I admit the only reason I read books by Frieda Hughes is because she's the daughter of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. In general, I don't think she has anywhere near the same level of poetic talent of either of her (in)famous parents.
That said, I think Alternative Values is one of her better offerings. It's uneven; there are several poems that might have made better essays or pieces of a memoir (and yes, I wish she would write a memoir, although I certainly understand if she never does). But there are some poems that work on a poetic level and show signs of maturation.
There are artworks accompanying each poem--Hughes is also a painter--but I'm not the most visual person in the world. I can't say that the art spoke to me the way that some of the poems did. In particular, a series at the end of the book that go over her childhood without her mother, and the things that happened (I've often wished someone would do a biography of Plath's mother, who appears in this poems as rather villainous, and who seemed to have unnaturally strong ties to Plath herself, even for a mother-daughter relationship). But unlike previous collections where she touched on some of these themes and got quite vitriolic, here she seems to be quieter, more as if she's working through these painful and traumatizing situations rather than just lashing out about them.
For me, the most stunning poem is the final one. If you don't know the background, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath were married for almost 7 years. Plath committed suicide after the marriage failed. Hughes was having an affair with Assia Wevill at the time of Plath's death. Wevill ended up having a daughter (Shura) by Hughes; a few years later, Wevill committed suicide the same way Plath did, but took Shura with her. That's pretty damn heartbreaking all by itself, but I'd never really thought about the half-sister relationship between Shura and Frieda, a complex relationship by itself, but infinitely more complicated due to the family history:
Have I denied you a father
As your mother
Denied me mine?
I wanted to undo you
Cuckoo that you were; not one of us,
As your mother undid me,
When she unpicked the threads that wove
My fabric so she could see
Right through my holes
To my own dead mother,
Whose place she took uneasily
As if donning a still bloodied human skin
So we children might not smell
Her different scent; the guilty,
Furtive act of replacement.
In suicide my mother left me, aged three
With a mother-shaped hole
that howled in the wind like a cave.
Perhaps that's why, when your mother
Made the choice to follow mine,
She took you too.
That way you would be spared
All the other would-be mothers
And their thinly disguised aversion to you
As they took your mother's place,
Unable to ignore the fact
You wore your mother's face.
But what she did in stopping breath
Was steal your choice to live a life
Beyond her wish for death.