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    Borderlines: A Memoir (Caroline Kraus)

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    • Less than a year after her mother’s death from cancer, recent college grad Kraus packs up and moves from St. Louis to San Francisco, eager to begin an independent life. Working at a Palo Alto bookstore, she meets Jane, another employee who becomes her friend, temporary lover, constant companion and, ultimately, “worst enemy.” In her first book, Kraus skillfully delineates the arc of her relationship with Jane, which initially brings love and happiness to the author, who’s been grieving and looking for an emotional anchor in her mother’s absence. Attractive, charismatic Jane, a few years older than Kraus, listens to her, calls her “Honey” and gives her an “endorphin rush” in the wake of “exclusive attention.” Kraus soon learns that Jane cuts herself with razor blades, sucks her thumb and claims to have been sexually molested as a child, yet Kraus remains loyal. When a roommate tells Kraus she thinks Jane has “a strange power over you,” Kraus can’t see the problem. Even when Jane turns manipulative and hurtful, discards Kraus as a lover, sleeps with other people (women and men) and drives Kraus into debt and her own form of self-mutilation, the author seems to need Jane’s love and approval. To her credit, Kraus, who finally frees herself from Jane and goes on to attend film school in New York, tells her gripping tale without indulging in melodrama or portraying herself as a pathetic victim. Although readers may become frustrated by the repeated descriptions of Jane’s abusive behavior before Kraus seeks help, this work succeeds in showcasing Kraus’s writing talent while exploring a disturbing topic.

    • Book Title Borderlines: A Memoir
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Welcome to self-injury.net. We are a support community for self-harmers and also provide information on self-harm, creative works, media lists, lists of resources (helplines, textlines, mental health apps, therapists, etc.), etc. We focus on self-injury but a number of other mental health issues are included.


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