Book Reviews

#BookReview My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me By Helen Naylor

Thank You very much to the publisher – Thread for the review copy.
ISBN13: 978-1909770683
Genre: Memoir
Release date: 25 11 2021
Price*: Kindle £2.99 (GBP)/  Paperback £7.99 (GBP)
Kindle $3.99 (USD)/ Paperback $11.46 (USD)
Pages: ~ 320
My rating: Really liked it.
You can get this book here:
Amazon UK
Bookshop.org
What I learned from this book: How toxic some families can be.

Description of the book: Ten years ago, Helen Naylor discovered that her mother, Elinor, had been faking debilitating illnesses for thirty years. Everything Helen knew about herself and her upbringing was founded on a lie. My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me delves into the complex world of family bonds, mental illness and explores the nature of truth and identity.

How this book made me feel: I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of memoirs and don’t read them often, but I was drawn to Munchausen’s aspect of this book. I don’t know why but I find it extremely disturbing but fascinating at the same time. Especially after the story of Gypsy Rose.

Helen is starting the book from when she was little. Her memories about her parents, their disabilities and her struggles at such a young age. Helen was constantly emotionally abused by her mother. There were always degrading words, no love or care and constant manipulations. It really broke my heart to read Helen’s experiences. It has got a little better during University, but her mother always found a way to manipulate not only Helen but all the people around her, especially her friends. I was quite impressed by the amount of patience some people have, if one of my friends would be acting out like that, I would’ve given up ages ago. 😀

I really enjoyed the stories that Helen shared in this book. Even though it was a constant struggle for her, some of these stories were so bizarre I could not help myself but laugh out loud. There was a constant struggle between love for your parent and wish to run away as far as you can and I was surprised that Helen didn’t choose the second option. I think I would have because everything has a limit, and her mom crossed the line way too many times. There were so many topics discussed in this book, such as emotional and verbal abuse, faking illnesses, manipulation, narcissistic behaviour, self-harm, loss, difficult mother-daughter relationship, and many many more.

The book was quite difficult to read emotionally because I went through a range of emotions while reading it. I was angry and upset but at the same time, I could not help myself but giggle from time to time. I liked the writing style, it felt very honest and personal. The chapters are pretty short and every chapter has an interesting story to share with the reader, thus the pages just flew by for me. The ending left me very satisfied and I wish all the best to Helen and her family.

So, to conclude, this book is heartbreaking but for some reason a very enjoyable read. If you watched The Act and enjoyed the story, I would strongly recommend this book as well. This book showed me how patient, resilient and strong some people can be, and I hope you will pick up this book and will be able to admire Helen as much as I did. Enjoy!

Thank you for your time! ❤

About the author: Helen Naylor has been writing as a hobby since she was a small girl; but it wasn’t until she began a memoir about growing up with a mother who faked illnesses and had narcissistic personality traits that she was encouraged to pursue writing professionally. Helen lives in Nottingham with her husband; two children and cat and enjoys cycling; playing guitar and drinking good coffee.

Twitter: @HelenNayls

*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.

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