Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Unbroken: One Woman's Journey to Rebuild a Life Shattered by Violence. A True Story of Survival and Hope” as Want to Read:
Unbroken: One Woman's Journey to Rebuild a Life Shattered by Violence. A True Story of Survival and Hope
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Unbroken: One Woman's Journey to Rebuild a Life Shattered by Violence. A True Story of Survival and Hope

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  70 reviews
"For many years after that night, my memories of what happened after he held the blade to my throat and threatened my life were fragmented . . . difficult to piece together. It was too extreme, too violent for me to understand."

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
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2017 by John Blake
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Unbroken, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Unbroken

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  151 ratings  ·  70 reviews

Sort order
How can I review that book? How can I rate it knowing that it isn't a fictional story but a true account of what happened to Madeleine Black? And the answer is that I can't, not really, all I can do is try to put in writing how much that book made me feel. It is harrowing, it's heartbreaking but it's also full of hope and love. Madeleine Black went through so much trauma, experienced so much pain and hatred, hatred inflicted by others and herself, but still she managed to turn all that that happ ...more
Lucy Hay
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very special book. Told with searing honesty, it can be hard going at times but this is no 'misery memoir'! There is no voyeurism here, but rather a profound and moving account of one woman's journey from guilt, shame and anger through to forgiveness. I can recognise so much of the trauma Black describes and she inspires me to continue telling my story; she's also given me much to think about, especially with reference to bodywork and breath work, as I struggle with somatic features too. She i ...more
Louise Beech
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's very difficult to put into words the impact this book had on me, on so many levels. It is raw, beautiful, powerful, difficult, but ultimately uplifting. Madeleine Black has used her own violent experience to create something quite magical - a book that is dark and yet shows what the human spirit can achieve. Really, read this.
Susans book review
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
unbroken is a true story it was heartbreaking and sad, she talks about what happened to her and how she coped and dealt with it
i was hooked loved reading it and made me cry in parts
Bob Boze
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the acknowledgement section of Unbroken, Madeleine Black refers to it as her memoir. Amazon also lists it as a memoir but, if a book ever deserved its own category, this is it. Were it up to me, I would start with: Messages that everyone must read. Whatever category you care to put it in, mandatory reading for men, women and, especially parents, needs to be added.

The cover of the book will quickly tell you that it is the story of the author’s life. Of her being beaten, abused, raped and near
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a difficult book to read at times and an even more difficult book to review. It isn't one you can enjoy, the graphic description of what Madeleine went through at 13 years old would sicken anyone. I'm sure writing the book was cathartic for her and it will be a help to anyone who has been through a similar experience to know that you can survive and move on.
It's difficult to voice any negatives about such a horrific story but I did find the editing strange at times, particularly towards
Sian Steen
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a very difficult read, but also a very important one. Moved me to tears.

I noticed another reviewer mentioned that the writing style is very straightforward, which makes it even harder to read, and I couldn't agree more.

I don't think there's much of a need to expand on the contents of the book here, as the blurb explains it very well (the full title is also very apt).

Not for the faint hearted.
Justine Sharp
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of the most thought provoking books I've ever read. I had to constantly remind myself the it was a true story and not a work of fiction. As a mother of girls to read about the trauma of a teenager was scary and my heart went out to Madeleine. Thank you for sharing your experience and I'm so glad you've come out the other side such a strong person xx
Karen Cole
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unbroken is far from an easy read, I had tears streaming down my face for much of it. It's a story that elicits a whole range of emotions, among them deep anger because what Madeleine suffered was horrendous. Nobody should ever have to go through that sort of trauma, least of all a teenage girl. As the mother of three daughters, two of them teenagers, I found parts of this memoir very difficult to read. However, just because a book is distressing doesn't mean it should be shied away from; on the ...more
Barbara Carter
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you are looking to learn more about what happens to a teenage girl after she’s violently raped, this book is for you.
Madeleine takes you on the journey of how that violence changed her, how it silenced her, but in the end how she healed and became free.
Most importantly, this is a story of hope and inspiration for others.
Especially to those who have suffered trauma.
It speaks of what I too believe is the best revenge: not letting the past destroy you, or ruining the rest of your life. Because
Livia Sbarbaro
A Story of Courage...Hope ..and a Remarkable woman...

This is the story of a beautiful girl...thirteen years old ..naieve and easily led astray as we all can be at that age...but what happens to her changes her ..almost destroys her..raped, beaten spat upon degraded and almost killed by two cowardly vicious thugs...then locking the memories away ending up in a cycle of self doubt ..then going through this again...I cried I raged for Madeleine.. Some people sail through is a woman who
Heather Hill
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the Most Important Books I've Ever Read

I feel compelled to begin my review of Unbroken by addressing some of the comments I've read from readers leaving poor reviews and reproaching the author for not bringing her attackers to justice. Let us all remember that this is the true story of the very brutal and terrifying rape of a thirteen-year-old girl. I am, sadly, certain that the world is full victims of abuse and rape who never have and never will speak out about it for varied reasons, wi
Linda Hill
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Being abused and broken in the past does not have to define negatively who we are in the present.

My goodness Unbroken is a powerful read. It’s not for the fainthearted as Madeleine Black is uncompromising in her descriptions of what has happened to her in the past. It is this bald honesty that makes Unbroken such a compelling and frequently quite horrifying read. Madeleine Black’s style is focussed, simple and clear with no mealy-mouthed and obfuscating euphemisms. She tells things as they reall
NJ Gatehouse
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has been on my bookshelf for a few months. As a survivor myself, I knew I had to be in the right frame of mind to handle it. As expected, the descriptions of what the author went through were harrowing and caused me to have many flashbacks of my own past, however what really struck me was the continual thread of hope that wove it's way through even the most violent moments. From the very start, it was obvious that this is a story written by a survivor - even during the descriptions of ...more
Kelly (purplebookstand)
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Wow, what an amazing read. Unbroken absolutely consumed me, I couldn't put it down once I'd picked it up. It took me through a whirlwind of emotions and feelings, my heart broke in places and reading became difficult but I'm so glad that I read it to the end.

It's true that people shouldn't be in the position where they have to write a story of their survival through horrific ordeals. Sexual assault is wrong full stop, but especially the assault of children. That said, if the positivity
P Rao
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's unputdownable! Gripping you with angst, connecting you in pain and dejection, pulling you out with sheer grit and mental strength that is latent in all of us...its a must read as much for girls as for the boys! Sexual abuse that is rampant across the globe...majorly behind the dark alleys and closed actually a very serious psychological disease that needs immediate handling! For the same reason...the real 'victims' are those perpetrating it on their vulnerable preys...and not vic ...more
Alfred Nobile
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a privilege to read this book. The story of a woman, who after being raped at thirteen years old, refused to let it define her. She is left traumatised, feeling guilty and believing it to be her fault she was raped. These and a myriad of other feelings leave her traumatised.
This is story of her journey from being Madeleine, raped at thirteen to Madeleine the woman; she is not defined by her rape but is a woman who who learns to accept, process and ultimately forgive her attackers.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The most heart wrenching yet compelling read, so much courage and bravery displayed in the pages of this book. Once I had read the 1st few pages I literally had to keep reading and although deeply moving and heart wrenchingly descriptive it was a book I found I couldn't put down. A highly recommended read filled with positivity and forgiveness
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Here is my review of Madeleine’s book.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was quite a difficult read as it was graphic in places but I knew it would be after reading the synopsis.
Madeleine had to endure several awful assualts which no one should have to endure or experience.
She tells her story holding nothing back and I think the reader has to acknowledge this.
Philippa Mckenna
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of the most powerful and moving memoirs I have ever read. Madeleine Black was brutally raped at the age of just 13. A word of warning - the rape is described graphically, so much so that the author includes a warning message just before the scene is described. Madeleine tells her story with such grace, you can't help but feel incredibly inspired. Her journey through her teenage years and much of her adult life takes her to the point where she is not only able to come to terms ...more
Katie Sharp
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was rather apprehensive about reading this book. Knowing it was a true story and about rape, I knew it was going to be a difficult one to stomach. I am so glad did though.
I have learnt so much from it, mostly that out of something truly horrific can come such good. At times I felt physically sick reading the accounts of her ordeal but how she overcame her trauma gave me so much joy and hope. This woman is a true inspiration to us all and her telling this story will help so many others.
Christine Owens
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's hard to imagine how anyone could cope with what happened, let alone a 13 year old girl. The author takes you on her journey revealing the most awful details of the crimes committed against her that night and others. She writes movingly about how she withdrew from her family and how she felt nobody listened or understood why she was behaving the way she was. Nobody asked that all important question . As a reader you go through so many emotions, including immense anger and horror at what she ...more
Sean Talbot
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, read-2018
Will post full review on blog this is one of the toughest books to read. don't get me wrong it is well written there is some around where I got lost a bit but this book really is an eye opener
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Time taken to read - read in one sitting

Pages - 288

Publisher - John Blake

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

"For many years after that night, my memories of what happened after he held the blade to my throat and threatened my life were fragmented . . . difficult to piece together. It was too extreme, too violent for me to understand."

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
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is not only heart breaking at times but also an inspirational and powerful read.
I have never read a book that has gripped me as much as this one. Shocked and sadden, were just a couple of the feeling I had by reading what happened to Madeleine, I also and found her strength admirable.

Madeleine was gang raped at the young age of 13. The book covers her journey from that moment to the strong, courageous women she is today. Half way through Madeleine explains exactly what happened that n
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, found hard to put down.
This tells the true story of how a woman healed the effects of a brutal rape. How she chose forgiveness and went onto live a fulfilling life in spite of the trauma. Anyone involved in rape cases should read this to help them understand how trauma affects a persons life, that it does have dramatic consequences even for those who may appear to be fine and were able to eventually heal.
Would highly recommend this book.
Victoria Telfer-Smith
This is a great book, full of courage and resilience. It shows how the author survived a brutal attack and then, through self healing, had a wonderful life. It is inspiring and full of hope. Madeleine has proved that the human spirit can heal after violence and abuse. I thank her for her honesty in being brave to share all that happened to her. I recommend this book to all readers, whether you have faced trauma or not.
Liz Moffat
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A difficult story to read but one which should be read by women and men alike. This is no misery memoir, Madeleine Black is not miserable but living a happy and successful life with a loving family. Gang raped at age 13 she blanked out the memory of the night and was too ashamed to think or talk about it. But that was the way she eventually changed her life. This is a story of love and forgiveness.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Unbroken is Madeleine Black's real life account of being gang raped. This book is incredibly raw, honest and I have huge admiration for this author for being able to document so clearly her thoughts and feelings about this horrendous sexual assault when she was just thirteen-years-old.

This book pulls no punches and I'll be honest in saying that it was an incredibly difficult read. This was not due to how it is written, as the book flows beautifully and, I could clearly hear Madeleine's voice in
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

The sharing of her story opened many doors for Madeleine in ways she never imagined and the invitations started to pour in.

She has taken part in both TV and radio interviews and has been invited to share her story at conferences, events and schools.

She recognises that she was a victim of a crime that left her silent for many years, but has now found her voice and intends to use it. Not just for
“We are not defined by what knocks us down - we are defined by how we get back up” 1 likes
“We are not defined by what knocks us down - we are defined by how e get back up” 0 likes
More quotes…