This image is hidden for guests. Please login or register to see it.It's been a long time since a personal memoir stayed with me for so long after I turned the last page.
Sonnenberg is living proof that money and privilege don't insure happiness ... or even a glimpse at normalcy.
Sonnenberg's grandfather was one of New York City's most successful publicity machines. Her father was somewhat of a literary star, especially during the 1960s. He grew up in one of the city's most recognizable mansions, The Fish House, at 19 Gramercy Park South. He had a fling with Susanna's mother when she was 15, got her pregnant and married her when she was 16.
Sonnenberg's maternal roots are just as impressive, even though she changes their names, so we can't Google them for more background. Her maternal grandfather was a successful musician and wrote tunes for the movies. Her grandmother could have been Carole Lombard's twin. After the two divorced, 'Patsy,' as Sonneberg calls her, had houses in Barbados, London and Monte Carlo.
Forget Joan Crawford and the wire hangers. 'Daphne' was addicted to drugs, sex and rock 'n rollers. If Sonnenberg has written the truth, it's a wonder Daphne survived her addiction to morphine, cocaine, Valium and percodan, not to mention her binge drinking. She was hospitalized for mental meltdowns on numerous occasions. She taught Sonnenberg how to give her drugs with needles. When Sonnenberg was 12, Daphne gave the child cocaine, telling her it was important for her to know the difference between quality cocaine and powder that had been "cut," or watered down. Daphne seduced her daughter's boyfriends. She had sex on Daphne's bed at boarding school. She punched her daughter in the stomach, a lot.
And, there was really no one to protect the young, sensitive girl from the maniac that had given her life.
How Sonnenberg ever found her way through the mania to a healthy relationship is a miracle. Now living in Missoula, Montana, with a loving husband and two young boys, she has written a glorious accounting of her time in hell. Her ability to tell her story with a precision-like insight is true testament to the triumph of the human spirit.
Warning: This book is not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. Daphne's drug use is just the tip of the iceberg. Until her marriage, Sonnenberg used her sexuality to get what she wanted and to fill the gaping holes in her heart. She was promiscuous. It's a wonder she wasn't an alcoholic or druggie to boot.
I suspect this book will garner a lot of attention come awards season and I'm sure Hollywood will scarf it up, even if the screenplay would have to be rated X.