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A Girl Who Didn't Fit In: Crushed By Gaslighting But Not Defeated

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A memoir of growing up in Australia while surviving a difficult and unique childhood.

Marion Helen Clark was a child born late in her parent's lives. Her mother was currently caring for an ailing mother herself, and a child was a difficult new puzzle piece to add to a world where she was already struggling. A Girl Who Didn't Fit In follows Marion's life growing up in Australia and struggling to overcome the gaslighting that became a fixture of her childhood. Whether it was the lies surrounding her grandmother's morphine addiction, being forced to wear a non-standard uniform at school based on her parents unnecessary thriftiness, blatant bullying from children at her school, or just the cruelty of her parents keeping their daughter from normal interactions with other children, Marion definitely had a rough go of it. Marion's descriptions of her family and experiences are thoughtful, and for the most part a fair assessment. She describes her emotional responses to the situations but is also quick to explain the circumstances around her unique and sometimes painful home life.


This detailed memoir can be hard to stomach while reading of the repeated instances of emotional abuse at the hands of those who should have been closest to her. Gaslighting is a definite method of abuse, and this book details it very well. Where Marion's memoir absolutely shines is where she discusses the brief period of her life where she and her parents traveled across New Zealand and Australia in a caravan and she was finally included in their lives, and became a minor celebrity for the time. Her joy at these memories is palatable and infectious for the reader. As a reader I found myself wanting this section to go on because I was so delighted to see at least one bright spot in her childhood.


Readers who enjoy stories of triumph over adversity, or want to know more about Australia following the World Wars, this book is fascinating. For readers who may be extremely sensitive to emotional abuse and gaslighting, this may prove to be a more difficult read.

Reviewed by

Currently, I am the Editor in Chief of FangirlNation.com. We are a blog publication that focuses on the female and non-binary perspectives of the fandom world. We focus on graphic novels, literature, television, film, and whatever strikes our fancy. I am also a contract reviewer with Audiofile.com.

About the author

I am a retired Psychotherapist and Counsellor living in Melbourne, Australia. I had a Private Practice for twenty years seeing long-term Psychotherapy patients, families and individuals. I have a Distinction Social Work Degree and did Post Graduate at Monash Psychological Medicine. view profile

Published on October 13, 2020

70000 words

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by