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Book Review: The Box of Daughter by Katherine Mayfield

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Today, Katherine Mayfield is known as a strong, successful writer and professional actor. She already published two books: Smart Actors, Foolish Choices and Acting A to Z. She has also appeared on the daytime soap opera, Guiding Light and landed major roles in off-Broadway productions. Mayfield’s most recent achievement is her soon to be published memoir The Box of Daughter: Overcoming a Legacy of Emotional Abuse. The memoir focuses on Mayfield’s life growing up in St. Louis living with an emotionally and verbally abusive mother and a physically abusive father. It has taken decades for Mayfield to become the successful, hardworking woman she is now. Throughout the course of her life, she was able to develop the courage and strength to survive her dark past.

The Box of Daughter starts off at a cemetery where both her parents are now buried, and then dives into the beginning of her remembrance of when the emotional and verbal abuse from her mother arose. Mayfield’s mother was a tyrant; she never made Mayfield feel loved or provided her with enough attention. The reader learns early on that her mother, Jeroldine, is a confusing being. She is one minute belittling her daughter and the next minute baking her a birthday cake. The constant unpredictable actions from Jeroldine are exhausting. Mayfield creates this “Good Little Girl” persona in order to survive her brutal mother. She makes sure she never complains or whines to her mother and never asks for anything. Mayfield becomes the “Good Little Girl” and therefore is saved from making her mother mad at her for any possible reason. Decades upon decades Mayfield does everything in her power to please her parents no matter the circumstance. She barely had friends and her relationships with people were few and far between because of the negativity that surrounded her life and her wellbeing.

The memoir is soaked with a young vulnerable girl, trying to find her way and struggling to live a normal life. Every time Mayfield’s life starts to flourish and grow and wonderful happenings begin to occur in her life, her mother finds some way to destroy any little bit of happiness.

Mayfield has a unique writing style that narrates the story in present day and then flips to  flashbacks of when she was younger. She also has a great way of revealing her memories and emotions and letting the audience all the way into her life, her thoughts, and her well being. Mayfield also reiterates some words and ideas throughout her memoir, which could be eliminated. For example, she uses certain words such as “steamrolled” or “steamroller” a number of times and recaps the reader a couple of times that she was never loved enough or received enough attention throughout her life.

In conclusion, Mayfield’s heartbreaking tale of a young Katherine striving to always be the “Good Little Girl” is a memoir that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s fresh, bold and inspiring. Mayfield is finally at peace, living life without the stress of being perfect and a constant pushover. Pick up The Box of Daughter: Overcoming a Legacy of Emotional Abuse on Kindle or preorder the copy of the printed memoir at www.theboxofdaughter.com and discover the determination, strength and heart that is Katherine Mayfield today.

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About Dorothy Gale