The Fear of Becoming One’s Mother: Memoirs of a Drug Addict’s Daughter

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

“It is the declaration of every thinking woman at some point in her life, a manifesto that crosses all boundaries of class or color or whatever arbitrary thing we try to pretend separates us.  It starts out as a girlish whisper, grows louder with each passing year, until that faint promise we traced in the sand becomes a declarative, then an imperative:

I will not become my mother.

It’s an ambition born of fear” (p. 181).

This fear is palpable in Domenica Ruta’s memoir With or Without You (2013), which I could not put down (and not just because the title reminds me of dancing to U2 in high school).  She recounts her childhood as the daughter of a single mother who happens to be a drug addict.  Because Domenica, known as Nikki to her family and friends, is smart, I believed at first that this would be a story…

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