The Only Girl in the World (Hardcover)

A Memoir

By Maude Julien, Adriana Hunter (Translated by)

Little, Brown and Company, 9780316466622, 288pp.

Publication Date: December 12, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (12/11/2017)
Paperback (12/11/2018)
Compact Disc (12/12/2017)
Compact Disc (12/12/2017)
Pre-Recorded Audio Player (2/12/2018)

List Price: 27.00*
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For readers of Room and The Glass Castle, an astonishing memoir of one woman rising above an unimaginable childhood.

Maude Julien's parents were fanatics who believed it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor--raising her in isolation, tyrannizing her childhood and subjecting her to endless drills designed to "eliminate weakness." Maude learned to hold an electric fence for minutes without flinching, and to sit perfectly still in a rat-infested cellar all night long (her mother sewed bells onto her clothes that would give her away if she moved). She endured a life without heat, hot water, adequate food, friendship, or any kind of affectionate treatment.

But Maude's parents could not rule her inner life. Befriending the animals on the lonely estate as well as the characters in the novels she read in secret, young Maude nurtured in herself the compassion and love that her parents forbid as weak. And when, after more than a decade, an outsider managed to penetrate her family's paranoid world, Maude seized her opportunity.

By turns horrifying and magical, The Only Girl in the World is a story that will grip you from the first page and leave you spellbound, a chilling exploration of psychological control that ends with a glorious escape.

About the Author

Maude Julien is a therapist specializing in manipulation and psychological control. For the last ten years she has been doing anthropological research on the consequences of acculturation among Australian aborigines. A frequent contributor to radio and television, she has helped hundreds of patients since 1995. She lives in Paris.

Praise For The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir

"At once
fascinating, mystifying and distressing...The story takes on the energy of a
thriller, building on the reader's hectic desire for [Julien's] escape."
New York Times Book Review

"A harrowing yet achingly beautiful tale of a girl
imprisoned by her brutal, fanatic family, but whose yearning for wonder and
love ultimately drives her toward the improbable light of the
world. . . The Only Girl in the World is a story of resilience
unlike any I have ever read."—Mira Bartók, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award Winner The Memory Palace

"In the hierarchy of traumatic memoir, Maude Julien has something to write home about. . . The Only
Girl in the World
is the
haunting story of a girl whose survivalist parents locked her away and
subjected her to 'training' starting at the age of three. But it is also proof
that love is in our nature regardless of our nurture."—Vanity Fair

"The author of this harrowing memoir describes a childhood trapped
in her family's grand house on the outskirts of a small French town in the
nineteen-sixties...Now working as a therapist specializing in cases of
psychological manipulation, she tells her story with the unflinching clarity of
someone who is no longer ruled by her trauma."—The New Yorker

"One of the most original and compelling stories
I've read. A
tale of hope and profound courage, The Only Girl in the World illustrates how trusting
ourselves and following our hearts can save us from the most oppressive and
cruel conditions. Her brave spirit shines as a bright reminder that what lies
within us is stronger and more powerful than our circumstances."—Ruth Wariner, New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of Gravel

"A living testimony of resilience... An account as gripping as it is inspiring."—Elle

"The year's most harrowing memoir...At times the
book, in form, resembles the beginnings of Emma Donoghue's Room, but this text is necessarily more graphic and frightening...My
multiple audible gasps while working through The Only Girl in the World were partly a
result of its author's ability to so artfully capture the meaning and depth of
her survival. You wonder how anyone who went through what she did could come
out functioning on the other side...That The Only Girl in the World exists as it
does is a most persuasive argument for Julien's remarkable willpower."—Entertainment Weekly

"A disturbing,
engrossing memoir. . . A startling testament of survival."—Kirkus

"Chilling."—In Style

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

harrowing, gripping memoir of abuse and psychopathy...Julien approaches the past
with fearless contemplation, veracity, and vivid portrayals of the brutality in
her early life."—The AV Club

Coverage from NPR