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Artists and Vagabonds: How I Escaped My Mother’s Narcissistic Disorder

Artists and Vagabonds: How I Escaped My Mother’s Narcissistic Disorder

Lorena L. Sikorski

Reviewed by: Ella Vincent

Author Lorena Sikorski’s book titled, Artists and Vagabonds: How I Escaped My Mother’s Narcissistic Disorder, is a heart wrenching and redemptive memoir about how she escaped a dysfunctional family to reclaim her life and finally find joy. Sikorski has written a memoir that will resonate with many readers.

Sikorski details her tumultuous family history from the early 1900s to the current day. Sikorski writes about how the turmoil she felt when she came out and the conflict she had with her sexuality and her fledgling Catholic faith. Despite the uncertainty in her life, Sikorski writes about how she overcame her depression through therapy, music, and self-acceptance.

Sikorski’s writing is so vivid and emotional throughout her memoir. She writes with graphic detail about the abuse she endured and how she found the strength to set herself free from her controlling and manipulative mother. Despite her horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother, Sikorski still had hope. She writes lovingly about her Aunt Iris and cousins who were allies to her when she came out as a lesbian. She also writes about how music was healing to her.

Sikorski’s memoir is augmented by her poetry that illuminates the pain she felt in her life. In Mother’s Poem, she writes about how her mother’s homophobic attitude harmed her: “She became ill / Come home but don’t be queer / No wife, no life, gave up my career.” Another poem portrays Sikorski’s experience with a racist and sexist Catholic church: “People need rules, or they might think for themselves / Religious picks sides / White men will decide.” Most importantly, one of the major catalysts and passions for the author’s healing is her love of music and how it helped her during her journey.

Artists and Vagabonds would be best for readers that are abuse survivors. The book would also be good for people who left evangelical churches or had “church hurt” after being turned away for being LGBTQ. Sikorski’s brutally honest writing would also be good for readers that have severed relationships with abusive parents and want to read more memoirs like I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jenette McCurdy. Artists and Vagabonds is a memoir that will enlighten and inspire readers to break chains of hate to love themselves.

Artists and Vagabonds: How I Escaped My Mother’s Narcissistic Disorder