“Manipulated Lives” by H.A.Leuschel. A series of five stories that have a psychological aspect to them. I am delighted to be on the blog tour for this wonderful book. My thanks to Helene for my ecopy and also to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour. You can get a copy of this book via Books 2 Read.
Five stories – Five Lives
Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?
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.
Manipulated Lives is a collection of five stories. Tess and Tattoos. The Spell. Runaway Girl. The Narcissist. My Perfect Child. Each story takes a look at the different ways people can manipulate and be manipulated.
The stories read individually like a collection of novellas. Each one is unique, but at their core is the psychological impact that makes its presence felt. Each story drew me in quickly and held my attention. I soon saw a pattern emerging with each one, what I thought was happening and what actually happened were two different things. Helene has managed to create subtle twists, this leads the reader to challenge their initial thoughts. They contain strong characters, often I didn’t see the strength until I was further into the story. There are many characters and some have very unique traits that will leave you with a range of emotions, love, like or despise them.
This isn’t an action packed, race through the story book. It is more subtle than that and I was led gently into each story and then was able to watch them unfold. First perceptions are not always the true indication of someones life. At times it felt like the author was manipulating me as I read, leading me to one thought then showing me I was wrong.
This is a captivating read, very cleverly crafted and made me think. I like stories like this and I think it will appeal to many readers, I Highly Recommend Manipulated Lives for those who are looking for a quiet and more subtle psychological look at how people lives can be affected.
About the Author:
Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.
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