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.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS ARE REVIEW
This is quite an unusual book consisting of 5 short stories, all very different but having one common factor. All the stories are about a manipulator, from seeing the picture through the eyes of a manipulator to being a victim. I think that every person has at some point manipulated another person to get something they want and of course being manipulated themselves but this is about control, there is no bargaining or reasoning. It isn’t about even getting their own way in a situation, it is about the pleasure the manipulator gets to achieve it.
All the stories are very different with one aspect that it did bring up for me was which came first, the chicken or egg? These stories were fascinating to me I sort of looked at things a little differently. In the first story the man had manipulated his children, they of course had known no difference. In the second, an old lady, was she really punishing herself because of choices she had made? The third a girl caught up in not knowing really where her love was, was she there for the father or the child. The forth a young girl not seen or heard at home and very desperate to be loved and the fifth a mother that creates her own manipulator in her child. This story highlights both sides for me, sometimes victims seek out or create a manipulator too. Both are really in need of help.
This story for me was a really well balanced look at how complex we are. The influences in our lives and how we react to them. It wasn’t just a matter of meeting a manipulator for some of these characters. Some were like moths to a light that were drawn in because of the lives that they had. A whole picture not just an unlucky meeting. This isn’t a very long book but it is one that I thought quite deeply about even after I had finished it.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR