My Mother the Psychopath, Olivia Rayne: Book Review

Despite being a distressing book content-wise, My Mother the Psychopath by Olivia Rayne shines a light on an important topic, incorporating tragic events and shocking behaviour whilst being a compelling read.

The plot:

Olivia has been afraid ever since she can remember.

Out of sight, she was subjected to cruelty and humiliation at the hands of the one person who should have loved and protected her at all times.

She grew up feeling scared, worthless and exploited. Even when she found the courage to cut ties, her mother found new ways to wreck her life.

Now Olivia has come to terms with her past and gives a deeply unsettling insight into what it’s like growing up with a psychopathic parent.

It is raw, traumatic and will give you shivers

Just a pre-warning: content wise, this book is very difficult to read. It is a memoir and reflects back on the author’s life growing up with a psychopath as a mother. It is a distressing book.

I found this book very heartbreaking – I had so many different emotions whilst reading it. One minute, I was angry and wanted to lash out at the Father, the next minute confused and feeling like I was being manipulated by the Mother, and the next, very upset for Olivia.

The incidences that were mentioned were unfathomable, and I had to remind myself that no, this wasn’t fiction, and that just hurt so much more. It’s also horrid when Olivia starts thinking back in hindsight, because she was just a child and didn’t know.

Chapters are split with ‘psychopathy symptoms’, which then relates to the subject of the chapter. It’s really interesting this way, because it makes the reader understand, but also reflects back on the Mother and her actions, giving you an insight into the receiving end of someone with this illness.

I did question the odd part, just because of how young Olivia was at the time and whether all details have been remembered correctly, but it does mention she kept diaries, and I appreciate that these traumatic incidences will stay with a person.

The epilogue left me a bit bewildered, especially because of what was said in the previous chapter. It’s difficult to explain without giving away spoilers, so feel free to get in touch so we can gossip.

Despite being a difficult book to read, I am glad I’ve read it. It shines a light onto personal experiences of dealing with a psychopath, especially as for Olivia, it was so close to home. It doesn’t feel like it’s been written to make sales, but to get the message out there, so people do not experience the same. It is raw, traumatic and will give you shivers.

My Mother the Psychopath, Olivia Rayne, RRP £7.99 (paperback); Book Depository 

Pages: 322

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Genre: Memoir

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