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The Apology

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  886 ratings  ·  173 reviews
From Eve Ensler, author of one of the most influential works of the twentieth century--The Vagina Monologues--and one of Newsweek's "150 Women Who Changed the World," comes a powerful, life-changing examination of abuse and atonement.

Like millions of women, Eve Ensler has been waiting much of her lifetime for an apology. Sexually and physically abused from the age of 5 by
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  886 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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Ron Charles
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Eve Ensler was 5, her father started sexually abusing her at night while she lay in bed. As she grew older, he began beating her. She developed strange infections, suffered night terrors and began drinking.

Eventually, she broke away, and in 1996 she wrote “The Vagina Monologues,” one of the most celebrated plays of the 20th century. But before that, her father did everything he could to undermine her, humiliate her, poison her.

Although Ensler knew he never would, she waited for him to say
Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
I was so shaken .... I FELT HATRED towards a man I never met. REALLY HATRED ...
Eve saved me- I swear to God because I wanted to kill him.

I was sharing with a friend this morning about this book before I had finished it. (44 minutes to go my Audiobook said)....
My guts had already been pulled apart and so twisted inside me - I had physical pain.
I was getting anxious- worried about this book ending. I wanted and didn’t want it to end. Eve coming on to speak was a BREATH OF FRESH AIR!!!

The man —
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tough. Tough. Read.

After seeing Goodread's friend Elyes's emotional review on my feed this morning, decided to read this short work of non-fiction for myself and all I can say is....Whew! Am glad it's over!

What a monster! And I blame the mother just as much as "him" for staying in the relationship and allowing such tortuous and degrading treatment to her daughter.

To destroy a child's character and will through cruelty and violation all the way to causing hopelessness and self-destruction....

Elise (TheBookishActress)
It’s taken me a very long time to feel comfortable giving this any review, even a brief one. I think my take on this is that it did not work for me, personally. Much of it is simply a scree of evil countered by an apology for that evil. Reading the narrator’s abhorrent thoughts about his daughter, in particular, was almost too much. My realization, to be quite honest, was that for this, a sorry could never have been enough. Nor should it be.

I believe reading this at age 18 is perhaps very
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A devastating and extraordinarily brave act of reclamation, Ensler creates the apology she would have liked to have received by her abusive father, 31 years after his death. It is by no means an 'easy' nor enjoyable read in the strictest sense, but it does somewhat give one hope that - even if the abusers of this world who seem to be proliferating in the age of the Abuser-in-Chief, Kavanaugh, Weinstein, Lauer, etc. will never acknowledge their crimes - their victims can choose to relinquish the ...more
Rod Brown
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-real-books
Reviewed from an Advance Reading Copy.

My first thought is that I sincerely hope this book helps Eve Ensler to heal and helps others like her on their paths through trauma and recovery.

I'm a big fan of The Vagina Monologues, but this book with its conceit of an apology letter from her criminally abusive megalomaniac of a father is too odd, depressing, and difficult to digest. He is probably the most repugnant but eloquent narrator since Humbert Humbert. And while I understand this is the apology
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is an amazingly powerful book. I had to pace myself reading it so I could really let it soak in and just let myself feel it. Heart wrenching, emotional, and a testament to Ensler’s strength to have survived and to be able to write about the abuse she suffered. Everyone should read this book.
Judy G
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This writing was not at all what I expected even after I read her introduction to The Apology. The author is famous for The Vagina Monologues her writing about the destructive behaviors of men and women. When you read The Apology you understand Eve ensler fully and you or I cannot believe that she survived her life with her narcissistic father Arthur Ensler who was Jewish.
This is a courageous book even to undertake it is courageous. She has assumed a position speaking as him after he died 31y
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an ARC that I picked up at the Housing Works in NYC.
Powerful book in which the author imagines that her father who molested her at a young age, apologizes. Personally I think she gives him too much credit but if that helps her, who am I to say she's wrong. I'm sure it was cathartic for her to write it and it's a slim volume that can be read in one sitting if you choose. I especially liked the last line of the book.
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are books that you read for pleasure, books you read for information, books you read to learn and master a topic, books to just pass the time.

And then, there are books like this. Purgative, emetic, debriding, excruciating, searing, piercing, tearing, corrective, necessary.

This was not an easy book to read. I had to stop at times to catch my breath and more than once I wished that I could scrub off my eyes and brain of what I had just read. Having said that, I am glad that I read this
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A confession and an apology never made, imagined and delivered by an incest survivor. Is it the first of it's kind? Why arent there millions of these books? What a strange dirty little society of beasts we are where victims must quietly bear any and all consequence of their abuse for the sake of polite company.
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read, memoir-bio
I have no words.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction, memoir
A deeply moving and powerful account of abuse and betrayal at the hands of her father, Eve Ensler imagines the apology she'll never actually receive.

Full Book Review

"Our silence is our bond. The power of not telling, of not letting on, is the most ancient and powerful weapon in our arsenal."

My Thoughts...

What a TOUGH read. I'm so glad it's over, and I'm equally glad I read it.

There were so many times that I shut the book and had to physically walk away. I didn't want to finish it. I wanted to
Surabhi Yadav
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, reviewed
"In the ongoing #metoo movement, we have called out men. It is now time to call them in. I am yet to see a public apology by a man, which is deeply sincere and doesn't involve self-pity." - Eve Ensler said this during her book promotion.

In this book which is written from the perspective of the author's abusive father, she tries to address what an effective apology looks like. It is an imagined but an ideal apology note for all the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that he tortured that
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Somewhat a dissenting voice in the crowd of those who think that this book deserves the best rating, and it might be so. I am only presenting my view.
It is bold, brave, but also audacious and somewhat presumptuous with a lot of poetic justice on the POV.
It is sincere, visceral, but sometimes there are elements of purple prose or at least purple style, and I have to give the author the benefit of the doubt here as we do not know if it is her style that sometimes seemed excessive and too
Meghan L
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC through Goodreads giveaways, but this opinion is entirely my own.
This book is intense, and hard, and heart wrenching, and empowering, and so many other things. Eve Ensler found a way to dig into her knowledge of her father and herself and create a letter of apology from him to her, years after his death. He dealt her so many blows, loving her too deeply, then breaking her over and over.
This book should be labelled with a huge trigger warning. Sexual abuse, mental abuse,
Susie Dumond
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What an incredibly powerful and devastating book. After a lifetime of living in the shadow of her father's sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, bestselling author of The Vagina Monologues Eve Ensler took a journey into her father's psyche to write the apology she never received. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to enmesh herself in her father's perspective, to explore his motivations for what he did, and to relive the abuse she experienced. But the result is stunning. It ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
As an abuse survivor myself, my only question after reading this is:

If this man had the character to offer this apology, would he have been a man able to treat her this way?

Of course, the conceit is that 30 years of purgatory have given him the time to reflect. But it feels too much like putting her words into her mouth. I hope it helped her, but I'm left with the feeling that we'll never truly know why our abusers did what they did or how they felt while they were doing it. That's what makes
Elise Thanasouras
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Imagine if your lifelong predator wrote an apology to you. The raw emotion in this book was tough for all 112 pages. It’s hard to imagine what some parents can inflict on their own children. This had to be very therapeutic for Ensler to confront her predator father as she wrote this. Tough, raw and real.
chels marieantoinette
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot entirely personally relate to this book, but I’m sure so many can, which makes it that much more upsetting and important. In the midst of the #metoo movement, at a time when our worth as women is constantly questioned and our rights are put in jeopardy, this is the book we need. It’s short yet deep, ugly yet brave, and it’ll grab your heart, break it, and return it even stronger.
Allie Vera
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Graphic enough to make my stomach turn, but still worthy of praise as a powerful exercise in catharsis.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

No other words regarding this read. Her survival is a miracle. I didn't know if I could finish it. she is a miracle
Isabella Roland
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I am in awe! Every woman could probably read this book and relate, but certainly those with a troubled relationship with their father. I found myself having to put this book down a few times because of the content, but it is worth it to stick with it. There were definitely some tears shed. I think to see her go through her dad’s perspective while telling her own story was an amazing way to cover it. This book is the one that really made me realize I have to write my own story. At 24 I am ...more
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was far from an easy read... Beautifully written, almost with a poetic feel, yet a horrifying, raw, poignant account of the author's story in the form of an imagined apology letter from her now long dead father who was basically a criminal and abused her first sexually, and later psychologically, emotionally and physically in literally unimaginable ways. Those of us who grew up without having to go through any kind of abuse... And even those of us who experienced *some* form of *some* abuse ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
People who are abused rarely get an apology from the abuser. It sometimes helps to imagine the apology we wish we could receive. Eve Ensler has taken this concept further than most people ever will. She has far more empathy for her abuser than most people probably do, and more creative writing skill, so her book is amazing in its detailed emotional depth. I suspect that most abusers, if they actually did write an apology, would be more emotionally detached and defensive. Ensler is obviously ...more
Jul 22, 2019 added it
I don't know how to give this a star rating. It's astounding what Eve Ensler did here. She writes a long letter to herself in the voice of her father, who sexually and physically abused her for years, telling the story of his life, explaining why he did what he did, and apologizing. I don't know what words to use to describe what she's accomplished with this book... is it empathy? Understanding? I really don't know. I've definitely never read anything like it. A powerful read, but not enjoyable ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really don't know how to rate this book.

I should say - it's a horrifying read. While beautifully written, the account from her father's perspective made me feel sick to my stomach - as it should. I actually couldn't get through it.

This book is hard to read if you're not ready to. I wasn't - I just want to make this review to warn others of that, but to also thank the author writing such an honest, revealing and terrifying account of abuse.
Marcela Huerta
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brutal and essential reading
Kristen Majkut
This slim volume doesn't let you catch your breath in 112 pages. Eve Ensler (of the Vagina Monologues fame) imagines an apology letter from her sick, abusive father who never would have apologized in the first place. The dedication page is 'to all the women waiting for an apology.'

Beyond the most grim scenes of torture and sexual abuse, the author describes the horrific childhood of her father. She attempts to explain why he was so destructive as a parent. Ensler shares that her grandparents
Donna Hines
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An apology that was never received is finally offered by Eve to herself in this beautifully written and eloquently felt new work entitled, "The Apology."
The Apology is more than just forgiveness, it's empowerment, it's courage, it's strength, it's life.
For survivors of abuse it's about acknowledgement, validation, and moving forward in reclaiming a life that was stolen.
As a survivor of abuse myself I know this pain, I know this heartache, I know the emotional roller coaster but I also know
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Eve Ensler is an internationally bestselling author and an award-winning playwright whose works include The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body, Insecure at Last, and I Am an Emotional Creature, since adapted for the stage as Emotional Creature. She is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised more than $90 million for local groups and ...more
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“How much self-awareness does a life of privilege and entitlement afford the entitled? If you are birthed into a particular paradigm that serves you, what would compel you to look outside?” 1 likes
“Each admission here defies a blood vow determined long before my birth. An apologist is a traitor of the highest order. How many men, how many fathers ever admit to failures or offenses? The act itself is a betrayal of the basic code. It sprays shrapnel of guilt in all directions. If one of us is wrong, the whole structure and story come tumbling down. Our silence is our bond. The power of not telling, of not letting on, is the most ancient and powerful weapon in our arsenal.” 1 likes
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