Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Gudrun Frerichs
Published: May 2019
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
It all unraveled at the funeral…
Horace Reid’s death opened the door to our freedom. His widow, Elizabeth, exists only on paper. She disappeared thirty years ago. It’s us, the Tribe, who live in her body now. But nobody knows that. Us are Elise, the reluctant host, Lilly the closer, Ama, the proverbial mother, Sky, our wise guide, Amadeus, the warrior, and Luke, the man around the house. There are others, but we make sure they stay hidden and away from harm.
After Horace’s funeral, they tried to lock us in a mental hospital. Our sister-in-law had it all carefully planned. Thanks to quick thinking—yes, being a multiple has its advantages—we escaped to New Zealand’s South Island. Tucked away in the West Coast wilderness we… well, the plan was to continue our healing. We didn’t expect that monsters from our past still had us on their radar. When the police accuse us of murder we have to run again. Where to go, which way to turn? Our neighbor Scott appears helpful, but can we trust him? Can we trust ourselves? Can we trust anyone?
Dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) is perhaps the most misunderstood among mental disorders. If movies and TV shows would have us believe, multiples are lunatics that get away with murder. In fact, under normal circumstances, many multiples are high achievers and successful.
Girl From The Tree House by Gudrun Frerichs is a psychological thriller that tells the story from the inside out. Book #1 of the series Women of Our Time, it is from the perspective of a person who struggles with it, with an inside view of how multiples function. It is one of my favorites books of the year.
The book follows the journey of Elise (the host), and the Tribe as they attempt to escape being locked up in a mental hospital for good. Although a more or less linear narrative from the perspective of each multiple, as they “take over” when the need arises. Through the course of the book, we are made privy to the circumstances that triggered the identities. The characters also share their thoughts on social stigma and labels. Quite telling on expectations to “fit in” and be “normal”.
Each character has its own individuality. Each one is so different, you mistake them for different individuals. You are given a raw, personal view of what it is like living with DID. How they interact and look out for each other. It is indeed a well-crafted book that manages to seamlessly integrate the different personalities
My only issue with the book was that the end seemed a bit contrived. Other than that, I truly enjoyed reading the book. Right from the word go, the book grabbed my attention. I have not read such a brilliant fictionalized depiction of dissociative identity disorder. I highly recommend the book, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Trigger warning: the book has references to child abuse.Girl From The Tree House by Gudrun Frerichs is a brilliant fictionalized depiction of dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) Click To Tweet
About the author
Gudrun Frerichs is a retired psychotherapist and trauma specialist in the field of (sexual) abuse recovery. She successfully worked with many clients who had a DID diagnosis. Recovery from trauma and dissociation has been the focus of her Master’s dissertation (2000) and Ph.D. thesis (2008) and is also the topic of her blog Multiple Voices.
Girl From The Tree House by Gudrun Frerichs is available for purchase at Amazon
I would like to thank Gudrun Frerichs and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.