The subject matter is upsetting, as Kolton frankly addresses sexual abuse, infanticide, suicide, pedophilia, and more. Kolton herself, when under the influence of different “multiples,” is an emotionally abusive partner. But for those who can stomach hearing about such atrocities, Shelley’s story is remarkable—interesting, courageous, surprising—and the telling is engaging. Her DID journey is not easy, but readers will be enthralled by the descriptions of her different “sides” and the precarious balance of her alters. She includes emails, texts, and letters written from Kolton to Sank in different stages of psychosis and grief, offering a raw, clear-eyed sense of the turmoil of her recovery journey.
Kolton focuses the memoir’s fast-paced opening on life before her diagnosis. The introduction to her “gang” of alters is captivating, and she details how each one presents him/her/itself and what therapeutic tactics work best for them. At times, the story becomes repetitive, and ends rather abruptly, but in that the memoir deftly mimics the long process of therapy and healing without a definitive end. For readers interested in mental health, lessons on how to survive trauma, and personal resilience, this is a well-written, gripping, horrifying work.
Takeaway: A wrenching, enthralling memoir of a woman living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Great for fans of: Bill Clegg’s Ninety Days, Jane Phillips’s The Magic Daughter.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A