A Schizoid at Smith: How Overparenting Leads to Underachieving


Author:Blair Sorrel

  • Publisher: Atmosphere Press
  • Publication Date: August 23, 2023
  • Number of Pages: 166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1639889273

Blair Sorrel's A Schizoid at Smith: How Overparenting Leads to Underachieving presents a fresh perspective on the profound influence of parenting styles on a child's development. Within this enthralling memoir, Sorrel shares her own experiences, offering a poignant narrative that illuminates the repercussions of overparenting — particularly its enduring impact on self-esteem and accomplishment. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the 1960s, a period characterized by classic rock, societal upheavals, and cultural transformations, Sorrel deftly explores her journey through vibrant scenes. The inclusion of iconic figures from the era enriches the narrative, elevating it beyond an individual account to a reflective mirror of the time. In “Imprinted by Five,” Sorrel unveils the early years of her life, providing a vivid portrayal of a family marked by idiosyncrasies and unconventional parenting practices. The author's vulnerability in sharing childhood memories — ranging from the warmth of anticipating her father's return to the painful rejection by a caregiver — establishes a relatable and captivating narrative.

Readers get a captivating glimpse into Sorrel's childhood during the Kennedy era and her family's relocation to the suburbs. The juxtaposition of the White Exodus with historical events, such as the Boston Strangler's reign, are elements that transport readers back in time to relive some of the remarkable moments in history. This memoir explores family dynamics, suburban culture, and the repercussions of societal shifts. The book intelligently addresses the challenges arising from the author's schizoid tendencies, particularly in social settings. The chapter chronicling her experiences at Smith College delivers a nuanced portrayal of the struggles faced by a schizoid individual. Sorrel infuses her writing with humor, hope, and the melodic backdrop of stellar music from the era. The memoir encourages readers to contemplate the significance of competent and caring guardians in shaping a child's life, fostering a deeper understanding of the intricate dynamics of parenting. Sorrel's storytelling acumen transforms the book into a captivating exploration of the broader impact of parenting styles on an individual's life journey. A Schizoid at Smith is an intelligently crafted memoir that is filled with lessons on parenting and strong historical hints. 

Reviewed By: Romuald Dzemo

Reviewed Date: January 31, 2024

Category: Memoir