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Reviewed by Andy Hutchings for Readers' Favorite
A platitude that I often hear is that you should always be forgiving and loving toward your parents because ‘you’ve only got one family.’ This saying ignores the enormous damage that family members can do to us during our lives and assumes we have a responsibility to endure it instead of looking after ourselves. It was with appreciation that I read Misty Compton’s memoir of her journey to set firm and drastic boundaries with her family to facilitate her recovery from the cruel upbringing that she was subjected to. Escapegoat Daughter follows the author's journey after a seismic argument with her family led to her cutting ties and giving herself the room and mental freedom to flourish.
I value candor above all else when reading a memoir, and Misty Compton is an author who understands the importance of allowing herself to be an open book even during the most emotionally difficult recollections. I was particularly drawn by her reflections on the guilt and second-guessing that comes with such a life-altering decision as becoming estranged, despite understanding that it was essential for her well-being. Although being able to see the progress she had made in healing from her childhood, the little voice of doubt still found its way in to undermine that newly won confidence. Escapegoat Daughter is a beautiful reflection on a turbulent time, making the world of a child raised by a narcissist accessible and understandable to outsiders. It helps get the message out into the world that it’s a good thing to set boundaries with your family if you need to do so, and that loving yourself is not something to be ashamed of.