‘Realistic, heart-breaking and utterly gripping!’ -
'A brilliant and important book ... I could barely put it down'-
Nerdish Mum Book Blog
Nerdish Mum Book Blog
‘You NEED to read this. Your family needs to read this, your friends need to read this, your children … NEED to read this’ -
Five fictional, compelling true-to-life stories about how people can be manipulated by others.
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.
The moment I wake up, the dismay and desperation are back. The knot in my throat is so big that I am sure, soon enough, I will choke on it. I cannot understand why I am lying in this tiny room attached to an IV drip with only a glass of water as my companion.My heart is beating fast with anxiety and when I try to lift my head I can see my emaciated arms sticking out from under my hospital gown. I know, yet again, that my attempt to get up is futile.Why am I here, and why am I all alone? A strand of grey hair falls over my forehead and into my eyes, pricking at the outer edges, and it costs me great energy to brush it aside.
I faintly remember a voice now. She was reading something to me. Confusion and fear flood over me while my eyes move wildly around the room. I note that the small window is still there with its curtains drawn. Is it winter? Is it daytime or night time? I have no idea. A small radiator stands in the corner and once in a while emits gurgling noises. The sound is strangely reassuring, but what I really want is a human hand holding mine, a human voice talking to me with kindness, a small smile, anything to take the dread away. I remember my family and other faces come crowding into my head and then ...my children. Oh ...my children. Where on earth are they, now that I am helpless and desperate?
My throat is dry, and when I turn my head towards the bedside table I see the glass of water standing next to me. I yearn for it and decide that I have to try and reach for it. I lift my bony and unusually broad hand off the bedcover but my fingers instantly start to shake. The simplest of movements now seem almost impossible to be carried out. I remember the voice telling me that I am dying, and deep and utter anger rises in my weak chest. Me - dying?That is ludicrous, to say the least. I am maybe ill and weak from some terrible disease, but never in a million years am I dying.
My anger is escalating when I finally manage to reach for the glass, only to make it topple and fall. The sound of it shattering has alerted someone in this forsaken place because, before I can turn my head, the door is opened and a nurse comes into the room, heading straight for me.
‘Had a little accident, did you?’ he says, as he walks over to the wet patch glistening on the linoleum floor. Inspecting the area that he will have to clean up, he throws a small nod over his shoulder. ‘I will get you another one, OK?’ He does not wait for an answer, just carries on as if talking to himself. ‘I’ll be back shortly.’
Helene Andrea Leuschel gained a BA in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She later acquired a Master in Philosophy, specializing in the study of the mind.
Helene has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social well-being and this led her to write her first novel, Manipulated Lives, a fictional collection of five novellas, each highlighting the dangers of interacting with narcissists.
She lives with her husband and two children in Portugal.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts,reviews and a giveaway!
(This post contains affiliate links).