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Monday, July 03, 2006

My review of The Secret Thief by Judith Jaeger

This novel is not inspirational fiction. I just thought I'd make that clear up front for my regular readers. But just because it's not Christian fiction doesn't mean there isn't a lot to glean from it. I read this story straight through.
The Secret Thief is a story completely different than I expected (after reading the back cover). However, it was right up my alley. I love reading about messed up people, and this author really captures the victimization of the daughter and the abuse of the mother in such an amazing way, that the closest I can come to describing it is to say it's like a female version of the story, "A Child Called It" by Dave Peltzer.

However, in the Secret Thief the heroine was the victim of Munchausen's by proxy her entire life. It's a disorder where a parent makes their child sick on purpose to get attention. The mother in this story was such a great example of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder and Munchausen's. I was thoroughly impressed by the depth and honesty in this story. Parts of it also made me think of the movie "Mommy Dearest."

A couple of times I felt like the author expressed political opinions in the body of the novel that weren't necessary, like the heroine's extensive thoughts on Lesbians. Also, the beginning of the story confused me a bit as it went back and forth with a scene that already occured. Other than those issues, I found this a fascinating story and couldn't put it down.

In my opinion it was well worth the read. I recommend it to readers who want to enter the mind of a victim. There is no sugarcoating in this story. Just the gut wrenching truth in the young woman's messed up mind. The heroine had some pretty wicked thoughts, but as you get to know her you see that she feels driven to do the things she does to keep herself from going insane. The only control the young heroine had in her life was stealing when she felt boxed in by her mother's illness. The poor girl was brainwashed into believing so many lies her mother told her that she didn't know what the truth was until close to the end of the story. Of course, the fact that she gets strong enough at the end to confront her mother is extremely gratifying. The Secret Thief is published by Behler publishing.

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