Books, Music & Movies · The Only Girl in the World

cover image of The Only Girl in the World

The Only Girl in the World:A Memoir

Maude Julien

In this shocking debut memoir, Maude Julien's parents were obsessed with making her a "survivor" devoid of any sort of weakness. They deprived her of heat, hot water, decent food, and affection, making her hold onto an electric fence for minutes at a time without recoiling or sit perfectly still in a rat-infested cellar all night long (her mother sewed bells on her clothes that would give her away if she moved). But Maude's parents could not rule her inner life. She befriended the animals on their lonely estate outside of Dunkirk, France, as well as the characters in the novels she read in secret. And when, after more than a decade, an outsider managed to penetrate her family's paranoid world, Maude seized her opportunity to escape.