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Girl Unbroken

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  3,026 ratings  ·  251 reviews
In the highly anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestseller Etched in Sand, Regina Calcaterra pairs with her youngest sister Rosie to tell Rosie’s harrowing, yet ultimately triumphant, story of childhood abuse and survival.

They were five kids with five different fathers and an alcoholic mother who left them to fend for themselves for weeks at a time. Yet through it a
ebook, 416 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Linda C I was so sad for Norm. He never seemed to be able to break away from his mother. I think he was the favorite but she screwed him up too. I would like …moreI was so sad for Norm. He never seemed to be able to break away from his mother. I think he was the favorite but she screwed him up too. I would like to know his story...(less)
Regina Calcaterra Girl Unbroken was released on October 18th, so if you had ordered it before that date you should have received it by October 18th. Where did you order…moreGirl Unbroken was released on October 18th, so if you had ordered it before that date you should have received it by October 18th. Where did you order it from?(less)
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Average rating 4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,026 ratings  ·  251 reviews

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Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read "Etched in Sand" last year and had the privilege of meeting Regina Calcaterra when she came to meet with the book club that I belong to. The book was amazing and I was absolutely in awe of Regina. I have been eagerly awaiting Rosie's book and it is just as terrific. I got the chance to see Regina again when she spoke at my local library with Rosie on Skype. While both women suffered through abusive childhoods, they have managed to break the cycle of abuse to become positive,loving and suc ...more
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Girl Unbroken” is a truly horrific true story of one child growing up in multiple abusive settings. Rosie’s mother, Cookie, is mentally ill, an alcoholic and drug abuser, and reacts to anything with anger and anger brought out her violent side.

Cookie had five children by five different men. None of the men stayed in her life. The three older sisters escaped- I believe their story is told in “Etched in Sand”, Regina Calcaterra’s first book. That left Rosie and her older brother Norm to live on
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would have to say that this was not an easy book to get through! I had to keep putting it down. Unlike Etched in Sand, whereas I couldn't wait to see Regina overcome her hardships...Rosie's life was much harder to be a part of. It was very upsetting to say the least. Her life of abuse was disturbing. How a child lived a life of physical, mental and sexual abuse as she did is unspeakable. I kept reading hoping she would persevere. I'm glad I did! God bless this child/woman for overcoming a life ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this book through a Library Thing giveaway. And I am so thankful I was able to read this.
This is the horrible true story of a child's abusive childhood. Rosie was verbally and physically abused by her alcoholic mother Cookie her whole childhood. And when she was finally taken away and put into foster care the abuse continued there until Cookie kidnapped her back and forced her to move from place to place as her mother went through men. The abuse that Rosie endured was heartbreaking an
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Girl Unbroken is a sequel to Etched in Sand, the true story of five children who suffered the unimaginable from the hands of their mother. In Etched in Sand, Regina tells her story of abuse and survival. In Girl Unbroken, the youngest child, Rosie, portrays the horror of living with an alcoholic and disturbed "mother", Cookie. I have read both books and Rosie's story is even worse than Regina's (if that is possible) because she lived with Cookie most of her life. Rosie had no childhood. After le ...more
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I ever met the Calcaterra siblings, I would want to give them a big hug. Girl Unbroken is the story of a horrific and abusive childhood, written by Regina Calcaterra and Rosie Maloney. This is the followup to Regina's book, Etched in Sand.

Girl Unbroken is Rosie's story.

The Calcaterrra siblings, Cherie, Camille, Regina, Norm, and Rosie, were saddled with the worst mother ever. Cookie Calcaterra gave birth to five children, but that doesn't make her a mother. She was in and out of her children'
Cathy Branciforte
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
All I can say is wow, another amazing, un-put-down-able book by Regina Calcaterra, with her sister Rosie. It is hard to believe that the entire family has been able to lead normal lives after enduring the abuse that they did. Rosie's story is horrifying, especially how the system failed her so many times.
It's hard to say I "enjoyed" this book as much as it was an eye opening inside look into the life of an abused child and how much she endured and coped with the situation. Highly recommend.
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: x-read-in-2016
I think I read this entire book with my heart in my throat. I was waiting for something horrible to happen, I was hoping for something wonderful to happen--and it did. I have the utmost admiration for Rosie finding the will to survive, the strength to forgive, the hope to keep going, and people who make her happy. I can't even imagine the feelings one must have after telling a story like this and then setting it free in the world.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such a sad story of a young girls life. I cried for many parts of this book, it was heart wrenching. I am very proud of these women for having the courage to write about their terrible childhood. I know it will help future kids in the same situation.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Don't know how they survived....brought me to tears more than once. Incredible story.
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A powerful true story about a birth family. This subject
matter was not an easy read, but optimism triumphed.

Cookie, mother of 4 daughters & 1 son, had her offspring
by 5 different men. One of the fathers had Mob connections,
and was murdered once released from prison. Cookie had a
mental illness, addiction to alcohol and later an addiction to
prescription painkillers. Cookie didn't know how to nurture
children or to be a mother. She left her children alone for
months at a time. Her children went
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an autobiography of a young girl raised by a mom who had no business raising kids. It is unfathomable how some kids are failed by the system. This is one of those cases.

First, I loved the writing. Some of this had such an eloquent touch to it that pulled me right in and had me saying, "Wow". But then there were many moments filled with such tragedy and sadness, which seemed quadrupled because it involved children.....innocent little children. More safeguards are needed. I get that child
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Another sad memoir, this way gave a bit more detail into the lives of 2 of the siblings. Well written.
Cindy Roesel
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
We first met Cookie, a pill-popping, alcoholic with five children from five different men in, ETCHED in THE SAND: A True Story of Five Siblings who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island (William Morrow) by her oldest daughter, Regina Calcaterra. Her only son, Norman, was spared her abusive tirades that included calling her four daughters “whores’ and “sluts.” Cookie would beat the girls, 4-year-old, Regina received the most brutal, once being tied to a radiator for days. These parts o ...more
Kivalina Mauck
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read

Tear jearker so have a big box of tissues. Rosie I wish you and your sibliglings did not have to live through all this but you did. You are all my heros. I read both of the books written about your family. What you all went through and now you are survivors and have broke that chain. I am happy for you.
Kim Corry
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, gut-wrenching sequel to Etched in Sand. This true story had me thoroughly captivated. Oh how I wish it was just fiction. A must-read story of perseverance amidst the most unimaginable circumstances.
Gail Nelson
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gut wrenching and horrific tale about child abuse. Just when you think you've heard it all... Beautifully written as was Etched in Sand...
Jenny Smith
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is tough to stomach, but I had a hard time putting it down.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading Etched In Sand I was invested and immediately read this book next. As with Etched In Sand, Girl Unbroken was simultaneously hard to put down and hard to read. The torture and abuse these children went through is unimaginable. How they protected and loved each other and knowing they went on to become successful adults was the only way I could keep reading at times. Thank you to the courageous authors for sharing their stories.
Janice Mcquaid
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Probably 4 1/2. If you liked Etched in Sand, you will want to read this book about what happens to the youngest of Cookie's children once she no longer has the protection of her older siblings. It is brutal to read but Rosie's honesty and courage are truly admirable. It is so incredibly sad what many children have to endure at the hands of their parents. It is also disappointing and infuriating how the systems in place to protect these children failed them. As a teacher, it is always a good remi ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story goes along with Etched in Sand. The youngest sister, Rosie, tells what happened to her and her brother Norman after they are separated from the older sisters. Though Gi, the older sister, suffered heavily from her mother's abuse, Rosie's abusers, foster parents, mother, and mother's boyfriends, became very sadistic. The abuse was sickening and understandably left its mark on her. Tougher to read than Gi's story.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading Etched in Sand I could not wait to find out what happened to Rosie and Norm. So glad Regina and Rosie finished telling their story! They are strong courageous women and I admire them both!
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at The Book Wheel.

A couple of years ago, I read a powerfully moving book titled Etched in Sand. It’s the story of Regina Calcaterra and the abuses she and her four siblings endured at the hands of their mother and the utter failures of the foster care system. It’s a heartbreaking story that is hard to read but also showcases the power of perseverance. In her book, Calcaterra carefully protects her siblings by holding back on some of their experiences, partly because she was n
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Having read Etched In Sand, I was compelled to read Regina Cacaterra's sister's perspective. Having grown up myself in s severely dysfunctional/abusive home, I related to not only the story but to how each sibling would have gotten abused differently and also have a different perspective on events.
This book did not fail in filling in the details of the story Ms. Calcaterra began in Etched In Sand.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is not for the faint of heart. This young girl suffered terrible abuse and her story as I listened to it on Audible made me lose sleep, I was so upset. There is a lot of repetition from her sister's book, Etched in Sand. I hope this will help me in my work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem.
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sequal to Etched in Sand. It's being told by the youngest sister of a Long Island family. So many signs people did not see or just let slide in a system with too many cracks. If you see something, say something. Two books that should be read.
Paityn Dilsaver
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Girl Unbroken written by Regina Calcaterra is about the main character, Rosie who moves constantly and is abused by her alcoholic mother. But when she settles in Idaho everything changes and Rosie realizes many important things about her life that are missing. Chasing after all that's lost Rosie tries to pick up all the pieces left behind but it's not easy with her mother chasing after her.
Girl Unbroken is realistic fiction and I totally agree that this book belongs in this category. Realistic
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! It was just as good as Etched in Sand
Denise G
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book took my breath away and made me want to run and kiss all my kids. I had read Etched in Sand a while ago and this follow up was just as shocking and sad but well written and gripping. The writing style made it easy to read and although a disturbing account of horrific child abuse it was honest and true. I was rooting for Rosie to win since the first page! For Mrs. Maloney to come out of her childhood to the other side was amazing. Go Rosie!
Taylar Bryant
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because it showed how some moms can treat their kids really bad and not care for them at all. It also showed how some foster homes treated the kids. I didn't like how the step dad touched the duaghter and the mom didn't believe her and thought she was trying to steal him from her when she was only a minor. I loved at the end of the book how her high school teacher saved her from her home and took her in and showed her real love
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Regina Calcaterra’s memoir Etched in Sand, A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island (HarperCollins Publishing, 2013) is a #1 international best-seller and a New York Times best-seller.  As a result of Etched in Sand’s messages of resilience, optimism, the plight of foster children, that no child is a lost cause and how we can all positively impact the life ...more

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