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Broken Pieces

(Memoir of Abuse)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  546 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Not easy subjects -- love, loss, sexual abuse, date rape, grief -- but real ones, told in pieces (thus the title). Broken Pieces is a work of non-fiction.

Poetry, prose, and essays to let you into one woman's life -- a searingly raw examination of topics most people avoid.

Already a #1 best seller on Amazon (eBooks) on Women's Poetry and Abuse, this book is recommended for
ebook, 116 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Rachel Thompson (first published December 19th 2012)
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Rachel Thompson Yes, I wrote Broken Places and released it in January of this year, actually! It's available in eBook format and print on Amazon. Thank you for…moreYes, I wrote Broken Places and released it in January of this year, actually! It's available in eBook format and print on Amazon. Thank you for asking, Pastor Dennis. (less)

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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  546 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Shari Ryan
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full of emotions I wasn't expecting!

Rachel's words filled my heart with pain, grief and happiness. Her stories teach us that life is a roller coaster, one we can't always stomach, but each drop and twist make us stronger, enough to teach and help others overcome and survive. That is what Rachel has done by way of using lyrical words in this compilation of soul-bearing stories. For anyone who has suffered from abuse, pain, loss, or fear, comfort can be found within this book. I highly recommend i
Chuck Briggs
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Forgive me for stepping outside of the tone set by the other reviewers. I’m interested in addressing you guys out there who may have stumbled across this book and read the description with a shudder. You should reconsider before moving on.

Years ago, around the time Rachel Thompson was being born, we used to joke: “Why don't women come with instruction manuals?” It sounds like the build up for a great joke, but I never heard the punch line. (Like a lot of people, I had to LIVE the punch line. A f
John Hancock
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Broken Pieces Review

Rachel Thompson

Some girls grow up being told that a knight in shining armor will save them, and slay dragons for them. But in the real world, sometimes the knight IS the dragon.
Then the princess has to find the knight within her to slay her own dragons.
This collection of essays, short vignettes and poetry evoke an emotional roadmap for the warrior Rachel Thompson had to become. It’s an intensely personal journey, at times both vulnerable and triumphant.
It is not an easy path
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had a strong reaction to this book, and frankly I think it would be hard not to. It was a difficult book for me to read for many reasons. The one that is actually about the book, and not a reaction to similar experiences in my own life, and the one I will discuss is the way it jumps around. While I understand it was a series of essays and perhaps meant to be displayed as fragmented experiences (aka Broken Pieces), my borderline OCD mind thinks in order and stayed somewhat confused during the r ...more
Dennis Sharpe
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Baring your soul... reading from your diary aloud... all your fears, pain, sorrow, anxiety… dealing with death… standing completely naked, bathed in stark light, in front of a judgmental public eye.

The author does this with a natural, stumbling, honest voice. She shares with us more than most are comfortable with ever sharing and does it in a formidable, “in your face”, way.

There isn't an easy way to explain the experience of reading this work. Much of it doesn't read easily. By that I don't mea
Michael Allan Scott
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
As a writer, I marvel at exquisite prose. And Rachel's prose dazzles, running the gamut from in-your-face to an angel's chorus—doing it eloquently. But this isn't just about her moving prose, it's about where Rachel takes you—her world.

It's a world of cages, flutters and tears of blood. It's touch and release, light and shadows, love and lovers and revealing her truth. A truth that isn't always soft and gentle and pretty, yet never fails to move you. I'm intrigued by her unique insights into th
Ben Ditmars
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most intense and honest books I have ever read. I have trouble putting into words how much it means to me. I can open up Broken Pieces and feel someone has truly been through hell and it puts my problems into perspective. On another level, I can relate to the pain of partners being unfaithful and how much it eats away at you. Rachel Thompson strikes deep into the reader's heart as she opens up her own. Her journey is not humorous but it is real. You will admire her strength an ...more
Jody Zimmerman
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rachel Thompson’s book Broken Pieces (Essays Inspired By Life) is a courageous effort to distill the most closely held, shameful, hurtful, damaging, abusive, and terrifying events in her life into something she chooses to share with readers. That something is an elegant, well-written collection of poems, essays, and narrative selections that reveal a woman who has confronted her deepest, darkest fears to not only survive, but to thrive.

Few people are fortunate enough to go through life without s
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read my full review @

My opinion: As someone who has known Rachel for almost a year in a professional setting, I have been amazed by her aura. A funny, sarcastic, bright and dynamic individual, Rachel is one that never ceases to dazzle.

I was shocked going into this novel because it showed a totally different side to this author. One that left me asking questions. I found it to be thought provoking in the sense that the essays were palpable with emotions that ranged the gamut
Diane S ☔
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 Very personal but a poignant grouping of essays chronicling life and feelings. Beautifully expressed, easy to identify with. One of my favorites was Locked Rooms and yes I believe most woman have these places in their heart.
Scott Bury
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Why do I feel the urge to type “Rachel S. Thompson”?

Broken Pieces breaks the moulds of confessional memoirs and is rightfully ahead in the polling for best non-fiction book of the year among the E-Festival of Words contenders.

Rachel Thompson is best known for her humourous observations of male-female relationships in her blog, Rachel in the OC, and her previous books, A Walk in the Snark and The Mancode Exposed. These books are short, snappy, definitely snarky. Funny, entertaining and usually d
Bojan Tunguz
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We all have many painful and even traumatic experiences in our lives, many of which come to shape us in ways that we are only partially aware of. They end up influencing our relationships and interactions, and can significantly shape our entire outlook on the world. Most of us don’t have the courage or desire to speak about them even to people that we are closest to. Going out of our way to actually write about them and make them available to the wide audience takes a particular kind of inner st ...more
Louisa Bacio
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Does it take more creative talent to make a reader laugh, or cry? It’s one of those age-old questions. Whatever the answer, Rachel Thompson possesses the writing chops to do both.

Readers may be familiar with Thompson’s humorous stories, and pervasive online presence, but in the nonfiction book Broken Pieces, she unveils another, darker side that’s just as powerful.

Child abuse, relationships gone bad, eating disorders, workplace harassment, suicide, redemption: it sounds like a laundry list of se
Dean Mayes
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Upon purchasing Broken Pieces, I thought that I would read it over a week or so and savor it as I do with most books. I started reading it after finishing a night shift at my hospital and I did not stop until I had turned the last page. And, when I lay down my reader, I sat back. I was stunned. I was moved and I was changed.

Rachel Thomson's series of essays, which examine the deepest and often darkest recesses of her life, are like a sucker punch to the stomach. Unflinchingly honest, even bruta
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The review was originally posted at Library Cat book blog.

This story captivated my heart from the very beginning. Actually, it’s not just one story, it is collection of many stories, many pieces. Each one of them is so unique and so touching. Every story is narrated by the very same voice, voice of someone who suffered in life, voice of someone who loved and desperately longed to be loved. The person behind the voice was hurt many times and every scar just made her stronger. Many men hurt her, w
Linda Strong
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This is a new author to me. From what I gather, this book is distinctly different from her other books which look like cozies.

Let me start with ... I read about half before I put it away. Broken Pieces, as far as I can tell, is Rachel's life ... written in very short chapters, each chapter is a recalling or remembering an abusive relationship she dealt with many years ago.

It starts with his suicide and her feelings of sadness, maybe a little relief, maybe a little guilt.
This is a personal journ
Darcia Helle
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First, I need to commend Rachel Thompson on her courage here. This collection of essays is intensely personal. She stands before us, raw and bleeding, fully exposed. We see her vulnerability in a way we rarely see another person, even those we consider close friends.

These essays are about heartache, grief, abuse, family, friendship, and love. While the content is largely dark, tragic, and sad, there is also an underlying feel of hope. The author doesn't ever give in to the beatings life hands o
Michelle Grogan
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I commend the author, Rachel Thompson, with taking this step into parts of her life and baring her soul in such an emotionally raw way...taking deeply life changing moments and putting it into words and feelings was extremely brave of her. From the moment I had the great fortune to be a beta reader to the moment I finished it, I couldn't put it down or tear myself away from the stories and poems that were so full of strong words, powerful emotion. Broken Pieces is a step away from Rachel's usual ...more
Kate Tilton
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Broken Pieces is like nothing I have ever read before. Broken Pieces is fragments of a life filled with unspeakable trauma and yet at the end has produced such an amazing person. My mother and I actually had a discussion about this book. The topics in this story are harsh, childhood sexual abuse, abusive relationships, anxiety, and suicide to name a few.

The full review can be found at
Kevin McLeod
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A tough subject for any author to write about. When the focus of the subject is the author herself it must have been even harder to write. The style of writing in short snapshots and poems works very well. I couldn't put this book down and I would recommend it to anyone out there not afraid to read something different that tackles a hard subject.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Broken Pieces is a love letter to herself as she processes the pain of her past dysfunctional relationships with men. This is non-chronological, and the short chapters read like journal entries. Rachel is vivid, expressive and honest with her own pain, the observations of what she has learned, and how she became a stronger woman. She explains how she was sexually abused as a child, how she was sexually assaulted in college and and often emotionally, physically and sexually abused by boyfriends, ...more
Roderick Low
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Every art form betrays something of the artist and, for writers especially, this is a given. In fact, writers are more than usually fortunate in that their opinions, prejudices, likes and hates, can be woven convincingly into their characters and the situations they encounter. But it is, above all, their creation and, whatever they write, they cannot entirely exclude `self' from the narrative. The writer's experiences in life inevitably shape their work.

But what if a writer sets out deliberately
Loren Kleinman
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Powerful autobiographies have been born out of the need to write to find healing. With the immediacy of the author the trauma is able to resituate itself and provide welcome therapy. In her latest prose collection, Broken Pieces, Rachel Thompson lays bare the “broken pieces” that make up a whole person—flawed, complex, and above all, real—proving that hope and growth ultimately triumph over tragedy and trauma.

“We fold our stories inside ourselves. We unwrap them when nobody is looking,” says Th
Brianna Soloski
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: female
Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson 5/5 stars

I was invited to beta read Rachel Thompson’s newest memoir, Broken Pieces, but life got in the way and I didn’t have a chance. Then I saw she posted on Twitter looking for hosts for her blog tour, so I signed up for February, figuring that would give me plenty of time to read the book and write a review. And now, here we are.

Broken Pieces is a series of essays that are raw and honest. Thompson delves into the rooms of our hearts where we hide our most im
Kristen Jett
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Do you know that feeling when you read something so emotionally powerful that you’re lost for words afterwards?

That feeling is what you get after reading Broken Pieces.

Broken Pieces is an emotional, raw memoir from Rachel Thompson. As soon as you are a few vignettes through, you’ll understand the poetic meaning of the title, which is just as powerful as the vignettes.

If you’re on Twitter, you probably know Rachel Thompson (@BadRedheadMedia or @RachelInTheOC). You’re accustomed to her snarky sens
Tracy Riva
Broken Pieces
by Rachel Thompson
Kindle ASIN B00AR0T74S, $4.99

It is rare when a writer puts so much of him or herself on the paper that you can see them bleed, but Rachel Thompson boldly steps out of the shadows and puts herself in the light that shows her wounds, her flaws, her heart and you can’t help but be moved.

This book was extremely hard for me to read, even though it is written in short, succinct bits. There is poetry mixed in with short stories that reveals for the entire world to really
Jim Moorman
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rachel Thompson makes a courageous leap from her normal fare to offer us Broken Pieces, a very intimate collection of essays that explore the darker crevices of her life. Themes of codependency, suicide, abuse, and what it took to not only deal but also rise above it and find joy in the present will have readers undoubtedly exploring and confronting a range of their own emotions along the way.

I read and reread Broken Pieces. Guiltily, I felt as though I was flipping through the pages of a diary.
Jamie White
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I want to preface this review by saying there may be some material in it that parents may feel is inappropriate. I do think there are valuable lessons, so if you have a teenager, you may want to look it over yourself and see if you are comfortable with sharing it. It could be a great teaching tool.

Rachel isn't new to publishing. She's mostly known for snark-filled collections dealing with the differences between men and women and other such topics. This time, she changed things up, delivering s
Ashley Farley
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Broken Pieces is a series of short passages, each no more than one or two pages long. You can read them all in one sitting or spread them out one by one. Some are written in first person and some in third. Some resemble a short story while others are more like poems. Although Broken Pieces is not your typical memoir, I felt personally connected to the author through her honest recounts of her past.

Rachel Thompson was molested by a friend’s father as a child, date raped in college, verbally abuse
Will Van Stone Jr
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some books you read and it stays with you long afterward because it is so well written. Sometimes it sticks because the story is so moving. And sometimes, a story stays because what you're reading is that fucked up. Well, Broken Pieces is all three and if you haven't read it, you're missing out on a new classic.

Rachel Thompson, author of The Mancode: Exposed and A Walk in the Snark. If you've read those and hope for more witty essays... well, maybe this one is not so much for you. Unlike her pre
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Rachel Thompson is the author of the award-winning, bestselling Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in both the Los Angeles and the San Francisco Book Festivals), and the bestselling, multi-award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She recently released her first business ...more

Other books in the series

Memoir of Abuse (2 books)
  • Broken Places: A Memoir of Abuse
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“She wondered If I had woken up, would I have smelled his sadness, his desperation, and his detachment?

His death, her breath.

He told her once, she remembers, these two words have no other rhyme but each other.

If she could go back, she thinks --

She would open her eyes, instead of her heart.”
“Women have rooms inside of us men cannot fathom.

It’s where we store the depths of the hurt we’ve been dealt.

Where we store the deep love we never want to lose.”
More quotes…