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Courtney mom Carroll: Celebrity kin
photo: Karen Ruckman
Courtney mom Carroll: Celebrity kin

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Her Mother's Daughter
By Linda Carroll
Doubleday, 303 pp., $24.95

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We met one-half of the Courtney Love genetic equation in Nick Broomfield's 1998 documentary Kurt & Courtney, wherein the blaring ogre Hank Harrison admits to procuring a pit bull to discipline his willful child. Now mom Linda Carroll rather belatedly cashes in, Nancy Aniston–style, on her unhinged offspring's notoriety with a memoir, which begins with a momentous phone call from hostile Courtney and then rears back to cover the first 45 or so years of Carroll's life; Courtney is born on page 145. Her Mother's Daughter recounts Carroll's miserable childhood (like Margot Tenenbaum, Linda was unfailingly introduced as her awful parents' "adopted daughter"), Catholic miseducation, early sexual pileups, four marriages, five surviving children (another died in infancy; an adopted son drifted to another family), midlife career launch as a therapist, and reunion with her biological mother, the writer Paula Fox. At 18, she bestows a single mercy fuck on a suicidal Harrison that begets a swiftly aborted marriage and the Molotov pharmaceutical cocktail that is Courtney Love. Not only is Carroll telling tales on her own kid, but she seems to share Love's enthusiasm for just making shit up—she refers to a nonexistent Vanity Fair cover shot of Love in a wedding dress and makes the startling claim that songs from Hole's aggro-sludge screamfest Pretty on the Inside "were all over the radio" in the early '90s. Going by this book, she never listened.

 
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