Unbroken Book Review
I am very behind on my book reviews, so I’m going to try and play catch-up over the next couple of weeks. The reviews might be a tad shorter than they have in the past, and I’ll apologize in advance for that. Some of the books were read months ago, when I was ill…so they aren’t as fresh in my mind. BUT, I want to make sure I still get the info out to my readers, and out for the publishers and authors who were kind enough to entrust their book baby to me, to digest and spew my thoughts out to the world.
I honestly put off reading this book for way too long, for very personal reasons. I knew it was going to be a tough one, but I wanted to support the author…and promised her a read/review. Unbroken: One Woman's Journey to Rebuild a Life Shattered by Violence. A True Story of Survival and Hope by Madeleine Black is a memoir detailing one woman’s experience being violently raped at age 13, and her lifelong struggles to deal with the repercussions.
I rarely do this in a review, but I’m going to insert the blurb from Goodreads to give you an idea of what the memoir is about, and then I’ll let you know my thoughts.
Living in a state of shock and self-loathing, it took her years of struggle to confront the buried memories of that first attack and begin to undo the damage it wrought, as men continued to take advantage of her fragility in the worst possible way. Yet, after growing up with a burden no teenager should ever have to shoulder, she found the heart to carry out the best revenge plan of all: leading a fulfilling and happy life. But the road to piecing her life back together was long and painful. For Madeleine, forgiveness was the key. True forgiveness takes genuine effort. It takes a real desire to understand those who have done us so much harm. It is the ultimate act of courage. In Unbroken, Madeleine tells her deeply moving and empowering story, as she discovers that life is about how a person chooses to recover from adversity.
I don’t think it’s right to say that you “liked” a book with this subject matter, but this was a 5 star read for me. Madeleine fights her entire life to grow, and live a happy life after living through a devastating event at a very young age. Initially she blocks out the event, and acts out in a way that is common for a lot of sexual violence survivors. But then decides that truly living is the best “revenge”, for lack of a better word.
She explores numerous therapies and spiritual practices, some which might feel a little odd to readers who aren’t open to more worldly/new-agey/woo-woo philosophies…but it works for her. And a big thing in this memoir is how individual a violent event is, and how personal recovery is. What works for one person might not work for someone else. So she tries everything to find what will work for her, and eventually gets to a space where she can remember everything that she’d blocked for so long, and truly feels free from the guilt and pain that held her back for so long.
As someone who suffered from an incident at not much older than Madeleine, it really was difficult to read this memoir. BUT, I feel so much that it is important for people to tell their stories and be heard. It helps others to feel less alone. Because a big part of being violated, especially when you’re young, is how dirty, guilty, and truly ALONE you feel. So to read someone elses story of growth and evolution in the face of a violence so horrific, and truly of a scope that is beyond reprehensible, is a beacon of hope for others.
I commend Madeleine Black for the strength is must’ve taken to put all of this on paper, in such a no-nonsense, straightforward manner. And I thank her for sending me a beautiful, signed copy in the mail. And I apologize again for dragging my heels. You push bad things in the back of your mind, and it’s hard to bring them to the front for a visit. It is definitely worth the read, but be warned that the content is graphic at times, and this isn’t an easy one.
More reviews coming soon for Unwifeable by Mandy Stadtmiller, Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, When Life Gives You LuLuLemons by Lauren Weisberger and MORE! Follow the hashtag #tomesandtequila on Insta for all of my book posts.