If I could tell Christina Crawford something and I can't but I could write it here it, it would be "I believe you". The first thing I would tell the non believers in Christina's story is I for one know that someone can project one image to you and a completely different image to someone else. I also became a firm believer when Christina said "It was a time of inner speculation. It was a time when I was forced once again to come face to face with myself. I must admit I didn't always like what I saw in my own mirror, but it was also a time when I gave up blaming others for what happened in my life. I stopped blaming my mother or trying to make excuses for either one of us. I began to treat myself with greater gentleness. My life had to be put together again based on something other than insanity, cruelty, insecurity, and the hype. I believe her because I have done the same. Meaning, I have taken responsibility for what happens to me. I have had it rough a rough childhood and traumatic divorce well when everything crumbled I could see patterns and then after a few years I had an epiphany. The little girl I was patterned the relationship I was in sad but very true. However,then when I realized I wasn't that little girl anymore and was very much in charge of what happened to me next I could not blame the traumatic experiences anymore. This is exactly what Christina did. She took charge of her life and tried her best to keep the relationship with her mother positive and involved. She tries to understand what could have happened to lead to the writing of the will of her leaving nothing to her children Christina and Christopher Crawford "for reasons which are well known to them". That is all this book is about really WHY? Why did she write such an awful thing? If she wanted to leave them nothing then that's all she had to say. Why was Joan like she was? What motivated, drove her, pushed her to extremes. What was her childhood like? Is there a hint there? What happened to Joan when she was a young starlet? Is there a hint there? Think of poor Joan trying to hang on to a career that was slipping, age that was creeping upward, failed romances, and widowhood. Christina writes of her mother's triumphs and lows-her love life, her career, and her can do, never give up spirit. Lots of people who haven't read the book just know this as a book about how awful Joan Crawford was to her adopted daughter. This is also how the movie Mommie Dearest makes things seem. I don't think this book could be made into a movie or the movie should have included the good as well as the bad but that doesn't sell tickets does it? This is an even-handed account of someone's life with their mother. An unbelievable account of someone's extreme mania and their subjecting their child to that mania who could not escape it. A coming of age story and how Christina came through alive in some harrowing instances that just made my heart bleed. It is a book trying to grasp what makes someone like they are, why they do the things they do and just what might have been going through their minds when they wrote such a hurtful thing " for reasons known to them". Imagine this being broadcast on the news like it was when Crawford died, imagine how that must have hurt? Did Christina write this book to defend herself and Christopher? Sure she did but it is more than an a great offense it tells Christina's side of the story. It exposes Joan as well as Christina the good, bad and the ugly. I believe you Christina Crawford.