Cover Image: My Mother, Munchausen's and Me

My Mother, Munchausen's and Me

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Member Reviews

Infuriating, but good, read. Poor Helen suffered so much at the hands of her mother. I’m not a huge memoir fan, but this was interesting and I’m proud of Helen for sharing!
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This book could be very sad at times.  It takes you on Helens journey through her life. It is well written, a book that will stay with me.
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As mental health, and non-fiction fan, this was extremely interesting. I was not fully aware of Munchausen's in detail. Thanks to Helen writing this book, I am now educated and informed about it, including the impact this has on everyone around the patient. 

This read is full of emotion and my heart broke for Helen as she discusses her childhood, or lack of it, and how her life was put on hold due to her parents' disabilities. Even as an adult, she could not escape it, loving her mother as any offspring would. It was not until her mother's death that the full extent of her fabrications really become known.

The way Helen writes about her mother displays what a caring, warm, and kind-hearted individual she is, and I have nothing but praise and admiration for her. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in these subjects, however, please note there are various sensitive issues within this, that some readers may find distressing.

Although I was gifted the digital copy of this, I also downloaded the audio version to listen to whilst performing other duties. This review is based on both formats.
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A very sad, but interesting read. Well written and thought provoking.. The author went through so much.
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This was a very interesting read. I am sure the author was processing her life as she wrote. The book weaves an interesting tale of a mother with made up ilnesses and is punctuated by her mother's actual journal entires. This subject fascinates me and I found the read quick and engaging. I will read more about the topic.
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I am not usually drawn to memoirs but this title aptly describes the journey you take as part of this book. Helen  Naylor takes the readers through a journey. At first we aren’t sure if and to what extent Mom is sick. But over time, as Helen’s realization at what really is happening and her mother’s narcissism was shocking. The whole book and the life Helen lived is truly harrowing
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This was almost a DNF.  The memoir is about Helen Naylor’s life being raised by a mother who was ill for Helen’s entire childhood who, when young, thought nothing of it.  However, as Helen gets older and has her own children, her mother’ discloses a new illness and, as her mother’s behaviour becomes more erratic, Helen becomes more suspicious.

Helen mentions her mother’s narcissistic behaviour/selfishness a great deal, however, in the next breath seems to be whining about herself and I found this very difficult to stomach.  I have no doubt that Helen’s own behaviours and issues stem from her troubled childhood and her relationship with her mother, but I felt that the way she came across within the book did not do her any favours.

I think this book could have been shorter - due to the length of time it has covered, there was a lot of repetitiveness in relation to the record of her mother’s behaviour and to the author’s own reaction to them.

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.
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This poignant memoir of Helen Naylor's life with her mother Elinor, a woman who suffered from a variety of illnesses from the time Helen was about seven years old, was both horrifying and fascinating. I was familiar with Munchausen's by proxy where a parent purposely makes their child ill, but not someone who does this to themself. Helen did such a good job of describing her mother's actions and showing how her mental illness progressed over time. Elinor's behaviors are downright chilling at times. 

It's always hard to judge someone's memoir because it makes me feel like I am judging their life.  But Ms. Naylor is a very good writer and really brought her situation into living color.  Even when she judged her mother's actions, I felt like she was acting out of love.  I never felt like she was purposely trying to malign her mother even as she described her mother's awful behavior towards Helen and others.
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An intriguing and shocking book 
I kept reading it and couldn't put it down but a difficult subject and heartbreak for the family
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"I'd read several survivors of narcissistic parents, describe their childhood as being trapped in a dark cellar lit only by a flashlight... In his allegory Plato imagined a group of people chained from birth in a cave, facing a blank wall. Behind them  burned a fire, the only source of light, and all the prisoners could see - their only experiences of the world - were the shadows of puppet performance put on behind them by their captors. Mum had been my fire and my puppet master. "

".... Her cleaner, hairdressers, and counsellors are kept in her debt, whether by giving them extravagant presents, loaning money or insisting on paying for meals when they went out. Easily mistakable for  generosity, Elinor used this technique to control those around her"
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This is one of those books that's hard to read, but 100% necessary. I knew a bit about Munchausen's by Proxy, but not much about just Munchausen's. It was really interesting getting a first-hand account of it. 

I do agree with some reviewers that sometimes it didn't come across as abuse but on the other hand, nobody knows just how bad it was except for Helen. It's never easy to write about your own trauma, so I can't discount what she went through. 

I definitely recommend this one. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my eARC.
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A harrowing tale of a life lived with a narcissistic, abusive mother. I found myself shaking my head at the ever more dramatic and outrageous behaviour Elinor (Helen's mother) was portraying. It is absolutely unbelievable at times and I really felt for our author throughout.

Munchausen's is something that has intrigued me for a while, so when this memoir popped up for me to read, I knew it was going to be an interesting one. 

Very well written and easy to follow with memories of Helen from her childhood, through to her adult life with diary entries from her mother interwoven.

<i>Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review.</i>.
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An utterly fascinating book - I was gripped by this, and it was written with a flexibility and skill not always found in misery memoir.
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An insightful read and one which will stay with me a long time. Thank you for allowing me to read your story.
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First of all, I feel like I can’t give this a proper rating because of the genre so I’m giving it 5* because it’s harrowing and so heartbreaking what she went through. So this was on my TBR for quite a while and I truthfully didn’t pick it up as I knew it was a different read that I’m normally used to and I wanted to give it my full attention. 

When I just started this, I actually saw an interview on This Morning with Helen and it was so heartbreaking listening to her story but it made me want to read her book more. I’ve heard of Munchausen’s before but not too much, mainly just the story of Gypsy and her mum. This story was heartbreaking, I can’t imagine the life Helen’s had and the trauma she’s had to face and deal with. 

Definitely had many shocking moments in, such an interesting read and I’d definitely recommend it to those wanting to know more!
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I find the topic of my munchausens extremely fascinating. While most books discuss “by proxy” , this was almost the opposite, a child dealing with her mother faking illness and inflicting pain on herself. I felt a great deal of sympathy towards the author. I felt her mother was evil at times. At points the narrative was a bit repetitive but still a very interesting story.
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A story that was hard to read and digest but equally as hard to put down!

I'm a fan of true life books so was immediately grabbed by the cover of this one. Munchausens is one of those diagnoses that we have all heard about but it feels like it's also one of those that's a secret myth that nobody actually really knows anything about. 

This was insightful from the very start., not only the actual illness side but also highlighting the cracks and failure within the care system which seems even more prevalent in this day and age.

One thing I would add to the story though is more of her mothers diary entries like she did towards the end of the book to the beginning of the book where Helen tells her own childhood memories. 

I don't want to go into any detail as it will defhgive spoilers but I will say this is one hell of a memoir and I cant applaud Helen enough for her bravery in reliving it to put it on paper. I hope in some way it was cathartic and has helped you heal.

*Trigger warning:there are an awful lot of triggers within this book; abuse, criminal abuse, neglect, narcissism* 

Huge thanks to netgalley and Thread Books for the ARC.
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This was an interesting read. I love to learn about different perspectives and this was a deep dive on Munchausens. I recommend!
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I loved this book, it was so well written and so engaging and the authors story of what she went through with her mother and her mothers illness was completely fascinating, although I am sure it wasnt to live through it.  I was really taken by Helen and found myself detesting her mother. Such a good read for anyone that is fascinated by medical memoirs, psychology or mental health.
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I recently read My Mother, Munchausens and Me and found myself deliberating on how to put into words how I felt about it. How do you say “hey, sorry your life sucked but I loved it” because that’s what I fee like I am going to sound like. Not that I loved that the author had a traumatic relationship with her mother, though in too many ways I can resonate with this, but I enjoyed learning about Munchausens and narcissism in general. I was intrigued with her mother’s antics and found myself thinking “no she didn’t!” or “what’s she going to do next?” throughout the entirety of the book. While I disliked her mother, I do recognize that in many ways she was mentally ill, and I was really rooting for her to get medical help and repair their relationship. It was informational, interesting, and heartbreaking but I very much enjoyed it.
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