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Brutal: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Little Girl Stolen

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  335 ratings  ·  23 reviews
He was my religious teacher. I should have been able to trust him. But he made me do unspeakable things!
It is a tale of innocence lost and a life shattered, but above all it is a tale of survival, of a young girl who found love and hope in the darkest of places.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2012 by Harper Element
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  335 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A perfect description of the close knit British Muslim community. Narrated by the author of her own childhood growing up in England sometimes reminded me of myself as a child. I'm sure many British Muslim females would say the same after reading this.
Brave writing about some subjects considered taboo, a heart breaking biography.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Whilst the word ‘enjoyable’ can never be fixed to the reading of such a heartrending story, I found this book to be a very captivating and satisfying read.

‘Brutal’ acts as lifetime memoir that tells the story of a young Muslim woman who was repeatedly and over time sexually abused by her Imam from the age of seven years old. Sharma makes it clear that to tell family of the abuse would be almost unspeakable due to the codes and laws of the Muslim world. Not only was she too young to fully compreh
Nuzhat Shaikh
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is very important in raising awareness on sexual assault on children. Nabila isn't the lone child to have faced this at the age of seven. There are countless children even in our own surroundings being abused on regular basis. What's more saddening, people have made such issues TABOO. Hence, the lack of awareness multiplies this evil in society and our very own kids suffer, inevitably losing the bliss of childhood. I wish, Nabila's mom would've been open with her in discussions and mak ...more
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I think the true story here was with her mother,not the Imam. What the guy did was disgusting and wrong, no doubt about it, but I think I would be more mentally scarred by the fact that my family were ashame of the fact I was abused and my mother actually went as far as to put a hit and a price on both my life and my boyfriends!

Generally I'm just really not sure about this book, I sympathise with the author but I think from a readers perspective I found it quite slow for the first 75% and often
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: abuse
This book was really heartbreaking. It's about this girl, Nabila and how she gets sexually abused by her religious teacher. She couldn't really tell anyone because if she did, no one would believe her since the teacher is the most respected man of the Muslim Community. I liked this book because it was interesting. I think anyone who read the book "Sold" by Patricia Mccormick (or any other books about sexual abuse) and they liked the book, will like this book as well.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-story, owned
a heart breaking biography..
Lady  Zainab
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A well written book,and an eye-opening account of the Author’s personal experiences of sexual abuse.

Brutal is a story of stolen innocence, manipulation, betrayal of trust, control, and abuse of power by a man who many in the Muslim community respected and trusted. Afterall, he is an Imam, and therefore, parents trusted hin with their children – that they would be safe in his presence and successfully fulfil the purpose for which they attended the Mosque in the first place; but he betrayed that
Etsha Sarnie
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nabila Sharma, seorang gadis asal Pakistan yang tinggal di Inggris berusia 7 tahun kala dia mulai belajar agama. Berawal dari “murid pilihan”, julukan yang disematkan pada Nabila karena dia selalu mendapat tugas spesial dari guru agamanya sehingga menghindarkan dia dari hukuman yang diterima oleh anak-anak yang lain, tetapi lama-kelamaan tugas spesial itu terasa aneh, sampai akhirnya sang guru agama melakukan perbuatan tidak senonoh pada Nabila. Nabila saat itu tidak mampu berbuat apa-apa, karen ...more
James L Bonine
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written and frank

I appreciate the courage it took this author to write in such retail what was perpetrated upon her by someone in a position of trust. She was able to convey the helplessness and shame felt at such an early age. Unfortunately, there were signs that something was wrong but the child did not feel safe enough to verbalize what was going on and so it progressively worsened over five years. Cultural norms played a part in the child not feeling free to reveal the sexual abuse and
Craig Rife
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such horrific child abuse!

This book was so hard to read because of the horrible things done to writer by someone you should be able to trust above anyone, your pastor, minister, priest, or any other holy man who leads you in whatever religion you practice. I had to keep laying this book down over and over because I would be getting so angry about the atrocities committed on this child and the ones who were supposed to protect their child but just swept it under the rug! Thank you, Nabila, for yo
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely heart wrenching. Not only did this "man of god" abuse his trust he stole Nabila's innocence, but also destroyed her faith and religion for her. she felt unable to tell her family because of the Muslim tendency to view it as shame brought on the family and felt utterly alone. Her mother didn't seem interested in her and was always too busy looking after the family. I hope this book helps others.
Shakira Dunkley
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
awesome , so touching yo
Amal Amalina
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: humanitarian
The storyline is monotone, slow and boring at first. The climax is a bit tad late.
However, I felt so angry with the main character.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Quite an upsetting read
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was a good book with a very heavy message. I can feel the struggle of Nabila throughout the book, i found it hard to read it since i felt so disgusted by the imam. After all, it is important to expose this paedophile cases to the society so they can get the awareness for their families and the communities. It is saddening that the little ones got treated like this, how can people have guts to take advantage of these weak kids.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wat een heftig verhaal! Wat zal Nabila zich eenzaam en alleen gevoeld hebben al die jaren. Zij moest machteloos dit misbruik door een gerespecteerd iemand binnen de moslim gemeenschap ondergaan, afschuwelijk. Knap dat zij uiteindelijk de stap heeft durven zetten om aangifte te doen en haar verhaal te vertellen!
Tracey Corbett
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is so sad. It also gives you an insight into the Muslim community and family life which if we are all honest, we don't know much about. This is about the betrayal of a little girl by one of the people she should trust the most. Then when this stops she has to deal with other problems... She is a true inspiration and this book is well worth a read, truly heart breaking.
Afinie Syahirunnisaa
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very good book indeed . I could feel her pain somehow . So girls, please stand up for your own rights , let your voice out , protect yourself even if there is no one on your side. But I dislike how the author doesn't show the beauty of Islam . That's all.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really don't want to disrespect the author in anyway but I really don't know what to say about this book I got very frustrated by it, but all negatively aside I do sympathize her, no child should go through that horrific ordeal.
Samantha Kukuljan
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very honest and heartbreaking autobiography.

There is a serious intertwining of the neglect from her family after the incident with the iman and the actual abuse.
Anni Bocus
May 16, 2015 marked it as to-read
how to read the books?
Dec 09, 2013 added it
Suck a good book but I wanted to find out if the imam went to jail or something..
Carrie Richards
rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2020
Barbara Paterson
rated it liked it
Nov 28, 2019
Suzanne Jones
rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2016
Brooke Chauncey
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2020
Kaye Mccauley
rated it really liked it
Dec 19, 2017
elizabeth weaver
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Aug 03, 2019
rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2019
Judi Wicker
rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2019
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