This book is really uncomfortable to read, but also I could not put it down.
There’s a lot of gaslighting, which as a reader I found hard to swallow. There are gaps in the ‘plot’ and what feels like inconsistent character modeling. I realize this makes me sound pretty discompassionate. This paragraph helped me to understand:
It was an elegant deception, a mental pirouette. The toe was not broken because it was not breakable. Only an X-ray could prove otherwise. Thus, the X-ray would break my toe.
The flipside of those stranger-than-fiction moments are the realer-than-real passages like this:
I could tolerate any form of cruelty better than kindness. Praise was a poison to me; I choked on it. I wanted the professor to shout at me, wanted it so deeply I felt dizzy from the deprivation.