Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Manipulated Lives by H. A. Leuschel. Thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the author for my review copy.
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About the Book
Five compelling true-to-life stories each highlighting a narcissist’s manipulative mind games
Narcissists are everywhere. They can be witty, charming and highly charismatic. Anyone can be their target.
At first their devious, calculating mind games can be hard to spot because they are masters of disguise, 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.
All the stories highlight to what extent narcissistic abuse can distort lives and threaten our self-worth yet ultimately, also send a positive message that once the narcissist is unmasked, the victims can at last break free.
Format: ebook (273 pp.) Publisher:
Published: 8th June 2016 Genre: Short Stories, Contemporary Fiction
Find Manipulated Lives on Goodreads
In this collection of compelling short stories, the author puts the reader inside the minds of five people who have either suffered psychological manipulation at the hands of another or been responsible for it. The book persuasively illustrates that anyone – young or old, male or female – can fall prey to manipulation. For instance, in the story ‘Tess and Tattoos’, we meet Tess, a charming, kind old lady, who was unlucky enough to form a relationship with someone who abused her physically and psychologically. Incidentally, I was so glad that Tess found a friend to provide comfort to her as she unburdens herself of her traumatic memories.
In all the stories, the reader is witness to the internal dialogue of the characters as they reflect on their experiences and try to make sense of how they were manipulated or, in one case, to justify (unsuccessfully to my mind) their actions. The bleak nature of their experiences can make difficult reading at time. By the time I got to the story of ‘The Narcissist’ I felt myself in sympathy with the thoughts of his psychiatrist: ‘It is tiring, exhausting, and in cases like this, downright gruelling to observe the human mind at its worst.’
The author clearly has a gift for creating memorable characters, believable situations and stories that often have a surprising sting in the tail. Readers with an interest in psychology or who like to inhabit the minds of characters (and don’t mind if some of these are unlikeable) will find Manipulated Lives a fascinating and compelling read. I also think the book might be helpful for anyone trying to understand the experiences of someone who has been subject to coercive control or manipulation.
In three words: Dark, intense, thought-provoking
About the Author
Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.
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