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IT'S JUST YOUR IMAGINATION

GROWING UP WITH A NARCISSISTIC MOTHER

A succinct and useful self-help guide for those who have been emotionally damaged by narcissists.

An Israeli author offers advice on breaking free from familial cycles of manipulation and conditional love.

Shiri-Horowitz (Hope to See You Soon, 2014, etc.) grew up with a possessive, critical mother. It’s a vicious cycle, she argues: Women who lacked a mother’s unconditional love repeat the same pattern of treatment when they become parents. Her own mother “remained hurt, and hurtful. She copied her mother’s maternal paradigm.” The first chapter helpfully sets out the 10 characteristics of narcissistic mothers. These include concern with appearances, jealousy between mother and daughter, and a lack of respect for the child’s individual identity. In this framework, the father is often a passive partner who tries feebly to make peace. Shiri-Horowitz describes her father as “weak,” “overshadowed,” and absent-seeming. Emotional neglect is a powerful force, the author contends, and contrasts with the seeming perfection of a family seen from the outside: Her mother kept up a convincing facade, with her home and children well-kempt. No one could have guessed there was emotional abuse behind the scenes. At times, this edged into physical abuse, as when her mother threw her to the floor while verbally disowning her. Shiri-Horowitz capably weaves telling incidents from her own history with the psychological insights she has gained into narcissism. She stresses the importance of setting boundaries and finding your own voice, such as by writing a letter to your childhood self. A final poem is especially effective at dramatizing the battle of wills between mother and daughter: “Mom, you do not know / Where you start and where I / End—you are not me and I am not you.” This volume will undoubtedly be helpful to readers who recognize their own families here. It’s a  short and well-structured work, though it repeats some facts (for example, the author’s mother hurling her to the floor). The book is also heavily indebted to Karyl McBride’s Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

A succinct and useful self-help guide for those who have been emotionally damaged by narcissists.

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-64204-729-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Horowitz Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2018

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THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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