Top critical review
Harmful and invalidating
Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2020
In the intro to this book, the author insists that victims must love and forgive their abusive mothers. We can't blame abusive mothers for their abusive behavior--we must be accepting and understanding. There's this looming sense of condescension for the reader who hasn't yet reached this emotional high ground. The woman who wrote this is a therapist--and that's what makes this attitude all the more irresponsible. I felt fully invalidated before I could begin the first chapter. She speaks of "recovery" as though there is some magical point in which you are fully healed from abuse, if only you put in the hard work like she did. I picked up this book for insights on high-achieving daughters of narcissistic mothers. The topic is literally the name of the book. Yet there are only 12 pages on the subject, and the overachiever persona is condescendingly named "Mary Marvel." Anyone who's already made the connection between their drive for success and childhood abuse is not going to find any revelations in this chapter. The concept of going no-contact gets one page, and the suggestion is that this is not necessarily helpful in healing. It guilts the reader into maintaining contact--a situation that can exacerbate any emotional progress and may be completely unrealistic for emotional health. Setting boundaries that mom will respect? Easy-peasy! The author makes it sound as though narcissists have the capacity to respect the daughters they abused and give weight to logic and facts. She suggests that victims may misinterpret generational differences as abuse. And that all of these problems are so easily solved with empathy and understanding--traits that narcissists do not possess. And then... nearly at the very end... she finally says you should only forgive when the perpetrator makes themselves accountable. Something that no narcissist would ever do. So basically it's a whole lot of victim-blaming, then ultimately it confesses that everything you need to do to "heal" is impossible. The final chapter basically advises you not to abuse your own children. Cool. There's also a whole section that lists films that portray narcissistic abuse--in case you want to relive your trauma over and over. I wish I could give this less than one star. Even the quality of the paper is low. Save your money.