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Narcissistic Mother*

Style Improvements Needed, But Good Info

I recently read this author’s other book on changing your life after narcissistic abuse and was curious to see what her take was on parental narcissism; the other book was more about narcissism within a romantic relationship. The author herself states at the beginning of the book that she herself has a narcissistic mother, and I believe that her background has colored the rest of the book in both positive and negative ways.

The book is structured cleanly, with background definitions and explanations at the start, the effects of narcism, and a section ending on what you can do to heal from parental narcissistic abuse. The author seems to have pulled a lot of her information that isn’t clearly personal from the works of writers in the psychology field. In fact, some lists that I mention later below seem to be directly taken from other authors.

Within the chapters themselves, I think the author should have formatted each section to make it easier to read. Much of the background and explanations are written like a list–like a list of traits of a narcissistic mother or the forms of abuse that the narcissist will use. These are written just as sequential paragraphs that start in a very similar and boring fashion, like “the second sign of _____ is… [new paragraph] The third sign of _____ is…” Some of these lists go on for 10 or more signs, examples, or trades, so this can get tedious. It would have been more readable if the author had listed each sign as a subheading of the section within the chapter.

That said, if you believe you have a narcissistic mother (or father), this book will help you get clarity on precisely what that is, what it has done to you, and what you can do to heal now that you recognize that it is an issue.