The Only Girl in the World

Pages: 288
Subject: Biography
Imprint: Oneworld

The Only Girl in the World

A Memoir

Maude Julien

Translated by Adriana Hunter
For readers of Damaged and Running with Scissors, a chilling exploration of psychological control that ends with a glorious escape.
9781786071354 (4 Jan 2018)
RRP £14.99

The Book

Maude still remembers the sound of the gate being locked behind her. She was three years old when they moved into the secluded manor, and she would only be allowed out again a handful of times.

Her parents belonged to a fanatical Masonic order who believed that it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor. She followed a strict schedule of study, hard labour and endless drills designed to ‘eliminate weakness', such as holding an electric fence without flinching and sitting still in a rat-infested cellar.

But Maude's parents could not rule her inner life. Befriending animals on the lonely estate and characters in the books she read, Maude nurtured in herself the compassion and love her parents forbade.

Additional Information

Subject Biography
Pages 288
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Maude Julien is a psychotherapist specialising in child trauma, manipulation and mind control. A frequent contributor to radio and television, she has helped hundreds of patients since 1995. Maude is married and lives in Paris with her two daughters.


'Proof that love is in our nature regardless of our nurture.'

- Vanity Fair

'This is a dark, moving, and thoughtfully rendered story.'

- Publishers Weekly

'Maude Julien's extraordinary memoir, The Only Girl in the World, is a harrowing yet achingly beautiful tale of a girl imprisoned by her brutal, fanatic family, but whose yearning for wonder and love ultimately drives her toward the improbable light of the world. This is a story of resilience unlike any I have ever read.'

- Mira Bartók, author of National Book Critics Circle Award Winner The Memory Palace

'I was right there with Maude from the very beginning, and the prose was written in such a way that it wasn't dry or stilted... a fantastic memoir that I recommend highly.'

- The Cosy Dragon

‘A living testimony of resilience…An account as gripping as it is inspiring.'

- Elle

'One of the most original and compelling stories I've read. Maude Julien's love of books ignites an insatiable curiosity about the world... A tale of hope and profound courage, Julien's story illustrates how trusting ourselves and following our hearts can save us from the most oppressive and cruel conditions. Her brave spirit shines as a bright reminder that what lies within us is stronger and more powerful than our circumstances.'

- Ruth Wariner, New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of Gravel