My Mother, the Psychopath: Growing up in the shadow of a monster – Olivia Rayne

About the book: What do you do when the person you’re meant to trust the most in the world is the one trying to destroy you?

‘When people met her they thought how lovely she was, this attractive woman with a beautiful laugh. But she was one person in public and another behind closed doors. Who would she be today? The loving mother? The trusted teacher? The monster destroying my life?’

Olivia has been afraid ever since she can remember. Out of sight, she was subjected to cruelty and humiliation at the hands of the one person who should have loved and protected her at all times – her mother, Josephine.

While appearing completely normal to the outside world, Josephine displayed all the signs of being a psychopath – unbeknown to her daughter until adulthood – and Olivia grew up feeling scared, worthless and exploited. Even when she found the courage to cut ties, her mother found new ways to manipulate and deceive, attempting to destroy her life with a vicious campaign of abuse.

Now Olivia has come to terms with her past and gives a fascinating, harrowing and deeply unsettling insight into what it’s like growing up with a psychopathic parent.

About the author: Olivia Rayne works for a global marketing agency, where she takes pride in championing the women around her. A firm believer in the idea that your past pain is not what defines you, she hopes ‘My Mother, The Psychopath’ will raise awareness of the insidious nature of psychological parental abuse. She is also hopeful that her story will help people in similar situations, reminding them that they possess the strength to break free, as she did. Olivia lives on the sunny South Coast with her lovely cat and even lovelier boyfriend.

My Review: They say “truth is stranger than fiction” and boy, oh, boy reading this incredibly raw and brutal account of Olivia’s relationship with her psychopathic mother made my skin crawl and my blood boil.

This is Olivia Rayne’s TRUE story of living with a psychopathic parent.  The only daughter of a French mother and British father, Olivia grew up under the cruel and often humiliating control of her Mother (Maman), whilst her weak and, in my opinion, spineless father just looked on helplessly.  This book doesn’t read like a memoir, it reads like one of the worst psychological thrillers/domestic noir books I’ve read and the fact that it is all true makes it so much more moving and sad.

It’s a difficult book to review because I found it utterly compulsive reading, gripping, tense and at times painful to read, but the fact that this is someone’s actual LIFE that I am reading made my “enjoyment” tainted.  I’m not naive enough to think everyone has a rosy childhood full of love, compassion and support, however I hope that now Olivia has finally written her story and shared her traumatic past, she finds unconditional love and happiness.


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