Cover Image: My Mother, Munchausen's and Me

My Mother, Munchausen's and Me

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Member Reviews

This is a deeply personal examination of a life lived, and one could consider, wasted, by the authors mother. 

Elinor Page was Helen’s mother. She was also a deeply complex character, in ways that were not fully revealed until after her death. Helen grew up knowing that her mother was always ill, with her health struggles including ME and later Parkinson’s disease. However, as time passes, it starts to be become apparent to Helen that at times her mother is exaggerating her health issues, thriving off of the attention that they secure for her and allowing her to deflect anything that she wishes to avoid. As time goes on, Helen starts to consider that her mother may in fact not have any of the chronic illnesses that she claims to. 

I found this book to be quite a tough read at times, it is interesting and thought-provoking, but it is also hard to read at times, due to the subject matter - the sheer frustration felt by Helen comes across clearly, particularly when trying to deal with the NHS which places her into a Kafka-esque nightmare, where she is expected to give permission for treatments while simultaneously not being given any information about the progress of treatments. It sounds as if Helen has survived an almost untenable family situation to thrive with her own family. I thought it was really interesting to be able to read excerpts from Elinor’s own diary, to provide further insights into her version of events and how observed and experienced specific occasions throughout the book.

I really enjoyed this but I could imagine this being a difficult read for someone in a similar situation, whether they have quite reached a conscious level of realisation or not. 

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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A really good read, touching on a delicate subject matter, of Helen’s battle growing up with a narcissistic mother who also had a whole host of other issues. Without giving too much away it’s paints a sad picture of how somebody can be so manipulative, vindictive and generally just mean even to those who are supposed to love and call  family and friends.
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A sad read about a daughter who was subjected to all kinds of medical intervention due to her mother. An emotional read and an insight in to the goings on behind Munchausens by proxy
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Raw, emotional, at times a hard read. 
Interesting and in some part I found a little disturbing. I can’t imagine growing up in a house like that.
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What an eye opener of a book. Hard to believe there are people like this in the world. Strange and crazy right enough. The book is very well written.
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This a really good memoir and I learnt a lot from this book.  A very compelling and sad read.  This was a real eye opener into the world of those living with this terrible illness.
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Like many people Munchausen's is a disease which has always fascinated me so I was very interested to read to Helen's story of her mother's condition and how it effected her life.

This was both interesting and informative and I definitely recommend checking it out if this is a subject that interests you.
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My Mother,  Munchausens and Me Helen Naylor 
This book was an interesting read, a fascinating incite into Munchausens.
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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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