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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

March 01, 1992|KAREN STABINER

THE MOON IS BROKEN by Eleanor Craig (Dutton: $19; 192 pp.) This is a painful story, not just for what Eleanor Craig has to say, but for what is not said, only implied. Her daughter Ann was an honors student in college when her world suddenly began to fall apart. Before Craig could quite grasp what was happening, her daughter's anxiety over deadlines and a concomitant tendency to over-research had blossomed into a full-scale breakdown that required her to be hospitalized. There was no road back. Ann Craig was headed for anorexia and drugs. It was probably a dirty needle along the way that led to the diagnosis of what would be her final ailment, and, ironically, the engine for reconciliation with her mother--AIDS. Craig discovers, toward the end, that her daughter was raped when she was 16, and comes to believe that the rape, and Ann's decision to keep it a secret, robbed her daughter of any self-esteem. But there is one theme in her daughter's life that Craig misses: From the beginning, Ann complained that Craig was a judgmental, hypercritical parent, and that her manner often drove Ann away. The terrifying thing about this book is that Craig does, in fact, seem an overbearing parent, one of those people who think there are two ways to view the world--hers, and the wrong one. She seems to have chronicled her daughter's emotional journey with far more understanding than her own.

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