nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Fiction about suddenly finding out one's past life was controlled

I recently read a couple of novels where the protagonist suddenly finds out that one of their parents controlled a tremendous amount of their past life. A great deal of what they thought was their own choice or happenstance was actually a fairly successful effort to manipulate them.

Since this is going to involve major plot points, I'm putting mention of specific stories under a cut. I'll just say that, of the two recent novels and two older short stories I can think of, the modern ones involve evil parents. One parent per character-- we don't get two parents conspiring to control a child.

The older ones are efforts to re-create a dead husband, and as I recall, one is presented as just plain creepy and the other is possibly benevolent.

What stories can you think of about that sort of control?

The two books are Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross and </i>Beautiful You</i> by Chuck Palahniuk.

Note: I recommend Neptune's Brood for vivid weird images even if I'm not entirely sure it makes sense. I found Beautiful You to be enough to have kept my attention, but a really unpleasant and not particularly insightful satire. Think of it as being in the spirit of Fight Club but focused on women and wilder.

Offhand, two older stories with similar control are [Spoiler (click to open)]"When You Care, When You Love" by Theodore Sturgeon and [Spoiler (click to open)]"The Totally Rich" by John Brunner-- neither of these involve parents, though.

From what I've heard, Cherryh's Cyteen might be in the category, but I haven't read it.

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