Saturday, December 31, 2011

Unraveling Anne by Laurel Saville

My last review of 2011 is not one of my best books of the year. This is a very sad book about a tragic woman and her daughter who has tried valiantly to come to terms with the consequences of being Anne Ford's daughter. In the 1950s Anne Ford was beautiful, a talented fashion designer, and an artist living the Hollywood life. She gave birth to three children by two men and proceeded to neglect them for the rest of her life.

Actually Laurel Saville, the daughter, would have been better off if her mother had totally ignored her. In fact, Anne alternately criticized Laurel and abused her in fits of jealousy. Mom wanted a beautiful daughter who would fulfill her dreams, but beginning with puberty Laurel was the object of attention from the men Anne brought home and that infuriated her mother.

Anne Ford was the product of very strict upbringing. She was a beauty queen but her parents were never happy with her. She just couldn't live up to their expectations. The rest of her sad life she was free spirited, a hippy in the 60s, an artist, a drunk, and promiscuous. She thought she loved her children but was incapable of being any kind of a mother so the kids raised themselves.

Laurel lived with her father in New Jersey for some time and learned what a family was, but always suffered from want of love from her mother.

After learning of her mother's death, murder actually, Laurel tried to see another side of her life. Surely there was good in her. Her mother's friend gave her some perspective, and learning about her grandparents' story helped as well. Still, as an adult it's easy to see that Laurel will never truly know her own mother.

A very tragic story that ultimately goes nowhere. I admire the attempt, but Laurel Saville will have to live with the knowledge that it is simply a tragedy.

I received this book from Amazon Vine; it is available from


  1. Is that a true story? How sad. I do enjoy books like that at times - I guess they make me feel better about my life or something.

  2. Kathy, I knew I was tired but now I'm sure of it. I omitted the pertinent fact that this is a memoir of Laurel Saville's childhood, or rather what passed for childhood in her case. It is very sad and it definitely makes you grateful for a good childhood.

  3. Not sure I would like this one for some reason??
    Barbara, Hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you.

  4. How sad. I hope Saville can move beyond her tragic childhood.

    Happy new year, Barbara!