Only reviewed by Annie

Caroline Baum has written a memoir detailing her experiences as an only child to dysfunctional parents, but also their childhoods and why they respectively parented the way they did.

Although she lived a life of privilege, not wanting for anything materially, the love her father in particular claimed he had so much of for her, was often shown in a cruel and controlling way.  She is candid about how this impacted on her and how she related to others in life.
The intergenerational trauma is portrayed so well it is achingly hard to read at times, but there are moments of humour as well. The most interesting parts to me were the experiences of her parents’ upbringing, and also when her lack of siblings is felt most keenly, when she has to care for a parent, something that I can relate to, but I fortunately have sisters, that makes this difficult job easier.
This would have been a hard book to write, even harder for her mother to read. Baum has not had children so will not pass on damaged dna. She has, however, learned to have a healthy relationsrelationship with her partner, and after choosing domineering bosses for some time, albeit in various interesting jobs, she also appears to be in a good place professionally.
Sharing her life so openly will help others to see that the abnormal family is, unfortunately, all too normal. We all have some secrets and skeletons in the closet. Her family had many.

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