John Blake Books 2017
I am delighted to be on the Unbroken Blog Tour today and without further ado let me tell you about this inspirational book!
For many years after that night, memories of what happened after he held the blade to my throat and threatened my life were fragmented… difficult to piece together. It was too extreme, too violent for me to understand.
Violently gang-raped when she was thirteen years old, and raped three more times before the age of eighteen, Madeleine has experienced more trauma in her life than most ever will.
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.
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 is the ultimate act of courage.
In Unbroken Madeleine tells her moving and empowering story, as she discovers that our lives are not defined by what knocks us down – they are defined by how we get back up.
A truly inspirational read about survival, this book was at times stark and hard hitting but essentially as the description states, this is a book about forgiveness.
I was impressed while reading this book at various points, it was thought provoking and made me re-evaluate my understanding of what rape is. In this book Madeleine is subject to a horrific and violent rape lasting a number of hours. The realisation hit me that sadly this is likely to be the common experience of rape, a sexual crime of violence and degradation, causing physical and psychological damage. The details of this assault are explicit in the book and shocking. I was struck by the harm caused and the strength of Madeleine to continually overcome this. I wanted to see the perpetrators bought to justice, but that is not what this book is about and the survival and forgiveness demonstrated by Madeleine is impressive and certainly something we could all learn from.
Told in a pragmatic way, Madeleine gives her account, not to illicit sympathy but to tell her story of survival from which she emerges the victor. This book is sad, as it touches on the lost childhood, the changed girl and the violence and cruelty of others is despairing. But as the story unfolds, the kindness of others and the achievements of Madeleine are what shine through. In striving to forgive, as her best revenge, she is able to shed her shame over what was done to her.
Despite its subject matter and while being sad, this is not a difficult read and is certainly a book I will be sharing as a story of healing and recovery with hope and forgiveness at its heart.
Check out the rest of the blog tour here –
Special thanks to Madeleine Black for sending me a copy of the book and Anne Cater for arranging this Blog Tour.
About the Author
Sharing her story opened doors for Madeleine in ways she never imagined and the invitations started to pour in. She has taken part in both TV and radio interviews and has been invited to speak at conferences, events and schools.
She recognises that she was a victim of a crime that left her silent for many years, but has found her voice and intends to use it. Not just for her, but for so many who have not yet found theirs.
She is married and lives in Glasgow with her husband, three daughters, her cat, Suki and dog, Alfie.