I want thank Rachel’s Random Resources and H.A. Herschel for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views expressed are my own.
Title: Manipulative Lives
Author: H.A. Herschel
Publication Date: June 8, 2016
Page Count: 273 pages
Categories and Genre:
Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/u/49P2MJ
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 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, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is 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.
I absolutely loved this book and how each of the five stories brought a unique group of characters and a steady paced plot to keep you hooked from start to finish. I’m going to be honest, I devoured this whole book in one night and stayed up all night with it! #WorthIt!
I really enjoyed the different backgrounds of each character and how it brought a fresh perspective to the table for every one of the five stories. I became heavily invested in the characters and I ended up scrolling through my kindle as fast as I could so that I could discover the twists and outcome. Out of all the stories, I really adored Tess and Tattoos. It was a bittersweet story but like the rest of the novellas, it really made you think of the effects that abuse has on someone and what they all go through.
As a woman who has been in a couple of emotionally abusive relationships, I really felt Tess’s pain but in the same sense I felt her joy!💖 Even though I faced abuse throughout my life, I thankfully didn’t find these psychological dramas a trigger. This beautiful collection of novellas are full of depth, heart-wrenching and heartwarming moments that I am sure many readers will love! I highly recommend these stories and am excited to see what the author comes out with next!
Author Bio –
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.
Social Media Links –
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