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Ugly: Catatan Kelam Masa Kecil Seorang Pengacara

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,423 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews
Aku menyerahkan foto sekolahku kepada ibuku.
Dia menatap foto itu, lalu ganti menatapku.
”Astaga, bagaimana mungkin dia begitu jelek. Jelek. Jelek.”

Sejak kecil, Constance Briscoe terus-menerus dianiaya oleh ibunya, baik secara fisik maupun mental. Kerap dipukuli dan tidak diberi makan, Constance begitu putus asa sehingga dia mendatangi Dinas Sosial dan minta ditempatkan di p
Paperback, 440 pages
Published December 2010 by M-Pop (Kelompok Penerbit Matahati) (first published January 16th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Madiha Riaz
Oct 03, 2011 Madiha Riaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All the friends
Shelves: biographies
I read some of the reviews of this book and found out how some people are criticizing about the 'writing', 'grammar' or 'repetitiveness.

This book is an account of a child's memories of how she was abused, humiliated and rejected. This is a powerful book. The very beauty of biographies is that they are somebody's own version of what happened to them and how they lived it or fought it. There's no third person commenting on it or describing it from an emotionally detached point of view. This is wr
Dec 13, 2013 Jeannie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Jeannie by: no one
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Well I almost finished it...I ended up skipping and skimming through most of it towards the end. Poorly written, poor grammar throughout, like a child wrote it instead of an adult (and she's now a judge?). She was more descriptive about dresses, church scenes, cleaning, than she was about the abuse she suffered. Also if you are writing using words and terminology that people in other parts of the world aren't exposed to; a section detailing what they stood for would of been nice. Most of the tim ...more
Watermelon Daisy

Ugly is a story about a girl suffering through abuse.

I’m not sure what to make of this. I think it’s kind of unfair to write a review on somebody’s actual life, because I have no say in the events.

But I gave this book two stars because I didn’t know the purpose. What was the point of writing this book? Unfortunately, none of us can save Briscoe from her childhood trauma. What’s more, the end wasn’t really an end: it was just a cliff-hanger to another series of problems.

I guess the helplessness o
Emily Johnson
Dec 09, 2012 Emily Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful memoir about survival in a life saturated with physical and emotional abuse. Claire's problems seemed to start with her mother's inability to deal with her bed wetting, although the underlying issue truly lies with her mom's mental issues. Claire becomes a punching bag for her mom's problems, which eventually spiral out of control, leaving her abandoned at age 14. The writer overcame astounding odds, working 3 jobs to support herself while going to high school, and eventually ...more
Jan 02, 2008 Shannon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay okay, you had a cr*p childhood, I get it. I found out she has written a follow up book that goes through her college years. That's the book that I Think would be more interesting - how she dealt with 'normal' life after having such an abnormal childhood.

I also didn't like how the entire book sounds like it was written by an 8-year-old.
Apr 22, 2011 Katherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There are so many holes in this tale I am horrified that the author is a barrister and Judge. She wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and poked her in the eye.

The mother was struggling with a house full of children and an errant husband who didn't maintain them, yet the author fails to admonish him and his violence, reserving her hatred for the mother who remained and retaliated. Heaven help any domestic violence victims that enter her courtroom.

And 'Ugly'? She criticises the looks of almost
Apr 14, 2010 Widge rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm halfway through and I'm not going to finish it. I've skimmed through and it seems very repetitive about the tragic abuse she suffered. I Am horrified at the mothers behaviour, however there is part of me that wonders how true every scene could be. Remembering that we are reading the accounts of a very young child's memory.
How did she know what went on during her suicide attempt if she was passed out for the most part?
I'm not disputing the fact that she had an awful upbringing and experienc
May 24, 2012 Roxanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was about 11 when I read this, and I was shcoked at how graphic it was. It is a book that makes you upset and quite angry about the things that the young girl had to go through in her own house, and it's horrible to think that a child could feel that amount of fear in her own home. It is also a very influential book, as you can see that she has now done well for herself, despite her childhood. It is a very touching and emotional book. A must-read!!
Gabriela Bortoluzzi
Feia é um livro intenso, chocante e, também, perturbador. Conta história de uma menina que nunca foi amada pela mãe, sempre foi duramente criticada e cruelmente maltratada, de diversas formas. Contudo, o livro contém muitos detalhes, como cada peça de roupa que tal pessoa vestia ou cada sobremesa dos dias de escola. Nesse sentido, me parece um pouco de ficção. Acredito que existam coisas que não são realmente verdadeiras, como esses detalhes, apenas para dar emoção ao livro. Quanto às partes que ...more
Ta Sch
May 10, 2014 Ta Sch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read the book, I was not sure whether I liked it or not. I read some of the reviews and that helped me to make up my own mind. Let me try to show you.

I agree with the people who said the book was repetetive. But with every book I read during the last weeks, I had this same thought: Gosh, that could be it due to our society in which we don't take our time anymore to focus and observe things in detail, that we want books, novels to turn into short stories? Of course, it was r
Peesha Pishaposh
Feb 15, 2009 Peesha Pishaposh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on true account of Constance Briscoe, I'm so emotionally-exhausted once finished reading it.

I just couldn't believe that she (Constance) suffered to that extent and all of that happened because of her mother.

What I learned form this book is, being an unwanted is something painful one can bear. No matter how hard you try, you'll never be good enough. And, how true that if children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty (with or without an apparent reason). But, determination is key to
I need to say straight off that I don't particularly like these types of books. They all come across as being identical to me. Not just in subject matter- abused children fighting against their aggressors and so on- but also the book covers. A sad child on a typically white background, with a one-name title (UGLY, ABUSED, LONELY) or a dramatic lengthier title (A CHILD CALLED IT, DADDY'S LITTLE EARNER), typically in a gold or handwritten font. If you're lucky, it will be both. But often, if I rea ...more
May 16, 2009 Mariam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mariam by: DrNworldsaver, Hala GK
I don't like books that talk about child-abuse!!
Boredom was the only reason that made me read it..

So anyway, I truly hated the mother: she is so abusive, unfair and injustice, and was totally exaggerating with her actions beating up her daughter and lowering down her self-esteem!! (I believe that there is so much to say about her, I wouldn't bother myself type it)

And I put a blame on the father.. I mean, where was he!?
Didn't he have children to look after?! Why didn't he ask for custody from
Rachel Zylstra
There are many faults in this book that I could not ignore. I do believe the story is truthful and although I found it hard sympathising at the beginning of the story, by the end of it I really liked Clare's personality.

The first few chapters were the worse for me. Most characters were described on their appearances, and not usually in a complimenting way, which I found odd considering that most of Clare's abuse was verbal slandering about her appearances. I would have thought she would be more
Dec 27, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm almost torn on this book as to its reality. This is a harsh, brutal tale of severe neglect and hardship endured by a child who essentially raises herself from a young age. Abandoned by her mother, Constance spends the majority of her formative years making a living just to support herself as she has no one else to do it for her.
When I say I'm torn, parts of this book seem unbearable for a child to endure and triumph over, but that may be me and my inability to grasp someone's desire for surv
Fatmah Abdullatif
Nov 04, 2013 Fatmah Abdullatif rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ugly is based on a true story.
This book is about a girl which has been mistreated and emotionally destroyed by her mother. She was always the one to blame between her siblings. Constance was called "Ugly" by her mother several times and has always felt very unwanted in the family, so she looked for Social services to take good care of her. Throughout the book, the writer describes how the child has suffered and was abused by her mother.

I really liked the writers description as it included full
Jul 11, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't as good as other books in this genre that I have read, it did get a little repetitive at times and I did not read it as fast as I could have if there had been more incentive to keep reading. Nonetheless, I am astounded at all that Constance Briscoe managed to achieve with such a poor start in life and very little guidance and support. To have been working 3 jobs AND still at school at 15 years old, when most teenagers today can't even be bothered with a paper-round, it makes me smile ...more
Uh-oh. I feel guilty writing this review but I just didn't like the book. I am skeptical of some of the claims for some reason and the book is written with about the same emotion as someone reporting the weather.

Putting aside that I am proud that Ms. Briscoe rose above this to succeed as a lawyer and part-time judge.
Oct 10, 2008 Reem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked that book. It tought me that no matter what, there is only one person who can stop you from fulfulling your dream, and that person is YOU.
One of the opening scenes, where Briscoe's mother berates her for being 'ugly' is powerful and moving.
Eva Saris
Jun 18, 2015 Eva Saris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing, courageous young girl who goes on to become an even more amazing, powerful and committed woman!
She set her sights on becoming a barrister from a young age and worked hard to achieve her goal, her plan! She succeeded! Even though the odds were stacked against her from a very young age, her inner strength and determination helped her overcome them.
Constance suffered extreme and constant physical and mental abuse throughout her childhood at the hands of her own mother. Her mother
Alexis Chateau
Jul 26, 2014 Alexis Chateau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book brought me to anger and near tears; and then spurred a discussion in the hair salon I was reading in, about how much some mothers and fathers were unfit for parenting.

I noticed a lot of people commenting on the author’s grammar, which makes me curious about their reading skills and knowledge of foreign cultures. The author very clearly states from the beginning of the book that she is of Caribbean ancestry, and that so is her stepfather, Eastman. For the people who miraculously do not
Jun 19, 2015 Roberta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, 2013, uk
Se la recensione di Orgoglio e pregiudizio mi ha causato non poche sudate, posso dire che nemmeno in questo caso si è trattato di una passeggiata. Nonostante io non abbia molto apprezzato questo libro, trovo estremamente difficile sia dichiararlo, sia spiegare le mie motivazioni. Ovviamente la mia reticenza è motivata dal fatto che Brutta è un memoir, in cui l'autrice racconta in prima persona la sua dolorosissima infanzia composta di abusi di ogni genere, fondamentalmente ad opera della madre. ...more
May 11, 2012 Eka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
UGLY, sebuah buku yang membuka mata bahwa masih banyak ada kasus kasus pengkerdilan dan penyiksaan mental dan fisik di pelbagai belahan dunia.

Jika kamu pernah membaca buku "A Child Called IT", maka buku berjudul UGLY ini membawa tema yang serupa. Bagaimana seorang Constant Briscoe berjuang sedari kecil hingga tumbuh remaja melawan penyiksaan ibunya dan bagaimana ia akhirnya terkerdilkan oleh setiap perkataan ibunya bahwa ia adalah buruk rupa, sunggguh teramat jelek, and uncapanle of doing thing
I find true stories are very difficult to judge. You're judging a person's life, thoughts and feelings and emotions and although you can read about it and understand it - it takes a lot to truly look at the situation through their eyes and to feel what they're feeling.

It was difficult to read for me. A lot of people think that it was all a lie; that Constance was being difficult and not understanding the hardship of her parents lives. However I found it a struggle to read because of the harsh r
Melanie Cook
I am honestly astounded. I am at a loss to understand how a mother can treat just one of her children like this, and nobody intervenes! Even when that child goes to school, visibly beaten up, and says that she will not go home, nobody does anything?

Granted, this is not today. It was thirty odd years ago, so I can only hope that today someone would step in and do something. Just how loud does a child have to cry for help before she's heard? Does she have to get killed first? Constance didn't, of
Nov 11, 2011 Mira rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think somehow she wasn't a very likable kid. But let's not miss the fact that what her mummy did to her was very wrong.
This is a story worth reading because it happened, and it was factual that one can go very far despite wrong start.
However, being a memoir that it is, the book lacks the power in its sentences. One may find it boring and redundant in the earlier part. I say, I couldn't really get on with its flow until later part when it became fast paced. There was no flow actually except th
Tamara Cobacoglo
Feb 24, 2014 Tamara Cobacoglo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am tired of all the put down reviews for this book. I myself have been through abuse and although I haven't written a biography I can sympathize with the author. As for the complaining about grammar, well this is not written by a professional writer, and infact details these accounts typical of a Barrister's brief.
For those who complain about how badly written it is, how repetitive or boring you find it, just remember that your winging is a reflection of how lacking in compassion you are.
Jan 02, 2012 Imas rated it liked it
Shelves: karya-perempuan
Cukup lama waktu utk buku ini...penyakit akhir tahun..sibuk urusan pekerjaan, mau cuti ngga bisa, tertunda-tunda lah buku ini. Mengherankan dan tak bisa percaya seorang ibu melakukan penyiksaan terhadap anaknya sendiri.walaupun bukan cerita yg pertama soal ini. Tapi tetap saja membuat shock saat membaca kekerasan yg dilakukan. Mungkin pepatah "Bahkan Harimau pun tidak akan melukai anaknya sendiri" pantas diragukan jika sang ibu adalah manusia, harimau mungkin tidak. Tapi yg terpenting menurut ak ...more
Jan 28, 2012 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: Jocelyn Douthett
So. The story obviously talks about persevering despite unbearable odds and overall has a good message. I found that the page turner for me was waiting for her to stand up to the mother. Now i guess as a young girl it is hard to make a stand, but as a reader i was willing her to do it. Though this didnt mean i found the book good.

In fact i found it to be whiney, and though i couldnt imagine living through that i found myself wondering why i was making myself read it when reading is often like p
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“Finally, when happiness came knocking on my door, I'd be waiting. I'd open the door and say: "Where have you been? What took you so long? And if you just give me a moment I'll pack and go with you.” 9 likes
“Do your parents know you’re here?' asked the lady at social Services. ‘No,’ I said, ‘but I want to know about children’s homes.’ I had to stand on my toes to see over the reception desk.” 1 likes
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