My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me : A true story of betrayal and a shocking family secret by Helen Naylor @HelenNayls @threadbooks_ #publicationday #bookreview #nonficnov

🎉🎉🎉 Happy Publication Day to Helen Naylor 🎉🎉🎉 My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me is out today!

Massive thank you to Myrto Kalavrezou of Thread Books for my advanced reader copy of My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me. I also preordered a copy that arrive on my kindle this morning.

The Blurb

There was a time when I loved my mother. It’s shocking to imply that I stopped loving my mum because mothers always love their children and always do their best for them. Mothers are supposed to be good. But my mother wasn’t good.

Ten years ago, Helen Naylor discovered her mother, Elinor, had been faking debilitating illnesses for thirty years. After Elinor’s self-induced death, Helen found her diaries, which Elinor wrote daily for over fifty years. The diaries reveal not only the inner workings of Elinor’s twisted mind and self-delusion, but also shocking revelations about Helen’s childhood.

Everything Helen knew about herself and her upbringing was founded on a lie. The unexplained accidents and days spent entirely on her own as a little girl, imagining herself climbing into the loft and disappearing into a different world, tell a story of neglect. As a teenager, her mother’s advice to Helen on her body and mental health speaks of dangerous manipulation.

With Elinor’s behaviour becoming increasingly destructive, and Helen now herself a mother, she was left with a stark choice: to collude with Elinor’s lies or be accused of abandoning her.

My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me is a heart-breaking, honest and brave account of a daughter unravelling the truth about her mother and herself. It’s a story of a stolen childhood, mental illness, and the redemptive power of breaking a complex and toxic bond.

What Did I Think?

How would you feel if everything you’ve ever known about one of your parents was a lie. A total and utter lie. I’ll admit, I think I’d be devastated and betrayed. I think it would affect me mentally though for Helen Naylor it was a kind of relief after so many years.

Helen is a damaged woman, she’s been psychologically abused by the actions of her mother. The one person in her life she should be able to rely on but she can’t. Everything her mother has done has been for pure narcissism.

Elinor is a strange individual. I’ll admit I’ve never knowingly met anyone with Munchausen’s so I have no one to compare to but she is a very odd individual. Her diary entries are weirdly uneventful but unnerving in the same breath. As I got to know this woman, the more my skin would crawl. I could believe what this human being was doing to her friends and family.

Naylor’s husband clearly has serious baggage to deal with and he does with dedication. Clearly he’s devoted to Naylor, he’s married into a family with serious problems. He plays an integral supporting role in this twisted chain of events, keeping Naylor as sane as he can.

She purposely made a mess so he would have to clear up after her

Naylor’s story is very unsettling. The extent her mother went for attention at the detriment of others. The reactions she gave to meeting her only grandchildren are heartbreaking. What Naylor went through is upsetting but I seriously addictive to this story. I’ve only read about people suffering (is that the right word?) from Munchausen’s in fictional settings so to read a real life account by someone who has been affected by it for so long was an eye opener.

Who Is Helen Naylor?

Helen Naylor has been writing as a hobby since she was a small child, 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 playing guitar, drinking good coffee and cycling.

3 thoughts on “My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me : A true story of betrayal and a shocking family secret by Helen Naylor @HelenNayls @threadbooks_ #publicationday #bookreview #nonficnov

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