Unboken by Madeleine Black | Book Review

I recently had the honour of reading 'Unbroken' a true story written by the very brave and talented Madeleine Black. I will admit that i usually only read crime-ficton and at first i wasn't sure if this book would be right for me however after finding Madeleine on twitter and reading her open and honest posts and then reading the description of her book on amazon i just knew i needed to read it:

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 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."
Source: Amazon

My heart was in my mouth just reading the write up so I knew it would be an emotional read and I wasn’t wrong.

What I wasn't prepared for though was the journey this book took me as a reader on. The initial impact of hearing what happened to Madeleine leads onto reading about her journey of re-building her life, the honestly throughout of the good, the bad and the ugly is admirable. I was also interested to read about the various choice of therapies Madeleine chose to take, things I had never heard of but have since gone on to research more. Madeleine's lifestyle is also a million miles away from mine, so I read about the amazing things she has gone on to do in awe. 

I expect anyone who reads this book will relate to it in some way or another as it touches on so many true to life elements. I think for me it stirred up un-dealt with personal things that happened in my childhood that I have always hidden away and never spoken of publically. It has made me realise how much I have held onto inside and that it may be a big part of why I am the way I am, closed off from people, rarely trusting and rarely letting anyone in to get to know the real me. I live a very lonely life, I have very few friends and barely any contact with my family. I blame myself for this & they fact that I can't build relationships properly but thinking about it since reading Madeleine's story of re-building her life maybe the way i am is because of unresolved issues that I keep buried inside. They may even be part of why I struggle so much with my mental health. Maybe it is time to face up to them, to let them go and to change my mindset like Madeleine has. 

The chapter layout can at times get confusing, the jumping around of dates / years at times takes a few moments to catch up and realise where you are but as it is a true life story this is to be expected because I can't imagine it was easy to get everything she wanted to say out on paper all at once. It must have taken a really long time to get it all on to paper and then decide how to structure it as a story. 

Though it did stir up personal issues that are hard for me to think about (though I think it's time I did now) and some of the graphic details were so awful my mind tried to tell me I was reading fiction at one point. I am still so glad I read this book. It has shown me that despite facing the most awful things in her past Madeleine chose to take a personal journey that lead her to be happy, content and to use what happened to her to help others. 


A 5* must read in my opinion. 

Unbroken by Madeleine Black is available here 

*A big thanks to Madeleine for sending me a signed copy to read. Though I was sent this book to read everything in my review is my honest opinion


  1. This sounds such a hard read but something that brings more awareness. I read Amelia Hendreys book, What Nobody Knew which was a hard read but recommend.


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