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The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  3,946 Ratings  ·  532 Reviews
Maude Julien’s childhood was defined by the iron grip of her father, who was convinced his daughter was destined for great deeds. His plan began when he adopted Maude’s mother and indoctrinated her with his esoteric ideals. Her mission was to give him a daughter as blonde as she was, and then to take charge of the child’s education. That child was Maude, on whom her father ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2017 by Text Publishing (first published September 24th 2014)
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Carol
Well if this isn't a RIP-YOUR-HEART-OUT work of non-fiction!

Good Lord....not an easy read....dark....heartbreakingly sad....exasperating....shocking....and animal lovers will be appalled!

Monsieur Didion is a crazy, paranoid and obsessive well-to-do person of the male persuasion (refuse to call him a man) who offers to raise and educate a little blonde girl from a poor family for the sole purpose of eventually marrying her and producing his own blonde daughter, training her to be a superior, supe

...more
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Q: Life is stronger than anything else, there is always a solution, and I will find it. I’m sure of that. (с)
Q:
Why am I not allowed out?
Why must I not derive any pleasure from eating?
Why does Yves stub out his cigarettes on my knee?
Why does Raymond do what he does to me?
Why can’t I have any heating in my bedroom?
Why don’t we wash?
Why does no one kiss and hug me like people do in books?
Why am I not allowed to go to school with other children?(c)
This book is a veritable eye-opener. This is proba
...more
Diane S ☔
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Utmost courage and an amazing will to survive. Raised in the most horrific of circumstances, by a mother acquired by the father just to provide him with a child he could mold into a super person, and a father who has to be insane, she found the will to survive. The things she went through, so incredibly hard to read, to believe, gives truth to the stage of truth bring stranger than fiction. Locked in a basement, tied down, kept there overnight to ponder death, rats scurrying around her feet. Eve ...more
Susanne Strong
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 Stars.

Maude Julien is a young girl with indeterminable strength. Somehow, she had an innocence about her that carried her through the most horrific experiences a person could ever imagine. She suffered from mental and verbal abuse at the hands of her father, Monsieur Didion. He exacted mind control over her to the likes of nothing I have ever heard of or seen before. And Maude’s story is a true one. How she survived, I do not know. Yet she did and her ability to have hope when all seemed lost
...more
Elyse Walters
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook...a memoir...read by the author Maude Julien

“My father reminds me that he has devoted his entire life to me -first he had to find my mother. She was only six when he found her. And he was already a very rich man. He brought her up with the best education possible, and then when the time came, he gave birth to her. I need to understand, that just my existence, is a result of my father’s plan.
I must prove worthy to his plan, but I am afraid I won’t live up to his vision”.

Maude is so fri
...more
Debra
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
How to rate such a book????

In the beginning....

Maude's Father (Maude being the protagonist and the Author of this Memoir) approached Maude's Mother's family when her Mother was five or six years old. Maude's Father was wealthy and said he would care for and raise their child. So, Maude's Mother's family gave their young daughter to him. Are you following me? How sick is this? So, Maude's Mother goes to live with Maude's father when she is a child and is raised by him and when the time is "right"
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 resilient, brave stars to The Only Girl in the World and infinite stars to Maude Julien for her resilience and bravery ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

From a little girl, Maude Julien was deprived of love, affection, and any comfort at all. On top of that, she was tested and challenged by her father to some standard I never really understood. Basically, he used it as an excuse to torture her. Maude learned compassion through her pets- thank goodness for her animals! And through incredible inner fortitude, Maude learn
...more
Heidi The Hippie Reader
The Only Girl in the World is an extraordinary memoir about madness, control and the survival of horrific childhood abuse.

Maude Julien's father Louis chose his future wife and mother of his child, Jeannine, when she was only six and he was 34. He became Jeannine's guardian by promising her family that he would provide her with a quality education.

Then: "Twenty-two years after he took possession of Jeannine, Louis Didier decided the time had come for her to bring his daughter into the world... Lo
...more
Marialyce
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a horrendous story of how far a child can be abused and what the consequences of years of abuse can do to one's mind, body and soul.

It was a hard story to read and I am sure even a harder story to write. Gratefully, the author has found her way out of the darkness she experienced as a child.
Char
THE ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD: A MEMOIR is a powerful true story I choose to see as a triumph of the human spirit.

Maude's father wanted a superhuman child and set out with single minded purpose to achieve his goal. He found a young girl and adopted her. When she was old enough he married and impregnated her. When his daughter was born her training began.

I'm not going to go into everything Maude went through, because it's grim. Extremely grim. Also, a lot of what she went through might not seem bel
...more
Marianne
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“My father finds laughter extremely irritating. He sees it as a waste of energy, proof of a total lack of control. Smiling finds no favour in his eyes either. ‘Do you want to be the village idiot?’ he asks if he catches me gazing up at the sky with a smile on my face. ‘Only halfwits smile. Your face must be serious and expressionless in order to confuse your adversaries. Never reveal anything’”

The Only Girl In The World is a memoir by French psychotherapist, Maude Julien, in collaboration with F
...more
Rachel
The Only Girl in the World is every bit as disturbing as you'd imagine, but it's also the single most inspiring story of resilience that I've ever read. This is what I was hoping Educated was going to be; the difference for me is that Maude Julien seems to have an appropriate amount of distance and perspective from her horrifying past, whereas Tara Westover's story still felt too close to allow for much analysis. The Only Girl in the World certainly is description-heavy, and it's not until you h ...more
Karen Callahan
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
A depressing story which makes one question the extent of human evilness. I certainly empathize with Maude and her extraordinary story. Yet, the style which it was written left me wanting to understand the emotions of all the characters. The story was fueled
By action. One atrocious event after another. There was little time to connect the dots and understand the reasons behind the actions.
The book was draining to read and the ending abrupt.
Nikola
You can also find this review on my book blog.

In Maude Julien’s memoir The Only Girl in the World we enter the world of power, control and madness but at the same time of escape and finding salvation from it all. Maude Julien’s father is an individual whose personality is deranged – filled with lunacy and ideas of upper most greatness. At a young age Monsieur Didier had a majestic plan which was to raise a superhuman – someone who will make him proud and who he’ll teach all the necessities one
...more
Kasa Cotugno
The cover of the English version of this memoir is disturbing enough -- a tiny, lovely child, with a hauntingly quizzical expression on her face. But this picture, harrowing as it is, is benign compared to the French language cover, with the original picture, in which that same child is shown with her father looming over her. He is the stuff that nightmares are made of, every child's boogeyman. But he was her father, and the horrors he inflicted were as if ripped from Grimm's fairytales at their ...more
Mary  Carrasco
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is extraordinary what a human can endure and survive. I'm so glad Maude made it through to the other side so that she can share her story with the world. I won a copy of, The Only Girl in the World, in a Goodreads giveaway. So a huge thanks for giving me the opportunity to read it!
Dora Santos Marques
A minha opinião em vídeo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoBBo...

Mais um livro de não ficção que não desiludiu e que mostrou como existem pessoas completamente insanas e que tornam a vida num inferno às pessoas à sua roda...
Jennifer Reid
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-loan
I realize I’m more of a hawk than a dove when it comes to rating books so I will break it down why I ended up giving a 3.

As for compelling me to read to the end, and as quickly as possible, this book gets a 5. The story is so tragic and appalling that I’m desperate to get out of the nightmare and find out who rescued this poor girl or what inner strength did she summon and from where to escape to be able to be writing this today.

But the overwhelming and specific detail makes me nervous. I boug
...more
Lynn
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a memoir about a girl held captive by her own parents. The story was so bizarre that I could hardly believe it was a work of non-fiction. It is a riveting story but I could not get a real sense of the girl. This may have been because she did not have a good sense of herself. Were there no people who could have rescued her? She does eventually extricate herself by marrying but then the book suddenly ends. I wanted to hear more about her life after "Mom and Dad" Thanks to NetGalley for an ...more
Krista Regester
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I need to understand just how much my very existence is a result of my father's plans. I know I must prove worthy of the tasks he will set for me later. But I'm afraid I won't measure up to his vision. I feel too feeble, too clumsy, too stupid. And I'm so frightened of him. The sheer heft of him, his big head, his long thin hands and his steely eyes-I'm so terrified my legs give way when I come close to him.
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
3.5 stars. A very well-written memoir, and equally sad and inspiring.

CW: Child abuse, animal abuse, domestic abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse of a child.
Tania
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, memoir
I've said this before but just wanted to reiterate - my rating of a memoir reflects my experience of reading the book, not a judgement on the authors live. I do not enjoy translated titles, and could immediately pick up that this was not originally written in English. I think that so much gets lost in translation, especially emotions - everything sounds and feels very distant.

I am always amazed at how truly horrible human beings can be. Maude's father obviously had some form of mental illness,
...more
Text Publishing
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
‘A living testimony of resilience…An account as gripping as it is inspiring.’
Elle

‘Maude Julien delivers a staggering testimony, one that remains full of hope.’
Ouest France

A serious subject: manipulation, in which the author is now a professional therapist. Maude Julien does not write with resentment, or bear grievances; rather she delivers a clear message of hope.’
Livreshebdo

‘This story is never maudlin—it is so absorbing that you have to remind yourself to breathe from time to time.’
Le Point

‘He
...more
Amy Morgan
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you Edelweiss for my review copy of this book. I honestly do not even have words for the horrors that happened in this poor woman's life as a child. Trapped for her entire childhood with a psychotic father who thought he was creating a superhuman and a mother who was just as much a prisoner as Maude since her own childhood, the things this poor girl experienced are unthinkable. It is horrifying to remember after reading this that it was a true story.
Maria João (A Biblioteca da João)
9 de 10*

Indignação!!! Foi o sentimento que me acompanhou a leitura deste livro da primeira à última frase. Como é que pode um ser humano infligir tanta dor e sofrimento a outro ser humano, em especial tratando-se dos pais?
Só uma mente muito doente e perturbada pode acreditar estar a fazer o bem ao fechar a sua filha em casa durante 15 anos, submetê-la ao que chama testes para moldar a sua personalidade e sentimentos, corpo e alma. E uma mãe que assiste calada e subserviente é tão ou mais culpad
...more
Chaitra
This book made me anxious. At times I was figuratively biting my nails to get to the end of an event. I would have loved to give child Maude a big hug and some warm chocolate. Her family was a cult, albeit a three member one. The tough rules that were enforced strictly was supposed to make her superhuman, but couldn't even afford protection against the garden variety pervert. Animals were tortured during Maude's childhood and so was Maude. And in a different fashion, Maude's mom was also a victi ...more
Pam
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I read a lot of books. I’ve read books so disturbing and gory, it even makes me question myself. However, The Only Girl in the World really got to me. Maude Julien is a woman who was raised by two crazy parents. Parents who believed they were raising her to be the ultimate human - someone who could survive anything.

It started with her father. He took in her mother at age 6 from her parents, saying that he would provide her a good life and educate her. But what he was really doing was raising he
...more
Torrie
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book tells the extremely harrowing true story of the author's childhood abuse and torture at the hands of her father. Some of the things he says/does are so absurd that it's hard to believe this is a true story. If you've read "The Glass Castle", that book seems like a fairy tale compared to the horror of this book. (Not to diminish The Glass Castle at all, but just to give you some perspective). Despite all this, it's a story of survival and strength.

As many other readers have mentioned,
...more
Leonee
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I finished this book in one sitting, smashing straight through it in under 4 hours; the content is not necessarily "easy-going" by a long shot (Julien does not downplay her experiences just because the memories are of her 4 or 7 or 13 year old self; if anything they are the more harrowing captured in the voices of her at those ages), but the writing style is engrossing. The knowledge as reader is that she survives and escapes- it's that hope for her own rescue that we know is coming, but not how ...more
Debbie
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you netgalley for providing me with a galley to read in exchange for a fair review.

This is a completely believable, scary book about a girl who spent her entire childhood in isolation. She was tortured by her crazy father until she was able to escape through her marriage.

The only criticism I have of this book, is that the unrelenting horror of Maude's life became overwhelming and hard to continue reading. This is not the fault of the author, she was only fairly reporting on her life with h
...more
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We Read Stuff: The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir - August 2018 BotM 2 6 Aug 30, 2018 08:00AM  
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Maude Julien has been a therapist for over 20 years, specializing in trauma and in methods of dealing with mental and behavioral manipulation. She is the author of The Only Girl in the World, a memoir and “escape manual” in which she tells the story of her childhood, filled with extreme mental and behavioral control at the hands of her parents, and recounts how she managed to break free.
“Life is stronger than anything else, there is always a solution, and I will find it. I’m sure of that.” 3 likes
“With every new reading, I’m gripped by the ending’s harsh lessons. ‘Don’t expect anything of him,’ it seems to be telling me. ‘Even if someday he realizes his own folly, he is dangerous and beyond redemption. Get out!” 2 likes
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