The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien

The Only Girl in the World is Maude Julien's story of her upbringing in a large estate where her parents raised her to be "Super Human," forcing her into hard, physical labor and studies beyond her comprehension. Her mother and father used force and manipulation to mold Maude into a hardened and stoic person. Keeping her isolated from the rest of the world, they found her weaknesses and brought her pain to make her stronger. But by reading books about how children are treated in the real world, and because she is paired up with an intelligent music teacher, she is able to escape this world where she is the only girl.

I listened to this audiobook, read by the author, and it was dark and emotional, sometimes hard to listen to. Hearing Ms. Julien's story of how she herself became a strong and diligent young woman who eventually grew confident enough to rebel and stand against her father's wishes made this story heroic. Thankfully her music teacher persistently worked for years to convince her father to send her to his music school in the city, where Maude was eventually able to break away from his grasp and lead the normal, fulfilled life she had longed for since her youth. This memoir was gripping and emotional, a recommended read (or listen) to those who appreciate memoirs about unconventional upbringings (like Educated or The Glass Castle).

Published by on March 30, 2020
Last Modified October 24, 2021