Sickened by Julie Gregory depicts the shocking childhood of a naive girl whose mother tricks her daughter into believing she’s ill for almost two decades. The child is Julie Gregory. Growing up in an abusive household in an isolated backcountry home, Julie was an unnoticed victim of Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome. Her mother would tell her that she couldn’t attend school and needed to take a plethora of medications, yet she never got better. It isn’t until Julie is a teenager when it occurs to her what her mother had done.
A situation unimaginable for most, the author is able to allow readers to picture themselves in her shoes down to the moment where she holds a pistol to her abusive father’s head. Julie Gregory is a talented writer and gives incredible details. She’s able to convey eighteen years of anger, depression, disgust, and illness, in just 243 pages.
Being a true story, the book includes medical documents and photographs to throw the reader deeper into the story. Conversations in the story can be matched to authentic documents from real doctors. Another thing that allows readers to feel Julie’s emotion, is the solemn, first person tone it’s written in. Being a memoir, it’s fitting that it’s in first person.
Overall, Sickened was an excellent, but saddening, read. It was intriguing and emotional. The author used writing to cope with her destructive childhood and the outcome was a beautifully crafted novel.