In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.

Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, New York, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.

A firsthand witness to countless holiday meals and interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.

Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.

From the very first page of Too Much and Never Enough, the author spoke to us from her position inside the family, as well as by way of her clinical training.We learn how Donald Trump was taught by his father that lying is okay and admitting that you are wrong is a sign of weakness. We also see how his arrogance is a defense against abandonment (by his mother) and an antidote to his lack of self-esteem.Why do so many with access to him now, in his position, enable him? Their futures are directly dependent on his success and favor.The author talks about his response (or lack thereof) to Covid-19 and how it underscores his need to minimize negativity at all costs. Fear, the equivalent of weakness in his family, is as unacceptable to him now as it was when he was three years old.

The toxic positivity that his father deployed within the family is the very same thing now driving the man who has placed the country and the democracy in danger. Let us not be complicit in the destruction by ignoring it.

A great read that kept me turning pages and earned 5 stars.

Read for the Nonfiction Challenge. –#2020ReadNonFic



  1. Oh wow I can’t believe how you powered through this. Family toxicity! How come we all see him lie so much, it is so obvious. The most obvious political lying i’ve ever seen. Wish all politicians were so easy to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The author’s writing was so good that I just couldn’t stop turning the pages. A quick read, full of anecdotes and psychological theories and facts. I know some might say she was getting back at him and his family for how they treated her, but her facts outshone anything they might throw at her.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I feel the same! I’m glad the face on the cover wasn’t one of how he looks today! I have no compassion for him, even knowing how he was treated; at some point, we have to move beyond our horrific childhoods!

      Thanks for visiting, Shelleyrae…I just want him GONE!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know that I could stomach this. I applaud his niece for speaking out, someone in the family has to. But he is such a piece of garbage and just seeing his face or hearing his voice spikes my blood pressure. I may pick this one up after he is in jail where he belongs. So, maybe never because our criminal justice system is so screwed up, we all know he won’t ever see a day in prison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t stand him either, but I loved that someone in the family, with expertise, is speaking up about his damaged and dangerous self so more people can vote against him.

      If only we hadn’t had to suffer his presence in the WH at all!


  3. Pingback: 2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #8 | book'd out

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