Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel

Eye opening

Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel

Genres: Short Stories, Fiction
Published: 8th June, 2016
Series: N/A
Rating: 4

Five stories – Five Lives.
Five fictional, compelling true-to-life stories about how people can be manipulated by others, yet eventually find the strength to move on.
Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.
In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual.
First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret.
All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth yet ultimately, also send a positive message that once you understand a manipulator’s moves, you can break free from them and let go of the past.

Reading this collection of five short stories about victim’s of narcissists and manipulators felt like watching a documentary. Each of these stories show us a different person and how they dealt with their lives being turned upside down, but in every single one of them I found something I could relate to.

If you’ve never been in an abusive relationship or haven’t come close to a narcissist, lucky you. All of these stories were painful to read because they reminded me of my time I spent with someone I now realize was most likely a narcissistic asshole. Even though it’s been eight years since I got rid of him (sometimes I still think of it as escaped), I remember so well one the first things I told my therapist whom I found in 2016. “A lot of times I just don’t feel like a person.”

Manipulators are so incredibly good at making others feel like they are the ones in the wrong. I recall quite clearly how all the crap my ex used to tell me always seemed off, and borderline bullshit, and yet I wondered: could he be right? H.A. Leuschel captured those inner nagging feelings so well, that I recognized myself in most of these characters a bit. Even though the stories are fictional as far as I’m aware, they all come across as personal accounts of victims.

It’s not all doom and gloom though! There’s always hope, and there’s always a way to turn our lives around. If you know how to spot them, you are already one step ahead. If you are looking for thrilling suspense or flowery prose that talks around the topic in circles, I’m afraid this is not for you. But if you are interested in psychology and how the mind of a narcissist works, I highly recommend you check out Manipulated Lives.

I received a copy of this book from the author, but it didn’t influence my opinion.


    1. * hugs *

      I’m kinda into watching documentaries on this topic lately so the book was a perfect fit. But it’s defo not something one would read for light and fun entertainment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Sweetie. I think we’ve all come across, or met the type at least once. And that’s enough. Maybe one day I could read or watch this kind of thing. But not today. Kudos to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I find this kind of thing intriguing, Norrie, and I loved how you said it felt like real victim accounts. I appreciate your personal connection, too, and am glad you were able to get away. Beautiful, personal review! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no! If you have ever been in an abusive and manipulative relationship I am glad you are out now! Excellent review Norrie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like an interesting read! I love that authors have the guts to shine light on topics that used to be considered taboo a long time ago. It’s interesting and refreshing and I feel that we need more of it. 🙂


  4. I’m so sorry to hear about the horrible relationship you once were in. I’m glad you’re out of it, and truly amazed by how powerful this collection is. I’ve seen so many reviews for it from people saying it was incredibly authentic. Seems like it’s 100% true.

    Liked by 1 person

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