Review: Sybil:

Posted: 23/04/2015 in book reviews, books
Tags: , ,

Sybil: by Flora Rheta Schreiber

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So even though this review is for the Finnish translation it wasn’t actually. It was English this was just the only one that had the amount of pages my book had and I try to be as accurate as possible page length. Anyway.

Content warnings: (oh gosh where do I start?) abuse, child abuse, child sexual abuse, mental illnesses (including dissociative identity disorder-formerly multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia), slight parental neglect (ok maybe more than slight coming from her father ignoring the signs of abuse), childhood abandonment (I *THINK* I covered all of them)

So despite this book saying it’s a true story, I don’t believe it. Especially since there’s books and articles saying that it wasn’t.

Though I believe that because of this book (and the conspiracy to write it) more research went into what was then known as multiple personality disorder and is now known as dissociative identity disorder so that more people who experience it can get help. So that’s a positive.

There is at least an entire chapter in which Sybil describes the abuse and sexual abuse that her mother put her through. It was disgusting and horrid. And part of what makes it so disgusting and horrid is that I can actually see it happening. Even in today’s society. Because for all of the “think of the children” types of mentalities, 9/10 times people are willing to overlook signs of abuse of any type especially if the child behaves in an abnormal way that may signify mental illness.

The book drags in parts. It really does. And because it drags it’s hard to get through. Well….there’s more reasons on why it’s hard to get through but that’s one part. Another part/reason why it’s hard to get through is because it’s kind of a hard topic. Reading about mental illness whether it’s fictional or real is hard. Especially when there’s abuse in with it. That makes it doubly hard. The writing style is very dry at times. Overly clinical in parts to where I had to stop and look things up because they made no sense (of course they were later explained more than a chapter after they were initially talked about which irritated me that they couldn’t have just been explained right after they were used).

Given when the book was written, some of the language and terminology is outdated as well and some parts of the vocabulary used, unless you’re very well versed in how American English has evolved since the 60s, and really paying a lot of attention (which I couldn’t because of the subject matter for my own mental health reasons) to the material, you get to look up to get the full context of what some of the sentences mean and stuff.

I’m sure this book was highly controversial when it first came out because of the content but now reading it is kind of like “meh”.

Buy it here:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble

View all my reviews

  1. the movie is just as traumatic to watch. some scenes are still burned into my brain and won’t go away.


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