Maskasdorf's Reviews > Elephant Girl: A Human Story

Elephant Girl by Jane Devin
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Jun 19, 12

Read in June, 2012

Looking at other reviews, it seems people either loved this book or hated it. Unfortunately, I'm in the latter category. The book was confusing. It took me the first half of the book to figure out that much of her early life was based on a vivid imagination. UFO's? Praying to Joe? Difficult to follow. But most disturbing to me was the selective memory Jane/Darlene used in writing about her life. She was not her mother's favorite child, I get it. But the hate her mother seemed to feel for her, even as a small child was, I'm sorry, a little unbelievable. Three other sisters all found favor in their mother's eyes, but not poor Darlene, and not based on anything she did or didn't do. Her mother also made it her mission to turn all Jane/Darlene's teachers against her. She was a prococious child, and yet her teachers were all too dimwitted to see the child's promise. For some unknown reason, every one of them would choose to believe her mother, who had labeled her as a troublemaker. Really? I came very close to putting the book down at this point, It was becoming clear the book was an autobiography of sorts. These were Jane's reflections of her life growing up, yet there was no character development, and no insight into - WHY? WHY did everyone hate her? She was a victim of horrible abuse and this was a travesty. But she seems to suggest even this came about because her mother hated her and wanted nothing better than to get rid of her for the summer. If I learned anything from this book, it's that having a negative attitude and making bad decisions runs in families.
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