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THE GOOD DAUGHTER SYNDROME

AWAKEN FROM IT. BREAK FREE OF IT. HEAL FROM IT.

An accessible and holistic approach to healing parental wounds.

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Psychotherapist Fabrizio offers a self-help book about mother-daughter relationships.

The author writes that her tumultuous relationship with her mother inspired her to write this book, which aims to help others “break free, guilt free” from dysfunctional dynamics. She defines a “Good Daughter” as a deferential woman with poor boundaries and little confidence and a “Difficult Mother” as a controlling, critical figure who’s impossible to please and may have a personality disorder or addiction issues. Difficult Mothers, she says, may have experienced shame and trauma that perpetuate a cycle of pain in their parenting, also known as “intergenerational wounding.” Motherhood itself can be a trigger for buried trauma, she writes, leaving a child torn between attaching to their mother or simply trying to survive her. In adulthood, Fabrizio asserts, Good Daughters often suffer from depression, anxiety, body-image issues, sexual difficulties, and/or relationship problems. The author discusses Difficult Mothers’ common defense mechanisms as well as their “Good Daughter Traps,” which involve weaponizing inferiority, guilt, self-doubt, and mixed messages. Fabrizio uses illustrative case studies to illuminate psychological concepts, including implicit and explicit memories, false core beliefs, unconscious agreements, and symptoms of mental illness. Ultimately, the author encourages readers to shift from trying to control their mothers to claiming their own power instead. The lessons contained in this book might have been imparted in fewer pages, but Fabrizio does effectively break down complicated family dynamics by sorting them into easy-to-understand categories. She also provides actionable suggestions, such as healing rituals, mind-body visualizations, and other exercises. Scripts for countering unsolicited advice, insults, and disagreements may give daughters more agency, while boundary-setting guidelines may help curb future violations. The author emphasizes that understanding one’s mother is not synonymous with excusing her, but she also does an admirable job of balancing empathic psychoanalysis with personal empowerment: “Whatever solution works for you, whether you even want a relationship with Mom, arming yourself with insight will help,” she asserts.

An accessible and holistic approach to healing parental wounds.

Pub Date: March 8, 2023

ISBN: 9798986614809

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Makers Mark Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2023

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I'M GLAD MY MOM DIED

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

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The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood.

In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease’s recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how “my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me.” Insistent on molding her only daughter into “Mommy’s little actress,” Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom,” while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter’s physical appearance. She tinted her daughter’s eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of “calorie restriction,” and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982185-82-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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