, forgiveness, and mutual love. A moving story that will touch many who are grappling with the bitter truth that even the strongest devotion can't save an addict who doesn't want to save herself.
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