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The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2017
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
For readers of Room and The Glass Castle, an astonishing memoir of one woman's rise above an unimaginable childhood.
Maude Julien's parents were fanatics who believed it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor — raising her in isolation, tyrannizing her childhood and subjecting her to endless drills designed to "eliminate weakness." Maude learned to hold an electric fence for minutes without flinching, and to sit perfectly still in a rat-infested cellar all night long (her mother sewed bells onto her clothes that would give her away if she moved). She endured a life without heat, hot water, adequate food, friendship, or any kind of affectionate treatment.
But Maude's parents could not rule her inner life. Befriending the animals on the lonely estate as well as the characters in the novels she read in secret, young Maude nurtured in herself the compassion and love that her parents forbid as weak. And when, after more than a decade, an outsider managed to penetrate her family's paranoid world, Maude seized her opportunity.
By turns horrifying and magical, The Only Girl in the World is a story that will grip you from the first page and leave you spellbound, a chilling exploration of psychological control that ends with a glorious escape.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
12/12/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316466608
ASIN:
B06Y11MMSM
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Maude Julien. (2017). The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Maude Julien. 2017. The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Maude Julien, The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir. Little, Brown and Company, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Maude Julien. The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir. Little, Brown and Company, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:00:25
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:46:04
Last Metadata Check:
May 26, 2024 10:23:40
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: Maude Julien is a therapist specializing in manipulation and psychological control. For the last ten years she has been doing anthropological research on the consequences of acculturation among Australian aborigines. A frequent contributor to radio and television, she has helped hundreds of patients since 1995. She lives in Paris.
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title
The Only Girl in the World
fullDescription
For readers of Room and The Glass Castle, an astonishing memoir of one woman's rise above an unimaginable childhood.
Maude Julien's parents were fanatics who believed it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor — raising her in isolation, tyrannizing her childhood and subjecting her to endless drills designed to "eliminate weakness." Maude learned to hold an electric fence for minutes without flinching, and to sit perfectly still in a rat-infested cellar all night long (her mother sewed bells onto her clothes that would give her away if she moved). She endured a life without heat, hot water, adequate food, friendship, or any kind of affectionate treatment.
But Maude's parents could not rule her inner life. Befriending the animals on the lonely estate as well as the characters in the novels she read in secret, young Maude nurtured in herself the compassion and love that her parents forbid as weak. And when, after more than a decade, an outsider managed to penetrate her family's paranoid world, Maude seized her opportunity.
By turns horrifying and magical, The Only Girl in the World is a story that will grip you from the first page and leave you spellbound, a chilling exploration of psychological control that ends with a glorious escape.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2017
        A disturbing, engrossing memoir of a bizarre, highly abusive childhood.Psychotherapist Julien makes her literary debut with a gripping chronicle of growing up imprisoned and tormented by her parents. Isolated on a walled estate not far from Dunkirk, Julien was raised to become a "superior being," destined to "control the weak-minded and bring about the great regeneration of the universe." Her father, a paranoid, narcissistic conspiracy theorist, "a Grand Master of Freemasonry and a great knight of a secret order," had adopted and then married Julien's mother, who assisted in the demanding, cruel regimen that he designed to shape their daughter's body and mind. They locked her in a dank, rat-infested cellar, forbidding her to move (her mother sewed bells in her sweater to monitor disobedience). They also attempted to quash any signs of love or compassion; Julien had to cage her gentle dog every day, and when her beloved horse died, they made her dig a hole to bury it. Her father bought the horse not as a pet for Julien but to make sure she learned to ride: "just like swimming, riding will be very useful if I need to escape" persecution and also "to be able to get a job with a circus in case I have to hide or go undercover at some point." They forced her to bathe in their own dirty bathwater: "an honor," her father said, that "allows you to benefit from my energies when they enter your body." They refused to summon a doctor when she was ill, and they ignored her being sexually abused by their lecherous handyman. Finally, when Julien was an adolescent, a kind, observant music teacher assessed the situation and contrived to give her lessons at his own studio; he soon hired her to work for him part-time and introduced her to a young man who married her. Although she escaped physically, Julien admits, "being outside wasn't enough to make me free." Years of therapy led her to become a therapist herself. A startling testament of survival.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 9, 2017
        Julien writes of growing up in a family of survivalists in a town outside of Dunkirk, France, in this harrowing memoir. Born in 1957, Julien, now a psychotherapist living in Paris, was locked away from the world for over a decade starting at age three. During this time, Julien’s days were meticulously scheduled. Her mother became her sole teacher; she lived in a dark cellar to “meditate on death”; her father made her hold onto electric fences in order to strengthen her willpower. She rarely came into physical contact with anyone besides her parents, and the only sense of love and companionship she felt was for her two pets—her dog, Linda, and her horse, Arthur. Her father claimed superpowers, even the ability to read minds. As she grew older, Julien alternated between fear and resistance, realizing that her father might just be a “friendless, loveless man, who never gives or receives any kindness.” It was only at age 16 that she was able to leave the family compound in order to take her state school exams. The following year, she was allowed to take a train to Dunkirk to study music, and it was only then that she realized she could break away from her parents. This is a dark, moving, and thoughtfully rendered story.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 15, 2017
        In 1936, Louis Didier adopted a daughter. At 18, after receiving an education, she returned to marry him and fulfill her purpose: to bear his child, who was to become a superior being, capable of thwarting all evil and raising up humanity. Julien's debut memoir, with coauthor Gauthier, recounts her isolated childhood in rural France, where she was kept prisoner and indoctrinated by her father, a Freemason whose paranoia had overtaken his life. To prepare her for the challenges ahead, Julien's parents subjected her to years of physical and psychological torture: she was forced to grip electric fences and to sit for hours without moving in a rat-infested cellar, all to ensure that she would be strong enough to best any enemies. Julien's frank descriptions of each atrocity underline the stark reality that she lived ina reality where emotions were forbidden and no one was to be trusted. It is Julien's relationships with animals that keep her alive, teaching her love and empathy and bringing a compelling warmth and hope into an often-devastating memoir.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 1, 2017

        Drawing comparison to Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle, this memoir details some pretty horrific stuff. Julien's parents, obsessed with making her a survivor devoid of any sort of weakness, deprived her of heat, hot water, decent food, and affection and made her do things like holding onto an electrified fence without recoiling. Now she's a therapist specializing in the issues surrounding manipulation and control. With a 50,000--copy first printing.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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For readers of Room and The Glass Castle, an astonishing memoir of one woman's rise above an unimaginable childhood.
Maude Julien's parents were fanatics who believed it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor — raising her in isolation, tyrannizing her childhood and subjecting her to endless drills designed to "eliminate weakness." Maude learned to hold an electric fence for minutes without flinching, and to sit perfectly still in a rat-infested cellar all night long (her mother sewed bells onto her clothes that would give her away if she moved). She endured a life without heat, hot water, adequate food, friendship, or any kind of affectionate treatment.
But Maude's parents could not rule her inner life. Befriending the animals on the lonely estate as well as the characters in the novels she read in secret, young Maude nurtured in herself the compassion and love that her parents forbid as weak. And when, after more than a...
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