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The Places Left Unfilled

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  38 reviews
My dressed up corpse and this secret; those were the two things I knew for certain I'd take to my grave."

Born to a single mother who would prefer she didn’t exist, Morgan has spent much of her young life in pursuit of one thing – a father. But when her close friendship with an older neighbor begins to attract suspicion, and connecting with her birth father isn’t at all how
Paperback, 374 pages
Published October 11th 2020
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a typical review writer. however, I wanted to give this book a review because of the material and the fascinating psychology behind the main story. Reading the book was a fascinating trip into a mindset of a horrible situation with a very different than "normal response". most people believe that they know how they would feel or how others would feel if faced with a very similar (however horrible) situation. I thought the actions and thoughts were detailed and very understanding given t ...more
Andd Becker
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Courageous memoirist
confronts demons.
Her brilliant writing
has transformative power
to help victims of trauma and abuse.
Melina Lobo
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
TW: sexual abuse, child abuse.
"My dressed up corpse and this secret; those were the two things I knew for certain I'd take to my grave."
Born to a single mother who would prefer she didn’t exist, Morgan has spent much of her young life in pursuit of one thing – a father. But when her close friendship with an older neighbor begins to attract suspicion, and connecting with her birth father isn’t at all how she imagined it would be, Morgan’s long-held hope begins to dwindle. That is, until, at
Merry Jelks-Emmanuel
Morgan is like most teenagers who is looking for a father figure in place of her real one. This gripping story draws you in from the start and has your emotions all over the place. You feel for Morgan and the choices she made and on the other end you want to castrate Bill for taking advantage when it is clear that Morgan needed a father figure not some one who appeared to be all the things that she needed to gain her trust and then abuse it in the end.

I received a free copy of this book via Book
Kelly Long
Sep 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a tough book to read because it's so sad yet this is an important subject for today's world. The ease that some of these adults have on manipulating young, vulnerable girls is frightening. The author is open and honest with her struggle with her feelings for and relationship with the predator. I hope writing this memoir was therapeutic for her.
Caley Brennan
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Running with Scissors, Abducted in Plain Sight, & illymation
[I was given a free copy of the book by the author in exchange for a review through Voracious Readers Only]

How are you supposed to know that you’re being sexually abused when your frame of reference for normal appropriate relationships? What if the person abusing you was also the only person in your that truly cared about you in your short life? These are the questions Cauley brings up in this memoir.

Since the age of eleven, “Morgan” (author’s pseudonym), has had to deal with an absent father a
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This memoir, The Places Left Unfilled by M.C. Cauley, is a raw and honest look at how the relationship between the abuser and the victim isn’t always recognised for what it is.

As a young girl, Morgan doesn’t have the ideal relationship with her father – or her mother, for that matter. Unsurprisingly, this leads to Morgan forming close relationships with other men who enter her life. One of these is with an adult neighbour, who she becomes close friends with. When suspicions arise and she is bann
Reader Views
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a memoir that reads like a gripping work of fiction, meaning that it has a plot, characters, arcs, conflict, and great dialogue. Although I love reading traditional memoirs, this one is told in more of a non-traditional way–more like a movie script or dramatic novel. As you read, you will discover that the main character, Morgan, is a victim of sexual abuse, and, although her later actions may surprise and shock you, it is common behavior with some child sexual abuse survivors.

What on th
Janalyn Prude
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the autobiography of Morgan a young girl who is struggling to grow up with an abusive mother and find herself Being groomed by Into Inappropriate relationships with older men and even her stepmother would laugh at inappropriate jokes.

Before I say why I didn’t like the book I want to see the reasons I did like it. Unlike most autobiographies I didn’t find Morgan play the victim in an over-the-top way. I find a lot of people that write their memoirs or autobiography Have this need to play
Rutuja Ramteke
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Born to a single mother who would prefer she didn’t exist, Morgan has spent much of her young life in pursuit of one thing – a father. That is, until, at the age of fourteen, Morgan meets Bill – her forty-five-year-old martial arts instructor.

At first a teacher and father figure who Morgan can confide in, Bill soon reveals that his interest in her isn’t entirely paternal. Despite her initial fear, Morgan craves the attention Bill is more than willing to lavish upon her, resulting in a several-mo
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Growing pains and changes fans
Recommended to Molly by: Free Booksy, the fussy Librarian
A bold statement describing a survivor - one who was scarred by abuse from her mom, erratic behavior and lack of respect from her biological dad

A testimony that finally gives credit to folks who have suffered assault or abuse, especially if they were groomed or courted, that mourning the impact and the loss of focused attention is ok, to be expected

In an adult domestic abuse cycle, we might describe the courting or grooming as part of a hearts and flowers phase of the abuse. There are many mode
Nebula Castelino
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vro
I'm not a regular memoir reader, but when I read the synopsis, something drew me in. Raw and honest, "The Places Left Unfilled" is one of those books that has left a permanent imprint. The ability of M.C Cauley to be brutally straightforward about her young life takes courage. Cauley's vulnerability compelled me to turn the pages even when I wanted to put the book away. It takes strength to reveal your innermost thoughts to a situation that usually depicted to have a black and white response. Th ...more
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book was so sad to read. I'm very glad that the author found the strength to express her story with the world and hopefully heal a little bit. This book is all about our main character, Morgan, who has a less than ideal home life. Her mother is abusive and her father is gone, leaving her step father in his place only he is as absent and abusive as her mother is. At age fourteen Morgan meets Bill her martial arts instructor. That is when things really start to go down hill for her. While Bil ...more
Brittany Walker
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyonw who read and liked My Dark Vanessa
Recommended to Brittany by: Netgalley
Raw, unsettling, Yet a masterpiece

This has been my favorite memoir of 2020! This book takes you on a journey of a young teen trying to make it through her trying life. Morgan, at only age 14 struggles with not only friend drama but also, grew up in a broken, abusive home. With men coming in and out of her life and her mother not only being physically abusive but mentally abusive as well, Morgan looks for comfort in the wrong hands. She soon finds herself in a so called relationship with a marri
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Through Cauley’s retelling I found myself cringing, wincing, even so far as physically distancing myself from this book when certain details were discussed, yet I recognized this was the author’s life and she did not have the opportunity to bail on the b-s. Regardless, I stuck with her and found myself unable to stop reading until the pages became vacant. This book feels like I am an anonymous figure who stumbled into a therapy session and couldn’t leave until I made sure the story teller was ok ...more
Joanne Ranzell
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Morgan's story touched me deeply. The very first sentence of the book sets the tone for what will be a memoir written with intimacy, vulnerability and strength as Morgan reveals the environment in which she grew up. I have often felt sad and helpless while reading, wanting to move through time and come and fill those unfilled spaces with listening and tenderness. But I loved the sense of humor of this young girl who, despite her wounds, finds a way to hold on to hope.

I have a lot of respect for
Mudrika baghela
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well I don’t have words to describe, how I’m feeling after reading this memoir. Author as a teen has suffered sexual abuse from her trainer at the age of 14. In fact she wasn’t sad of what she has suffered. She fell in love with him. She considered him as father,friend and lover. Children who don’t receive love of their parents, look for it outside. That love Morgan ( author) received from bill. Even her mother never understood her feelings which led Morgan to be inclined towards bill. She has s ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I review a lot of books, but never have a memoir so bare with me. I will start out by saying a received this book as an ARC in return for an honest review. I felt so many different emotions while reading this book. I felt so bad for Morgan throughout the book. Her mom does not sound like she was motherly at all, which made me really sad because moms are supposed to always be there for their children and love them no matter what. I didnt think highly of really anyone in her life. Morgan seemed to ...more
Sophie Francis
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting memoir taking us through the early teenage years of the author and the sometimes horrific events that occurred during those influential years. Her matter-of-fact narrative made the more gruesome aspects of her younger years even more devastating. I found myself gripped to her story right from the beginning, as I willed her to make different choices, and hoped that she would start to see the reality of her situation as it progressed. I tend to read at night, and after ...more
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not going to be for everyone as there are so many possible triggers in it as the author gives a candid description of life as a teenager being abused. Having no safe place to fall the author describes how a teenager looks for and accepts what they perceive as love wherever they can find it. This is a survivor’s journey.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Claire Herbaux
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
That is all there is to say.
If you do want a little more, there will be some small spoilers:
While there are many stories out there about abuse and neglected and used children, this autobiography is different in that it portrays grooming in a way people will truly understand the psychological meaning of it.
It is a term regularly used when describing paedophilia, but rarely does the true manipulation come through the way Morgan Cauley portrays it in The Places Left Unfilled.
Miss J Barton
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what an interesting but sad story. I think many teenage girls can relate to Morgan here in some ways, which makes it all the harder to read. What if that teacher we fancied reciprocated those feelings? I love how she has dealt with the events in her life and been truly honest about her feelings. A truly great read about an amazing women!
Alanna C
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Places Left Unfilled left me with so many different emotions. I laughed, I cried and felt like I was right there at times.

This book is beautifully written and shows so much vulnerability. It’s raw and hard to read at times, but it’s worth it for the understanding of this survivor.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Cristie Underwood
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This brutally honest account of what leads a young girl from a troubled home to find comfort in an older man sexually is a must read. The author's honesty about what led her to trust her abuser and the voids in her life that helped him take advantage of her is eye-opening. ...more
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Child sexual abuse is always "done" to the child. It is very hard to read and accept that the child can actually be manipulated in to actually wanting a relationship with their abuser.
A Frank and insightful memoir of how Morgan fell for her abuser. How he not only manipulated her but others as well.
A bold book. I would recommend that anyone who works with young adults reads, so they could be aware of situations like these.
Mrs. Staci
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Seriously couldn't put it down. Seriously brave. Seriously talented writer. Seriously heartbreaking. Seriously real and raw. seriously read it you won't regret it!
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a powerful memoir that shows the true bond that sexual abuse victims can have with their abusers.
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the eARC I received in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This one was a tough one for me.

I would like to use it in my classes because I think the author does an amazing job painting a picture of how predators groom vulnerable, hurt kids who need affection and approval.

I would not like to use it in my classes because the writing itself is not very good. It’s not vivid or expressive, the language isn’t strong. To me, this is a case of a memoirist
Happy Booker
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
The places left unfilled is a memoir written about Morgan and her life in pursuit of finding her father. As luck would have it, she befriends a neighbor; however, the connection does not bode well, and things only begin to shed some light when she meets a guy named Bill, who is a 45-year martial arts instructor.

The memoir is beautifully written and settled on a subject that could be controversial for some. Morgan is only 14 when she meets Bill, and the sexual relationship between them is illegal
Rebecca Nagrodski
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
While I really, really don't want to minimize the honest story of trauma told in "The Places Left Unfilled", I have to say the book gave me a very distinct fanfiction vibe.

For most of your book, it didn't feel like we were being given access to Cauley's thoughts and hindsight. I would have loved to have learned more about her healing process; but unfortunately that journey and the work that she was forced to take was very quickly skimmed over. This was a shame - because in the rare glimpses of
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