Title: Manipulated Lives
Author: H.A. Leuschel
Pub. Date: 6/28/2016
Five stories – Five Lives. Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance? Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim. In this collection of short novellas you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Next, there is Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself and finally Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.
My Review: 4/5
Manipulation…a kind of abuse that often goes unseen. Most victims of manipulation don’t recognize the abuse until it’s much too late. Manipulated Lives is a book about this very subject.
When the author reached out to me and asked if I would review a copy of her book, I said yes without hesitation. However, my TBR list and other commitments got in the way and I was forced to put this book on the back burner. My apologies to her! And a special thank you to her for a copy of her book!
Now to my review. While I loved the subject matter (again, it is in line with my psychology minor in college), the book was a little difficult for me to read. It’s not the writing style, that was superb, it was that the subject matter really hit home. Sometimes we don’t want to face what is right in front of us. I’ve been in manipulative relationships before and when they were over, I felt like a fool. This book brought up those painful memories for me.
It is an emotional book, and the author does a great job of discussing different types of manipulation. Runaway Girl was my favorite, again because this was the type of manipulation that I’ve dealt with. Albeit the difficult subject matter, it is a great read. I recommend this book.
Thank you again to the author for a copy of her book. It was my pleasure to provide an unbiased and honest opinion.