Come Back [NOOK Book]

Overview

The unflinching true account of a teenage girl's descent into society's underbelly -- and her mother's desperate and ultimately successful attempts to bring her back.

How does an honor student at one of Los Angeles's finest prep schools -- a bright, beautiful girl from a loving home -- trade school uniforms and afternoons at the beach for shooting up in the back of a van in rural Indiana? How does her devoted mother emerge from the shock of finding that her daughter has not only...

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Come Back

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Overview

The unflinching true account of a teenage girl's descent into society's underbelly -- and her mother's desperate and ultimately successful attempts to bring her back.

How does an honor student at one of Los Angeles's finest prep schools -- a bright, beautiful girl from a loving home -- trade school uniforms and afternoons at the beach for shooting up in the back of a van in rural Indiana? How does her devoted mother emerge from the shock of finding that her daughter has not only disappeared but had been living a secret life for more than a year?

Mother and daughter tell their parallel stories in mesmerizing first-person accounts. Claire Fontaine's story is a parent's worst nightmare, a cautionary tale chronicling her daughter Mia's drug-fueled manipulation of everyone around her as she sought refuge in the seedy underworld of criminals and heroin addicts, the painful childhood secrets that led up to it, and the healing that followed. Her search for Mia was brutal for both mother and daughter, a dizzying series of dead ends, incredible coincidences and, at times, miracles. Ultimately, Mia was forced into harsh-but-loving boot camp schools on two continents while Claire entered a painful but life-changing program of her own. Mia's story includes the jarring culture shock of the extreme and controversial behavior modification school she was in for nearly two years, which helped her overcome depression and self-hatred to emerge a powerful young woman with self-esteem and courage.

An unforgettable story of love and transformation, Come Back is a heart-wrenching and humorous portrayal of the primal bond between mother and daughter that will resonate with women everywhere.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061979682
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 49,598
  • File size: 837 KB

Meet the Author

Claire Fontaine and Mia Fontaine are the coauthors of the bestselling memoir Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back.

A former screenwriter, Claire divides her time between the United States and Europe, where she is researching a historical novel and doing a comparative analysis of les éclairs au chocolat de Paris. She is also a certified relationship coach and a certified life coach.

A popular motivational speaker, Mia has written for the New York Times, Huffington Post, Ms. magazine, and Atlantic Online, and is currently at work on a narrative nonfiction book that combines four of her greatest interests: travel, human behavior, history, and culture. She lives in New York City.

Claire Fontaine and Mia Fontaine are the coauthors of the bestselling memoir Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back.

A former screenwriter, Claire divides her time between the United States and Europe, where she is researching a historical novel and doing a comparative analysis of les éclairs au chocolat de Paris. She is also a certified relationship coach and a certified life coach.

A popular motivational speaker, Mia has written for the New York Times, Huffington Post, Ms. magazine, and Atlantic Online, and is currently at work on a narrative nonfiction book that combines four of her greatest interests: travel, human behavior, history, and culture. She lives in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Come BackChapter One

It is its own religion, this love. Uncontainable, savage, and without end, it is what I feel for my child.

She signs everything she gives me, "Your one and only daughter, Mia," or, "Your One True Child, Mia." Curled into my lap, she reads about the baby bird that fell from the nest and can't find her mommy. Mia squishes into my chest, "I'm glad I came out of your egg, Mudder."

From the moment I take her out into the world, we hear it, every day — those eyes! Mia has huge, pale eyes, with pale blue whites, framed by a mass of amber curls. But the brows leap out above them — they're thick, wide, shiny dark swoops. Like the brows of ancient Persian women, painted in profile. "My God, where did she get those eyes — is she adopted?" "Are those brows real?" "She's not yours, is she?" This we hear often; it frightens her. She has no idea we look nothing alike. She thinks we are identical.

My fear that the constant ogling will make her vain seems confirmed when I overhear her, at age four, at the bathroom mirror, murmuring, "Those fabayous eyes! She is so gordzuss." I wince, moving to the door to have a little talk on the importance of inner beauty, then stop, still unseen by her. She's referring to Betty Ann, the doll that was once mine, smiling down at her. She then scowls at the imaginary idiot who'd dare question their relationship, "Of course, she's mine! Mine, all mine!"

I step back in silent mirth, happy that what she takes from those encounters is how much I love her. Before I had Mia, I had never deeply loved, nor felt deeply loved. I was unshared.

Mia is fifteen now, and she and I are in theclouds above Austria. The sun has not risen and she is spread across her seat and mine, asleep. I watch her sleep, as I have done nearly every night of her life. We are on our way to eastern Europe. Not to see castles or rivers or onion-domed villas. Not to see long-lost family. Not even to see each other. I am leaving her there.

Mia will be locked up. She is broken now. Thin, pink scars beribbon her thighs and stomach, her ankles are bruised by a felon's leg shackles, her wrists by handcuffs. She is medically malnourished and made up like a whore. Inside, she is dark and damaged and gone. I don't know when I'll see her again. I don't know if I'll ever see her again, my one true child. My desperate hope is that she can be repaired, even badly patched. Mostly, though, I simply hope they can keep her, that she does not escape, as she has done again and again and again and again. Each time to do worse things with worse people, criminals finally. The only thing left would be death, hers or someone else's.

I look down at her, both of us just skin and bone and thin, little breaths. What's left of me staring at what's left of her.

January 30, six months ago to the day, I am absurdly happy. I'm adapting a book I love into a screenplay for an Oscar-winning producer; my husband, Paul, is my best friend, and tomorrow we're putting in a bid to buy our first home. Most of all, I'm Mia's mom. The wise, funny, sparkling Mia who still wants lullabies and butterfly kisses each night. My mother is flying in tomorrow to visit; Mia hasn't seen her Bubbie in two years.

It's a cold, gray day. Mia woke early with a sore throat and fever. I made her favorite soup before I left because I know I'll be working past her bedtime tonight for the first time in her life. The story outline of the screenplay is due tomorrow.

The book I'm adapting is beautifully written but has no dramatic structure, no story to film. Creating one has been my task. It tells of a woman who has lost a child and found herself in another world, foreign and hostile.

Mia calls my office twice to tell me she loves me. There's something in her voice, subtle. It's not her usual, comfort-me sick voice. This voice is tender, as if I am the one in need of comfort. She calls again at nine in the evening to ask for a lullaby. I've sung them to her across the nation. Hushabye, my little darling and I'll see you in the morning.

I have no idea.

I drive home after midnight, feeling such a sense of good fortune. I'm pleased with what I've written, I'm buying a house tomorrow, I have the weekend free to spend with my family. The rain has cleaned LA's dirty sky and the moon and stars are brilliant.

As I walk to my back door, I see that Mia's bedroom window is open, the one by her bed. It's freezing outside. I come in asking Paul about her. He's still at his drafting table. He's a graphic designer and has a deadline tomorrow, too.

"I checked her twenty minutes ago, she's sound asleep."

"With the window open?"

He looks up from his drawing, puzzled. "Of course not."

We walk back to check on her, wondering if she opened it because of her fever. Her room is dark, ice cold, the curtains billow softly at the open window. Paul goes to shut the window as I go to her bed to check her forehead — but she's not there.

"Paul, where's Mia?"

Paul checks her bathroom.

"She's not in here — "

We're suddenly a tornado of fear and sound, hollering Mia!Mia!

Mia!, slapping on lights, whipping through rooms and closets — ohmyGodohmyGod, she's gone, someone's taken her — someone's kidnapped my daughter, my baby girl!

The laws of physics and biology change. Air thickens, has substance, like oil. Light is suddenly crystalline, astringent; my pupils screw down. . . .

Come Back. Copyright © by Claire Fontaine. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 126 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(86)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 26, 2012

    A must read for every mother and every daughter!

    This book is a heavy read and goes into great detail the abuse suffered by Mia (the daughter) and the real life struggles of the "other" parent (Claire) as she realizes, accepts and fights the past, present and future ramifications of not only adolescent sexual abuse, but drug abuse and a host of other emotional problems that can only be described as unbelievable, but true. Read this book!!! If there is a female in your life, read this and learn the power of a mother's love!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2008

    A necessity for any parent of a drug addicted child

    Claire and Mia's story is the most real memoir I've ever read. As the mother of a heroin addicted daughter and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it truly hit home. Claire's story was dead on as to what it's like to watch your child destroy her life. I've said the words and thought the thoughts in this book over and over. As far as Mia, in some cases, she said the exact same things I've heard from my own daughter so many times. As an abuse survivor, it helped me to understand so much of the pain and confusion that go along with being a survivor. For any parent who has gone through the hell and insanity that is drug addiction, this book gives some amazing insight into the hard work that is required for recovery. I hope and pray with each day that my daughter and I reach the point that Claire and Mia have.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    Troubled Teen Troubled Industry

    This book glorifies the organization formerly known as WWASPS. Morava was shut down. The "school" that Mia then transferred to in Utah has a known history of abuse. The book mentioned a girl who was currently held in isolation in a small building referred to as The Hobbit. There is a picture of The Hobbit on the web, along with stories of some teens who survived their time at WWASPS facilities and a few teens who did not.
    An irresponsible editorial decision was made to publish this book. SHAME ON YOU Harper-Collins. And shame on the parents who send/have sent their teens off to such places without visiting them first.
    The writing in this book reflects the ease in which decent human beings can get sucked in by an aggressive internet advertizing campaign. A cult-like primer at best. Skip this book and read about the experiences of WWASPS survivors instead.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    I have actually attended the school Spring Creek Lodge Academy i

    I have actually attended the school Spring Creek Lodge Academy in Thompson Falls, Montana. I read this book years ago when I was actually at the school. I stumbled across it looking for books to purchase for my nook and found it fascinating. Sometimes you forget about certain aspects of your life and than randomly stumble upon them.
    For anyone who has questions about whether this book is like all of the rest of the Memoirs out there, IT"S NOT! You should definitely purchase it whether you have had problems with addiction or not. Everyone in life knows someone who has addiction problems or experiences them yourself. It is a very good read. DEFINITELY BUY!!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2011

    A must read!

    I first read this book on paperback form. My mother was the one who gave me the book and told me i should read it. As soon as i started the book, I could not put it down. I cried on certain parts and was truly amazed on what they went through. I finished this book in a few days and was blown away.This book went around our office for a month. Now that i have my nook, i bought it. You will honestly not be disappointed on this book.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2008

    Found this to be somewhat a bore

    I just got re-obsessed with reading, and i love to read memiors and stories about real life and triumph through hardships...but this book was really a disappointment...reading everyone else's reviews makes me feel like i'm missing something b/c i don't agree with most of them. I enjoyed reading Mia's portions of the book, but I found Claire's dialogue to be redundant and poorly expressed. Something about the manner in which she writes, i can't put my finger on it, didn't have a good flow for me. In every effort i made to stay interested, i failed. I suppose i might have been looking for more of a knock-down vividness of life in addiction and teen despair but as i literally read every other page to skim through to the end, i was left disappointed overall.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Wonderful book, a must to read!

    Claire and Mia brought back so many memories to me and I think they told their story the way it should have been told. I wish all kids were required to read this book so if they were going thru this they might come forward or think about their actions.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic

    This book was so deep. I read it in a few days....and i loved it. I really loved it.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2010

    absolutely amazing!

    I could not put this book down! I am a full time nurse with three kids and I couldn't put this book down! This book is completely engaging from the first page and I was incredibly sad when I finished it. I am not a person that will read a book a second time but this book is definitely one I would consider. My only regret is that I loaned it out and can't remember who has it! This book is absolutely what prompted me to begin reading again. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I hope there will be another book from this mother-daughter team.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Abused children

    This is a great book to help parents know there are others out there facing the same battles, as well as showing there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    Powerful.

    Strong Bio of two strong women. I could not put this down. Thanks to Claire and Mia for sharing their story.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    I thought this book would be great. So disappointing. It actuall

    I thought this book would be great. So disappointing. It actually left me feeling extremely bitter. Claire and Mia forgot to thank the one thing that made the WHOLE difference. MONEY! Most people in their position have to battle it out. Nope, Claire says "Hey. She is out of control (um, she was gone all of a few days?). Let's pay someone to fix her!" I found it very hypocritical.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    A mother-daughter journey through hell and back is as real as it

    A mother-daughter journey through hell and back is as real as it gets. The writing style is informative and heart-breaking. It is a great read to understand drug-addiction from the addicted's point of view and also their families.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    This book is about an amazing journey from the depths of addiction to the height of recovery.

    A mother and a daughter have teamed up to collaborate and bring us their true story about the depths to which someone can descend when under the influence of environment, drugs, alcohol, and less than stellar friendships.
    The climb back from the bottom to the top is fraught with pain and recidivism. Tough love was the order of the day for the family and the facility which aided in the healthy outcome for this young woman. The key to this story is that the process worked although the method and facility have both been criticized and excoriated. One such place was shut down after complaints by some disgruntled participants. It was an expensive, extreme kind of boot camp but it has had more success than any other facility I have ever heard or read about.
    I was privileged to hear the young girl speak about her experiences and witness her remarkable recovery.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2013

    If you have ever worried that your child might make a mistake th

    If you have ever worried that your child might make a mistake that would bring her or him immeasurable harm; if you have ever loved someone who suffered from addiction &/or other serious emotional problems; if you have ever said "What's wrong with these kids nowadays, anyway?" READ THIS BOOK. This is a painfully honest description of what faced this family as they went through the most trying times of their lives, and how they found their way back to the love that was always there. I commend the courage of this family to open up their already bruised hearts in order to help the rest of us. Buy the book. You won't be disappointed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    Review

    I enjoyed this book about a mother and daughter finding each other and the love that was always there. This book made me think about my relationships with people.adults will like this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    Wow!

    This memoir was so insightful of how we act. I learned about this mother and daughter and even learned some things about myself and improving on my own attitudes and actions. Recommend everyone to read

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2010

    This book ia transformative

    What a great book for parents and kids to read. To hear this classic story being told from both sides while watching them both go through there transformation is just brilliant. Reading this book knightly shed light on what my daughter and I are going through but it also shed light on my own childhood which helped in my transformation.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2009

    TEENAGERS SHOULD REALD

    I loved this book.It was very hard to read because it was so real. I am not a mother.But I was a daughter just like Mia. This book opened my eyes more than they were already opened. I reccommend teenagers and parents to read but more to teenagers. Teenagers lose sight of who they are hurting in their acts of running towards freedom.This book will definetly give them a realization of who and why theyre hurting. All in all GREAT book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2006

    A profound and moving reading experience

    I found myself completely immersed in this journey of two extraordinary women. I not only enjoyed the humor infused throughout this heart wrenching story, I found the full range of emotions present at every twist and turn. This novel should be read by everyone: not only those who have children or are considering the joys of parenting.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews

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