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Broken

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Finalist for the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform its face. Death becomes its withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.” When William, a young journalist, seeks out Elizabeth, an acclaimed author, in hopes to write her biography, the recluse grants him twenty-four hours to hear her story. What unfolds are a w Finalist for the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform its face. Death becomes its withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.” When William, a young journalist, seeks out Elizabeth, an acclaimed author, in hopes to write her biography, the recluse grants him twenty-four hours to hear her story. What unfolds are a wide range of traumas that teeter on the edge of macabre and psychological thriller. While toggling the lines of insanity, Elizabeth examines her neglect, rape, abuse, torture, and pedophilia-filled past. The more Elizabeth delves into her psyche, the more William witnesses the multiple mental conditions Elizabeth developed to cope with a life without love, comfort, protection, trust, physical human contact, affection, therapy, or medication. With the use of existentialism, I wrote Broken in an attempt to philosophically determine what I had become and why. Instead, I found the awareness I needed to seek help. Broken is the road map I took to arrive at "Awareness."


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Finalist for the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform its face. Death becomes its withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.” When William, a young journalist, seeks out Elizabeth, an acclaimed author, in hopes to write her biography, the recluse grants him twenty-four hours to hear her story. What unfolds are a w Finalist for the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform its face. Death becomes its withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.” When William, a young journalist, seeks out Elizabeth, an acclaimed author, in hopes to write her biography, the recluse grants him twenty-four hours to hear her story. What unfolds are a wide range of traumas that teeter on the edge of macabre and psychological thriller. While toggling the lines of insanity, Elizabeth examines her neglect, rape, abuse, torture, and pedophilia-filled past. The more Elizabeth delves into her psyche, the more William witnesses the multiple mental conditions Elizabeth developed to cope with a life without love, comfort, protection, trust, physical human contact, affection, therapy, or medication. With the use of existentialism, I wrote Broken in an attempt to philosophically determine what I had become and why. Instead, I found the awareness I needed to seek help. Broken is the road map I took to arrive at "Awareness."

30 review for Broken

  1. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    Q: “I’ll give you until dawn. Whatever you ask of me, I’ll answer. Whatever you wish, I’ll consent.” (c) Q: Fear. In most people, it provokes a response to run. ... I will make you cum and then I will run. That is what I was trained to do. My brain is programmed this way. My body is conditioned this way. Fear is my trigger. This is what I am. Fear. This is what I have become. This is my defense. You asked for my story. I will tell you exactly how I came to be like this. (c) Q: Welcome to my nightma Q: “I’ll give you until dawn. Whatever you ask of me, I’ll answer. Whatever you wish, I’ll consent.” (c) Q: Fear. In most people, it provokes a response to run. ... I will make you cum and then I will run. That is what I was trained to do. My brain is programmed this way. My body is conditioned this way. Fear is my trigger. This is what I am. Fear. This is what I have become. This is my defense. You asked for my story. I will tell you exactly how I came to be like this. (c) Q: Welcome to my nightmare. (c) A very dark tale of a very wounded soul (and body!) on the way to healing and back. Sometimes it's difficult to come back from the trauma and the author makes a perfect job of describing it. Stunning. There is no other word for it. I started this year with another heart-rending book and the only regret I have about this book is that I should have read it on the 31st Dec. This might have been a perfect ending of a reading year, ending it like it started, with thoughts of human suffering and the will to persevere the impossible. Q: I hated checking my voicemail. I associate it with matters of importance and nothing ever was. Such a pain. I also hated guests, change, interruptions, and the feeling I got when someone came to my door. Anxiety, terror, then the arousal. I wanted him to leave and afterward I would indulge in a bit of fantasy. (c) Q: I knew where I was. It had been too long. I blinked back the image and tried to clear my head. I had to remember which world I was in. (с) Q: If I were alone right now I would descend into the bowels of my mind and, this time, I wasn’t certain I could come back. There was less and less reason for me to. (c) Q: “The life I’ve lived, you think it’s something to admire, to aspire to? You think I hoard romanticism within my silence?” ... “There are those whose lives are hell,” I said. “Hell barely begins to explain what I have lived. The books I wrote were buried beneath the endless screams. Most days, I can not write or think or breathe over the screaming in my head.” ... “I want to bury this inside me,” I said. “You must understand. There is a part of me that always longs for death. There are days, it hurts too much. I can not get angry. I can never be angry. I won’t allow it. I’m afraid of what I will do if ever I get angry.” (c) Q: I did want to release this poison inside of me. Something longed to put it out there. I ached to be heard. I had tried so many times before. (c) Q: Oh, how I longed to be heard just once. Perhaps that was why I always spoke my mind. I was tired of not being heard. (c) Q: The inner-most thoughts of our psyche. Those are the words we keep secret. (c) Q: Endurance teaches us one thing, if nothing else: to savor the calm after a storm. To savor the lives of those who survived. (c) Q: “I have a fear of relationships,” I began. “When I love, I love easy, deep, hard, strong, and long. But I can not marry. I can not live with anyone. I can not accept gifts from anyone or let anyone close enough for intimacy. (c) Q: Know what I am, so when I flirt and smile and play with you, you’ll know exactly what my intentions are. ... I can not be owned or possessed. I will stray. I always stray. (c) Q: Every word I speak is with the intent to relax you, to woo you, to draw you in, to make you love me, so I can weaken you, kill you, and run. That is what I am. (c) Q: My smile forever glows in my eyes and I know it. Too many men have told me this. I’m lethal. (c) Q: I wear my soul in my eyes. Everything in my life primed me for the next event good or bad. Every event left me in the mental state I needed to be in to enter and maintain the next stage. If something had altered at any point along the way, then maybe I stood a chance. But it didn’t. One train wreck prepared me for the next train wreck, which only prepared me for the next train wreck until I had inevitably become what I am before you. (c) Q: My mother was beautiful, but insecure, and she boosted her lack of confidence with boasting and bragging. Every story was embellished. Every truth, exaggerated. The rule with my mother is simple. Believe nothing. (c) Q: Electricity is loud. Did you know? When we had power outages, the peace from the forest would seep in and blanket the house in perfect, beautiful silence. (c) Q: Up there with the wind and the trees, I found me. I could slip so easily into the elements and feel them move through me. It felt like I could really fly and wanted, so badly, to jump, to try. ... There, in my glen, I was home. That is the only happiness I remember. (c) Q: As a child, all I saw were the monsters. (c) Q: I learned my most priceless lesson of all from that place. I learned how to teach myself. ... Hand me a book and I could do anything. (с) Q: It felt good being independent and I loved it. Space. That was something familiar to me. That was something I could understand. Before my first kiss, I prized my solitude and had learned to associate safety and security in isolation. (c) Q: “Over the next eight years, music was the frequency I rode on to carry me through my darkest days.” (c) Q: “I’m going to kill you! I’m going to fucking kill you!”You can hear that only so many times before you believe it. During those times, I slipped into my worlds. The more I read, the more worlds came to me. I added a subterranean lake that was illogically bathed in moonlight to my list. Those worlds—that lake, the room with the onyx cats, and Ireland—they all became very real to me. Much more real than the life I lived where a monster threatened to kill me on the other side of the door. (c) Q: I kid you not. I knew a Dolores Umbridge. (c) Q: I learned to take very little. I learned to want nothing more. I learned something else during those nights. When all the world slept, a new silence settled into the forest. With candle in hand and dressed in gowns of gossamer, I would slip out into the night and dance to the sound of silence. Barefoot, I would spin then lay in the cool grass in a strip of moonlight. I would lie there all night and gaze up at the stars, so silent, so clear there in the wood, and so, so far away. I lived between worlds. The war, my reality, my hell and this world in the forest of fantasy. And I’m stuck. I can’t go back. I forever toggle between two worlds and one is ever so much more real to me than yours.At night, beneath the moon, I didn’t need my worlds to escape. I only needed to open my eyes and see the world as it was. Quiet and calm and at peace, just as I still see it. I escaped through my music and wrote poetry to ease the pain…and letters. I poured so much of my heart into the letters I wrote to Erik, who I could see so easily on the other side. I still have them. Every letter I ever wrote him. During those times, when the world was dark, Erik became more real to me than anything else. He was quiet. He listened. He held me in the silence. He played his violin for me. And he loved me. When I cried, I closed my eyes and felt him envelope me. Only Erik and the cats ever came. No matter how long and loud I cried, my parents, no one ever came. I was fourteen. I was alone and all I wanted was for someone to love me. (c) Q: My father had started counting every penny he put into me. Every dime. Every dollar. He couldn’t give me a gift or hand me food without telling me how much I took from him. How selfish I was. How much my existence cost him. I had decided that I was worth exactly a dollar and if my father had to choose between the dollar and me, he would choose the dollar. TV was far more valuable. (c) Q: I slipped in and out of worlds that weren’t there. I wrote letters to fictitious characters. I was passing into catatonic states more times than not. It required a concerted amount of effort to keep myself here in this world. I was a runaway. I tried to slit my wrists. I was clinical, and I knew how to hide my condition. (c) Q: I smiled to hide the hell I lived. I smiled to hide the darkness. On the surface, I smiled and grinned and laughed. I had mastered my emotions. What emotions I feel, I allow. No one suspected my wars. (c) Q: Online predators have mastered the art of sitting back and scanning a forum for a “target.” They look for females who brag and boast: first sign that the target is insecure. Then they move in and feel her out. They ask about her: what she likes, what she hates. Insecure people often and easily talk about themselves when barely coaxed. Within five minutes, a predator can determine if the target is close to her father or not. You absolutely want a female who has daddy issues because if the “pinch and grab” is to work, the predator must segregate the child from the parent as soon as possible. If the female has a good relationship with her father, this can never happen and the predator knows it. The female with a healthy parental relationship will confide in the father they trust and the father will move in to protect. The pedophile does this all while appearing sincere, genuine, loving, and affectionate. They compliment the target. Tell her things…like how smart or how beautiful she is. While they shower her with praise, they reinforce one message. “I accept you. I approve of you.” In truth, they are literally making notes as to what the target desires, dreams, and wants. They listen and reciprocate. The first three days are crucial for selecting a target. It’s all about trust and earning it fast. Time is of the essence. ... On day one, you want to select a target and study their wants, loves, hates, and weaknesses. Make an agreement to meet next day, same time, same place. This establishes a sense of dependency with the target. ... Shower with praise and develop a sense of acceptance. Make a request and watch her obey. Punish her with rejection. Reward with approval using gifts and compliments. All of this is impossible if a daughter knows her father loves her, and she isn’t needing the acceptance from others. (c) Kids should be warned about this. Q: I don’t remember what we talked about. I remember blushing and smiling a lot. We were there only an hour, and he made me feel more loved than I had ever known in my entire life. ... I signed off, smiling like a hyena on morphine. I couldn’t stop smiling. He had me. Already I was willing to give him anything all because he would accept me. I should be so lucky. I was only worth a dollar, after all. (c) Q: Women have a sense about themselves. There are certain vibes they can feel. They just know. It’s survival instinct we were born with and mine was going off like a bean si on coke. (c) Q: Books. More books than I had ever seen in my life. I gasped and crawled to my knees. I couldn’t breathe. Books galore. Music books, philosophy books. Math books. Geometry. Opera scores, logic. I sobbed and cradled the books. I hugged them to my naked chest and I cried. I smelled them and touched their spines. I remember how violently my fingers shook. I buried my nose in their pages and wept. Never had I ever held so many books in my life. And they were mine. All my very own. The orgasm still riddled my body. It had barely begun to fade. One orgasm ended, but the euphoria was just beginning. (c) Q: “Don’t open the door,” Angel said. “Not for anyone.” (c) Q: I devoured books, drank words, studied everything I could get my hands onto.  I bounced between music, logic, theology, history, literature, and art. (c) Q: “I am aware of my alternate worlds,” I said. “I am aware that I may have bits of my personality organized into neat little packages called Ian, Angel, and Erik. And the psycho addiction I have to my cats...(с) Q: Between that weekend and my father, I would never willingly accept another gift from anyone ever again. Gifts were a unique branch of manipulation used to provoke guilt. I hate receiving gifts. A gift is owed debt and I had a back log. (c) Q: I remember dying a slow, painful death, the kind that leaves you hating the world. I was like a worm. I wove myself a cocoon of dragon scales and there I stayed. ... I shunned emotion, hated all, and embraced logic. I was cold and callous. I had given up. While the trees withered and died, so did I. I turned my heart to stone that autumn. (c) Q: I had learned to love smiling. I smiled, made eye contact. I was sincere. I still am. I had no qualms looking someone in the eye, smiling, and saying, “Hi. I like you.” It was my way of branding them “friend.” It’s something I practice to this day. If I love someone, I waste no time in telling them. Life is too short. (c) Q: Dancing had sculpted my body into an 80-pound solid mass of muscle, and the endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin fueled my permanent state of genuine happiness. Truth is, I was so relieved to be away from Scott that I couldn’t help but smile. It became my habit, my MO, I simply fell in love with smiling and laughter, and once I had reason enough to be happy, I couldn’t stop. (c) Q: A person is not defined by their choices when the world is right, but by their choices when the world goes wrong. ... I think this is what Richard taught me. Shaun taught me to fight. Piss-ant taught me standards. Joe taught me endurance. Scott taught me to persevere and keep a cool head. Richard taught me to own my choices, good or bad. (c) Q: Two weeks before Christmas, Richard developed a strong belief that if he couldn’t sleep, then I shouldn’t sleep. (c) Q: “...I had dragons sleeping within,” I said. “Dragons I didn’t know were there. And nothing awakens a sleeping dragon more like happiness and all things good.” (c) Q: I remembered. I had thrown it away all those years ago when I closed the lid of my piano and walked away. Music had been the largest line that tethered me to my pain and the first of the lines I killed to ease the hurt. (c) Q: My music had been my solace and I lived without it for ten years. (c) Q: In trying to determine where that breaking point was, they actually toughened me up for anything they could dish out and I learned to loosen up and take it. I learned to ease up and laugh. ... They taught me to truly throw my head back, laugh, and enjoy life. (c) Q: I slid back into my mind and slid once more to my worlds. The wind and the green of Ireland flooded back to me and the clouds moved in from the sea. I threw my head back to the skies and smiled. I could hear the stream nearby and wasted no time seeking it out. She called to me and I listened. I found the stream and I followed through the wood. How I missed my forest, my cottage, my realm. How I wished for nothing else, but to stay there until I died. (c) Q: I stood in my room. I shifted my feet on the white marble. Sunlight poured into the room like a golden waterfall. I looked behind me. The two cat statues of black onyx flanked the door. The bed was made up with a silk sheet. The water fall shower fell from the ceiling into the pool. It all was still here. The white gauze curtain swayed in the window and I grinned. I could not help but grin. I entered the balcony and looked down at the river that fell into the ravine. As always, I could jump and I would land in the pool below. I could smell the earth and the green. I could feel the wind and the spray of mist carried on the breeze like never before. It was real. I could touch it.And I knew, beyond the trees was my cottage and stream. (c) Q: That child would forever play in the gardens and dance with the rain. The child who would bury her face into lilacs and roses and blooms of hyacinth, and breathe in their sweet perfumes. She could ride on the wind and bathe in the stars. She who danced beneath the moon hearing music of her own as she ran through the shadows of the forest. The same child who scaled barefoot the cliffs of her glen and stripped her clothes off to stand naked in the rain while she gazed out over the waterfalls. (c) Q: She was the keeper of my smile and my laugh. She who housed my hopes, my dreams, my spirit. She was the center of my being, the bane of my existence, she was my be-all and end-all. (c) Q: “I love easy, judge no one, laugh often, and smile always. I listen, I love, I joke, I support, I comfort. I keep my tears in check, my emotions in check, and my heart is forever open. I am not jealous, I give you freedom, speak my mind. I do not lie, and will never seek to change you or hold you down. And I hold all the passion of Ireland in my heart. To boot, I took the time to learn what a man wants and needs…in and out of bed. I don’t cook. And I can not be had. If you’re lucky, I’ll love you. Don’t ever love me back. I’m only worth a dollar.”... “I didn’t choose loneliness. I simple chose to accept it! To stop fighting it. Once I did that, my war ended. What I chose was to no longer bring anyone down with me. I am a black widow. I am the worst kind. I am the widow who destroys lives, kills hearts, and shatters dreams and walks away, leaving the man a hollowed shell and a life that resembles mine. And I do this without wanting or meaning to. I do it without knowing I’ve done it at all! “But I, unlike them, am broken. I’m fucked up so much that I can live quite comfortably with my lot. While others—normal people, unbroken people—can’t. No one is scarred enough to live with me. Not Isaiah. Not even Raven. So, no, William. I am too broken to be loved.” ... “I found the tunnel’s end and the light that shines from the other side of sanity. Who others have done what I have done and have emerged unscarred, unscathed, and as kind as I? I am still smiling a warm and sincere smile. While others emerge cold and cruel and vile.” “I have simply come to terms with what I am and I know if I were to change this about me, I could not live as I do now, happy and content and alone. If I try to fix this mess I have become, I will not survive it. And will do more damage than good. No. There are no others like me. I am very much alone, as I will ever be.” ... “My needs are met,” I assured him and smiled. “I am smiling with my head held high. I am smiling with my face to the sky. And although I am dying inside, I am crying with my head raised high. I only wish to love greater than I have hurt. And I will spend the rest of my days laughing and smiling to compensate for all the crying I have done.” (c) Q: I clicked on the message and slipped back into Ireland where I lay smiling in Raven’s arms. Together we watched the fire from the piles of blankets, clothes, and pillows scattered about on the cottage floor. I felt him kiss the top of head and I tightened my hold on him. “You know none of this is real, right?” he whispered. “It’s just a fantasy.” I buried my face in his chest and felt him breathe beneath me. “I know that,” I said. “But if I can’t have you, then I’ll settle for Ireland. Besides I’ve had a bad day today and I need this. I want to cry.” ... “But you...” I looked into his eyes. “You walked in and sat down beside me and it feels so right. I can't live without you. I love what we have, where we are... And if ever there is a chance for more, I would take it in a moment’s breath. I love this. Whatever it is, I love it. I need it so much in my life. I need you. I need exactly what we are like this. ... “I would want you to teach me. I would want you to teach me how to be intimate and how to let you in. I would show you all my cards, everything that I am and I would say please teach me to be gentle and sensual and romantic. Please teach me how to accept love because I don’t know how.” ... You meant the world to me right up to the end, even when you found a way to wake me from the lies. And for that, you will always be my dearest friend, my sweetest love, regardless of whether or not you were real.” (c) Disclaimer: I was offered this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    1st Sept 2016 - I have this amazing book available in Ebook format to readers who will post reviews for it. Email [email protected] for a copy. An astonishing and heartbreaking story based on true events that will take your emotions on a ride to hell and back. This is raw, powerful and not easy reading and is a book every sexual, physical, emotional, verbal abuse survivor will resonate with on the deepest levels. Angela becomes like a soul sister. At times I was stunned at events that c 1st Sept 2016 - I have this amazing book available in Ebook format to readers who will post reviews for it. Email [email protected] for a copy. An astonishing and heartbreaking story based on true events that will take your emotions on a ride to hell and back. This is raw, powerful and not easy reading and is a book every sexual, physical, emotional, verbal abuse survivor will resonate with on the deepest levels. Angela becomes like a soul sister. At times I was stunned at events that correlated with my own childhood and years of abuse. I stayed strong to read this story. Written at a time when the author freely admits she was quite unstable, often blacking out and slipping into alternate realities to cope and packaging up intense feelings into boxes and slamming the lid on them. So it's written from where she was at and I liked it for that as its edgy and real, it hasn't been edited to death. It's raw truth. What the author went through no woman should go through. But it happens. I totally understood her complex programming to men - her trained reactions on how to perform in order not to lose "love". Not to be abandoned. From childhood on there is no love shown to her, no hugs, no comfort, just abuse and neglect. Her love comes from her cats that she adores. She also has to save them from her cruel half brother who likes to hurt them to get to her. As a cat lover I had to skim read little bits of that. It made me angry. Like I said not easy reading. I liked the way the memoir is written as though she's being interviewed, so we are in the "now" whilst the story is being told then we get taking back to be in actual events in the past. It's powerful and riveting reading. Lots of triggers in this book so be aware. Multiple rapes, physical beatings, verbal abuse, neglect, groomed by a pedophile then controlled by him, being forced to do acts she didn't want to do, responding in unhealthy ways because no healthy way has been taught. My heart was with her. I bled with her. I felt so much with her. Unforgettable. Angela is so strong but so very messed up and halfway through the book some better things start to be shared, by no means perfect but slivers of new things. But nothing is easy and a lot of healing is needed. Some good people come around her complicated life at last. The book reads like a novel, it's based on truth like a memoir, but if you bore with memoirs like I do you won't with this book because of how its cleverly written. I'm intrigued to know I can now go to a website and read the authors notes against the original text and get to see her more healed. I have to do that. She is a warrior, she won't feel like one but she is. I love you Angela. It was uncanny how many of the same things I'd been through - even having a nephrostomy bag to drain urine from my kidney so yes, like the author I'm a woman also who knows its fun with a pee bag to be able to pee standing up like a man and use things for target practice. In all seriousness everyone should read this journey, something will be learned along the way. It reduced me to tears a few times and I sobbed at a certain moment to do with her special cat. Cat lovers let's have a group hug. 5 whopper big stars from me - It's on my long list of best books read in 2016 and likely to make the short list. I'd like more people to read this book. It's life changing. I was kindly given a copy of this book from the author after I expressed an eagerness to read and review it, many thanks.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    WOWSER I have read some truly remarkable horrible stories based on facts over my time but this one is truly dark, full of mental and physical anguish, abuse and RAW emotions its tangible. You can feel it oozing out from its pages. I am taking deep breathes here. Its somewhat written as a memoir, but in other parts reads like a novel. Except for the fact this was reality for the author. There are advisory notes from the author: If you yourself are disturbed by abuse and any of the violent abusive WOWSER I have read some truly remarkable horrible stories based on facts over my time but this one is truly dark, full of mental and physical anguish, abuse and RAW emotions its tangible. You can feel it oozing out from its pages. I am taking deep breathes here. Its somewhat written as a memoir, but in other parts reads like a novel. Except for the fact this was reality for the author. There are advisory notes from the author: If you yourself are disturbed by abuse and any of the violent abusive events in this story, she says, do not read unless you can survive it or it can lead YOU down a dark path: If you have been abused, the same applies Its interesting to me that she has not written this for a therapy as most do or a story to be told. The mental state and dark places this author went to in writing this book is deeper than a very deep black hole. She says how the book has not been edited and re edited so as to take the meaning and exact happenings out of this true story. It is how it is. The woman that is broken and quite frankly mentally disturbed [and who wouldn't be by this] is different from the woman today. This is not written as a memoir it is written more like a novel. Do not think you can read this book for enjoyment, definitely not. Its a journey, its a learning curve, its a lesson. Anyone can take something away from this read. There is no way I can say its NOT distressing because it IS. The author admits, she was insane when she wrote this, as an advocate for mental awareness, I would say, she definitely was emotionally distressed, disturbed and needed mental health care to cope. Whichever way she managed to get all those pieces back together, my hat goes off to her as it would have been oh so easy to have departed in other ways. WOWSER Thanks to Bookloverpublicity for my copy to read VIP

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    Broken reads like a novel, so may appeal to those who enjoy dark psychological fiction. This is just much harder to read because it hasn’t come from the dark imagination of the author, but her unpleasant and often shocking memories, making it impossible to distance yourself from the events in the book. This is not light reading. You will not read this for enjoyment. You will get into the mind and soul of a broken woman. A woman who has been cruelly treated from a young age, by those closest to he Broken reads like a novel, so may appeal to those who enjoy dark psychological fiction. This is just much harder to read because it hasn’t come from the dark imagination of the author, but her unpleasant and often shocking memories, making it impossible to distance yourself from the events in the book. This is not light reading. You will not read this for enjoyment. You will get into the mind and soul of a broken woman. A woman who has been cruelly treated from a young age, by those closest to her, by those who should have loved and protected her. I kept wishing it to be fiction, in the same way I wish some of my own memories were a figment of my imagination. I found myself wondering, what if the author is a chronic liar like her mother? Do I trust the author is telling me the truth? What if this is a world, albeit dark, that she has created to make up for her lack of attention or affection as a child? Does it matter even if it isn’t real? Do I allow myself to become deeply emotionally involved when there is a chance of a huge twist that reveals it was all made up? I have to be honest, the earlier stages of this book completely messed with my head. If you have not been through anything like this yourself, you face a very descriptive, raw and brutal insight into the life of a young woman who encountered years of violence, abuse and rape at the hands of those who should have loved and cared for her. I hope it opens up your heart to what some women go through, perhaps you know a friend or family member who has experienced some of what this author has, and this will give you a better understanding of their struggles. If you have shared any of these experiences with the author, you will be forced to revisit your own hidden memories, feel those old emotions again, and remember people and events you have spent years trying to forget. You will feel anxious, upset, angry, and emotionally drained, but through this, you will know that you are not alone in those feelings and experiences. Your heart will have been on such an emotional rollercoaster by the end of this book, it may take some time to learn how to beat steady again. If you got to the end of this book, despite reliving old memories of your own, be proud of the fact that you got through it, you relived your own nightmares, but you got through it and are still here to live your life to the fullest. Does going through anything like this make you stronger? I’m not sure. What it does do it allow you to share those experiences with others who have been through similar, which means none of us are ever alone. This is a hard book to recommend, as I do not wish any reader to feel how I did. At one stage I wasn’t sure if I could go on, and felt my anxiety increasing each time I picked the book up, but once I got half way it definitely became easier to read. However, another part of me wants everyone to read this, and to understand how incredibly wrong some actions are and the impact those actions have on others and the loved ones around them. I have been left feeling emotionally drained, yet at the same time feel lighter somehow. Almost as if I’ve had a good counselling session. Much better than the reality many years ago, where I sat in a room with an old lady at the other side of the room with her glass of water and box of tissues. It felt wrong, as she was as old as my grandma, and there are some things a teenage girl does not discuss with their grandma. It must have taken huge inner strength for the author to write this, and perhaps even more strength to publish it. I admire her for that. For sharing her personal story with the world. I hope she has achieved what she aimed to achieve by writing this book. I hope that receiving book reviews in no way makes her relive her past, but has a positive impact on her emotions. I hope the author has found peace and the ability to hold onto love, and not let her demons take that precious gift away from her. I do strongly recommend this book, but there are a variety of topics which may trigger unpleasant emotions in readers, such as animal cruelty, aggression, bullying, domestic violence, sexual assault and rape, so I add this to the end of my review as a ‘proceed with caution’ warning.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Angela Chrysler

    Six months later to the day that I finished Broken, I went back and read the paperback. In the aftermath, I only have a few things to say. Broken was clearly written through the eyes of the author, myself, when I was most insane. My perception was off, the world was obscure, and I recorded it all. If you ever wanted to see the world through the eyes of a Dali painting, read Broken. If you ever wanted to step into the mind of Don Quixote, read Broken. Psychologists are recommending it to peers for Six months later to the day that I finished Broken, I went back and read the paperback. In the aftermath, I only have a few things to say. Broken was clearly written through the eyes of the author, myself, when I was most insane. My perception was off, the world was obscure, and I recorded it all. If you ever wanted to see the world through the eyes of a Dali painting, read Broken. If you ever wanted to step into the mind of Don Quixote, read Broken. Psychologists are recommending it to peers for analysis. Trauma survivors have said, "There needs to be more books like this." Even those who know trauma survivors have come to me changed saying, "I understand them now. I see." I have annotations on my website where you can see the progress and compare the change in perspective. These annotations provide a reference as to how insane I was when I wrote this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    I read this one a few weeks ago. This was one of the hardest books I've ever read. It's not for everyone. There are explicit descriptions of rape, abuse, torture. These can be triggers for so many .. so be warned. I think the saddest thing is that this is a true story .. it's not like I could keep telling myself this is fiction. It's heart-breaking. William is a journalist who hopes to write the biography of Elizabeth, a renowned author. When she finally agrees to his request, she gives him just I read this one a few weeks ago. This was one of the hardest books I've ever read. It's not for everyone. There are explicit descriptions of rape, abuse, torture. These can be triggers for so many .. so be warned. I think the saddest thing is that this is a true story .. it's not like I could keep telling myself this is fiction. It's heart-breaking. William is a journalist who hopes to write the biography of Elizabeth, a renowned author. When she finally agrees to his request, she gives him just 24 hours. William is astounded by her accounts of cruel and inhumane treatment. She has developed multiple mental conditions in order to cope ... and maybe save her sanity. From the Author: With the use of existentialism, I wrote Broken in an attempt to philosophical determine what I had become and why. Instead, I found the awareness I needed to seek help. Broken is the road map I took to arrive at "Awareness." How do up rate someone's pain? Their life spent in agony? I can't say I enjoyed this book. I put it down so many times just to catch my breath. I had to walk away many times in tears. All I can say is that I hope this author has come to terms with her life and has gotten the help she needs. Many thanks to the author / Booklover Catlady Publicity for sharing this digital copy with me. The opinion expressed here is unbiased and entirely my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dee-Cee It's all about the books

    Oh my goodness, this is one of the hardest books I have ever read. Hardest, as in it took me a while to read as I kept having to put it down so I could get my head around what I was reading. Hardest, as in the subject matter’s really messed with my mind and hardest, as in sometimes I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. Broken is Ms Chryslers memoir but it is written like a novel with the story being told through her protagonist—Elizabeth, in a kind of interview style in the present but we’r Oh my goodness, this is one of the hardest books I have ever read. Hardest, as in it took me a while to read as I kept having to put it down so I could get my head around what I was reading. Hardest, as in the subject matter’s really messed with my mind and hardest, as in sometimes I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. Broken is Ms Chryslers memoir but it is written like a novel with the story being told through her protagonist—Elizabeth, in a kind of interview style in the present but we’re also taken back to when the actual events happened. The subject matter is not for the faint hearted, there’s animal abuse, torture, violence, strong language and graphic rape scenes and none of these have been dramatized and makes for a heart wrenching read. I often had to stop and take a moment to remind myself that this wasn’t one of my usual reads like psychological fiction, this was real life. What I was reading was true, this really happened and I think I found it hard because I’m not sure I would be strong enough to go through what the author has been through and then write a book about it. Deep down I honestly just wanted this to be fiction. I take my hat off to Ms Chrysler. Having never been in any of the situations mentioned in the book this was an eye opener, don’t get me wrong I’m not all fluffy clouds and bubbles, I watch the news and know there are some nasty vile people in this world, it was an eye opener because I found myself so emotionally invested in Elizabeth. I was so absorbed in her story that I just wanted to reach out to her, it was like I was reading about a friend. I couldn’t believe how emotionally involved I got with her story. Quite remarkable really and that’s all down to the way it’s written, the realness and the no sugar coating approach. I could probably ramble on all day about this book so I’ll stop now and say that I do highly recommend this book, but as stated above, there are a lot of unpleasant topics through out the book that may be triggers to some people who have had any of the experiences mentioned. If you do take the chance to read this remarkable story then make sure you have a few hankies at the ready, be prepared to have your heart in your mouth and the wind completely knocked out your sails. Once you have read Broken you will get the chance to go to the authors website where you can read side notes, follow the authors healing progress and learn about her diagnoses. Many thanks go to Booklover Catlady and the author for the copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fatimah

    To Thine Own Self Be True. I went through so many emotions while reading this book. It is definitely unlike any book that I have read in my entire life thus far. The material in this book is raw, blunt, detailed and most of all, interesting. The fact that this is a memoir hits me harder than the book itself. As a student studying Psychology, this has definitely helped me understand that different types of obstacles the character had to go through. The best thing about it was that it was not water To Thine Own Self Be True. I went through so many emotions while reading this book. It is definitely unlike any book that I have read in my entire life thus far. The material in this book is raw, blunt, detailed and most of all, interesting. The fact that this is a memoir hits me harder than the book itself. As a student studying Psychology, this has definitely helped me understand that different types of obstacles the character had to go through. The best thing about it was that it was not watered down. When I finished reading the book, I noticed that I had a password to a place called "The Looking Glass" online. I logged onto the website and immediately fell in love with Angela B. Chrysler. The additional notes and special features were amazing. In my opinion, it was a great way to finish the book. Also, being 100% honest...I could NOT put down this book. It had me on edge ever since I read the warnings on the first couple of pages. I didn't want to sleep because I would think about what was going to happen next. My paper white kindle died, I automatically picked up my iPad to continue reading...It was that good.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ella ☆ any pronouns

    **I received a free copy of Broken through the Read It & Reap program in the Goodreads group Making Connections** If you want to talk about a rollercoaster of emotions, boy, was Broken one hell of a rollercoaster of emotions. Based on a heartbreaking real-life story, Broken by Angela B. Chrysler was, while being difficult to read, probably the hardest I have, one of the rawest, deep, powerful, hopeful, and just incredible books I have picked up in quite some time. I do not regret the decision **I received a free copy of Broken through the Read It & Reap program in the Goodreads group Making Connections** If you want to talk about a rollercoaster of emotions, boy, was Broken one hell of a rollercoaster of emotions. Based on a heartbreaking real-life story, Broken by Angela B. Chrysler was, while being difficult to read, probably the hardest I have, one of the rawest, deep, powerful, hopeful, and just incredible books I have picked up in quite some time. I do not regret the decision to read this book for a second. Behind all the emotion was a shimmer of hope for the reader. Even with all of the above information, I kept reading and reading and it was difficult to stop. It sucked me into it in a way I have never been sucked into a book before, and I mean that in a good way. A great, fascinating way, actually. If you are someone who likes to read light, fun books, you are NOT going to want to read this. Chrysler takes us through her mind during one of the darkest times of her life and does in such an emotional, on every level possible, way. This is a story that you wish was fiction. You wish it was fiction because you feel such hard, powerful emotions throughout you can even dare to imagine what it is like to go through something portrayed in this story. Well, Broken is based off of Chrysler's real-life story. Regarding the writing, for me, some parts read more like a novel and other parts read more like a memoir, however, it is NOT a memoir. It is a novel that is based on a true story. As much as I loved this book regardless of how much it struggled for me to have the will to finish it at some points due to how gut and heart-wrenching it was, I honestly don't know if I would recommend this book or not. Usually, I know immediately once I finish that this is a book I would recommend to everyone on my friends list or if it is one I warn everyone on my friends list to stay away from if they haven't endured it already, but I don't know which category this one falls into or if it even falls into one of those categories. If you are into dark, psychological books, then, go ahead, give this a shot. If you aren't or are just starting to into them, I would stay away from this one, at least for the time being. ****** This is part of a note at the beginning that the author put that I thought I would leave here to end out this review: The topics covered in Broken are difficult for some people. I portray a number of sensitive subject matters including animal abuse, torture, graphic rape scenes, violence, strong language, and drug references. I do not sugar coat any of this. Rape, torture, and abuse are true horrors people live through. No dramatization was needed for this part, and I do not believe in softening the truth. Broken is brutal, ugly, and honest. It was not written for shock factor. It was written only for me. If you are victim of sexual abuse, I strongly encourage you to speak to a therapist before reading this book. Not doing so could prematurely awaken memories you may not be ready for. The results could be disastrous. I know, it is tempting to skip over the Prefece and Who Am I? chapters, but please, DO NOT skip over them. You NEED to hear what is said in them before reading.

  10. 5 out of 5

    C.L. Schneider

    I’ve put off this review for a while. Not as a reflection of the story. This is hands down a must read. I just wasn’t sure how to make you read it. Because this is one of the hardest books I have ever read. The warnings the author gives you are all true. She holds nothing back in the details. There are vivid scenes of abuse, neglect, rape, physical and emotional torture. Broken is graphic, shocking, raw, disturbing, intense, appalling, shameful, and so very, very sad. If this was fiction, I’d sa I’ve put off this review for a while. Not as a reflection of the story. This is hands down a must read. I just wasn’t sure how to make you read it. Because this is one of the hardest books I have ever read. The warnings the author gives you are all true. She holds nothing back in the details. There are vivid scenes of abuse, neglect, rape, physical and emotional torture. Broken is graphic, shocking, raw, disturbing, intense, appalling, shameful, and so very, very sad. If this was fiction, I’d say: no problem. Bring it on. I love the raw power of dark fiction. But Broken isn’t make-believe. It’s real. It happened. Reading Broken makes you feel wretched. It makes you feel like you’ve snuck in some place forbidden. But instead of running, you stay. You watch the train wreck unfold. You read on as these private terrors are made public. You listen as the author’s screams ring out in your head. All the while knowing there’s nothing you can do. The events are over. They happened. You can’t change them. After all, you’re just a reader. So what if you’re eavesdropping on someone’s torn heart, tripping through their battered soul? It’s just a book. Elizabeth is just a character—except she isn’t. And Broken is far from your average tale. It’s a book you can’t read without feeling sick inside. It’s book that rattles your faith in humanity. A book that makes you wonder if you’d been there, would you have noticed? Would you have seen the horror behind her young eyes? Would you have been the one to believe her, to save her from the pain? It’s a book you don’t want to read. But you have to. You need to. With the courage it took for the author to write these words, to tear her mind open in an effort to mend herself, Broken deserves to be read. There are so many levels to the writing of this book, so much to glean about the human psyche. The style in which it was written (at times with an almost clinical detachment) disturbed me nearly as much as the repulsive events. I hated how accepting ‘Elizabeth’ was of her life. How she was conditioned from childhood to believe what was happening to her was normal. How she blamed herself. You want her to find a way to fight back, to stop taking the abuse, to escape. You wanted her to stand up and shout: no more! You wanted someone to swoop in and rescue her. But this wasn’t a movie, and no one came. Instead, she found ways to soothe herself. She made up her own worlds and invented people to comfort her. She coped. She chose to tolerate the pain, to keep pushing forward. She chose to live in all that darkness despite the odds. And now, she’s coming out the other side into the light. That’s the mark of a hero to me. I believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe this book was the reason she endured all those years. To help others who’ve suffered abuse and trauma see the good in themselves, the worth. To help them make a change. To help them heal, even as she helps herself. Broken is as beautiful as it is ugly. The words grip you, drawing you back, yet making you want to fling the book across the room at the same time. Don’t. See it through. Pick it up and read it. Then tell someone else to read it. Don’t let this one wallow in the millions of titles on Amazon. Maybe no one heard ‘Elizabeth’s’ cries then, but we can certainly hear them now.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Angela Chrysler

    This was the featured read for February 2016. http://www.angelabchrysler.com/story-... Alternate ending and Reader Questions now available at The Looking Glass. This was the featured read for February 2016. http://www.angelabchrysler.com/story-... Alternate ending and Reader Questions now available at The Looking Glass.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received this book from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review... This book is one of a kind. It takes you into the deep, dark depths of the mind of someone who lived their life void of human love, comfort, compassion, and contact. I have read a handful of memoires on survivors of abuse, rape, neglect, etc. and none of come close to where this book takes you. Other memoires describe so little of what they are suffering on the inside; they will say "I feel worthless" or "I felt d I received this book from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review... This book is one of a kind. It takes you into the deep, dark depths of the mind of someone who lived their life void of human love, comfort, compassion, and contact. I have read a handful of memoires on survivors of abuse, rape, neglect, etc. and none of come close to where this book takes you. Other memoires describe so little of what they are suffering on the inside; they will say "I feel worthless" or "I felt dirty" or "I wanted to die", but this author really takes you in a whole other realm of insanity and chaos. It's haunting, it's chilling, it's heart breaking, it's gut-wrenching, it's terrifying, and it's mesmerizingly terrific. "Elizabeth" is an innocent, young soul who was the subject of an abusive family. Raised by a mother who neglected her needs, by a father who was verbally, emotionally, and mentally abusive, and lived with a brother who was violently physically abusive, then met her first boyfriend who was disturbingly sexually abusive. When she was finally able to "escape" these three men, she was preyed upon at the age of sixteen by a 45-year-old pedophile who abused her in all of the ways stated above. After five years of that tortured, she called it quits but immediately jumped into a relationship (who later became her first husband) who was verbally and emotionally abusive, only decreasing her already tortured state of mind and prolonging the help she desperately needed. The one thing the author did not shy away from talking about was how she "coped" with all of this abuse. It is a well-known fact that someone who had to endure this type of torture will often 1) black out 2) "bury" the moments and memories someplace deep and 3) escape into a fantasy/delusional wonderland with often imaginary friends for comfort. The state of mind does this as a way of protection oneself from the extreme abuse, and "Elizabeth" spent nearly her entire life doing just that. She also suffered many extreme self-esteem issues that many survivors suffer from: blaming themselves and believing that they are worthless. She spent most of her life truly believing that she was only the worth of one dollar, due to her father's constant belittling. He would tell her that she was worthless and selfish every single day, and grew up believing it. She refused to believe that the rapes from her first boyfriend and the pedophile weren't rapes, but consensual sex. She refused to blame the perpetrator, and constantly blamed herself for everything that happened to her. She truly believed that all men were abusive, and that in her world "every man hits women" and it was a perfectly acceptable thing to do. I work with mentally ill adolescents who often come from homes where they endured extreme forms of abuse. Working for so many years with them, with so many children, I thought I already had a strong understanding of why they were they way they are, and what goes on inside of their heads. This book took me to a whole new level of knowledge and understanding. It is so indescribably raw and real, and beyond emotional, to read what the author is going through and dealing with and how her brain is trying to deal with all of the trauma. It gave me a completely new perspective, one that I never thought I would have before. I could NOT put this book down. I read it in one sitting. Yes, all 310 pages in one sitting. This author takes you on a disturbing journey that is unimaginable. The ending left you cheering for joy, rooting for her, and wishing you had her (second) husband for your own, who I believed saved her from the years upon years of self torture. I highly recommend reading this book and if you are able to stomach the blunt details, then it will be well worth your time!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Bateson

    A must read for anyone who has suffered abuse at the hands of others Before I delve into the book itself, I have to commend the honesty, and selflessness off the writing, and the author herself. Here is a book that takes you deep into the mind and life of someone who has chosen time and again to survive, despite the hardships, and abuse inflicted on her by others. Having spent a large portion of my childhood escaping into my own world, to escape bullies in school, I can empathize to a degree with A must read for anyone who has suffered abuse at the hands of others Before I delve into the book itself, I have to commend the honesty, and selflessness off the writing, and the author herself. Here is a book that takes you deep into the mind and life of someone who has chosen time and again to survive, despite the hardships, and abuse inflicted on her by others. Having spent a large portion of my childhood escaping into my own world, to escape bullies in school, I can empathize to a degree with everything that must have resurfaced in the writing of this book. But without the open, honest, and personal descriptions of the events, I could not even have imagined what was some people endure in their lives. Originally, I picked this book up, because of an interview with the author, and her depiction of how it came into being. I read another of her books, and saw echoes of what is contained within these pages, and from there, decided that I had to get a better understanding of the events that had sparked those sections of the story. And I'm glad I did. Some will pick up this book, and take away a list of horrors, rapes, mental scarring and worse. But what I take from it is hope. Hope that there are those who will find comfort in the fact that no matter what you go through in life, there are others who will understand, or if not fully understand, at least be willing to stand by, and with, you through the hard times. Hope that for each of us, there is that one voice who can bring us back from the brink of madness, and help us find the foundations to rebuild ourselves. I have been lucky in that respect, and I am grateful to Angela B Chrysler for sharing the story of her life with us. I think I better understand some of the things that some people around me have gone through now that I have been able to see it from the other side...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angi Steen

    "A person is not defined by their choices when the world is right, but by their choices when the world goes wrong."--Broken Broken is hypnotic and addicting from the first page. I inhaled this book in one day. I found myself questioning my own judgements and feelings while reading this. I was concerned about it being intrusive, reading about the traumatic life of an abuse survivor. The author's direct, almost clinical descriptions were more impactful than if she had saturated the disturbing scene "A person is not defined by their choices when the world is right, but by their choices when the world goes wrong."--Broken Broken is hypnotic and addicting from the first page. I inhaled this book in one day. I found myself questioning my own judgements and feelings while reading this. I was concerned about it being intrusive, reading about the traumatic life of an abuse survivor. The author's direct, almost clinical descriptions were more impactful than if she had saturated the disturbing scenes with emotions. And there are disturbing scenes. I did not think the writing was graphic,but the content was stomach-churning from beginning to end. No one with a heart should be able to observe this amount of abuse and not be affected. I feel as if any one who knows an abuse survivor should read this book, just to gain a little insight in the aftermath some experience. A little awareness goes a long way.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I received a free copy of this book from Booklover Catlady Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This book is disturbing. It's fascinating, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, horrific... it needs to be read to be partly understood. I'm still trying to comprehend what I've read. This will stay with me for a long time. I received a free copy of this book from Booklover Catlady Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This book is disturbing. It's fascinating, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, horrific... it needs to be read to be partly understood. I'm still trying to comprehend what I've read. This will stay with me for a long time.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bella

    First off, I have to fall all over myself to make a disclaimer. Books that I work on via my Mia Darien Author Services, I have made a point of not doing reviews of. I don’t want any appearance of impropriety that I’m being “paid” for my reviews, since I never am except in free books, but Broken by Angela Chrysler is too powerful to not want to spread the word about. So in being entirely up front, I worked on this book both in editing and formatting. None of this was for reviewing. In fact, she do First off, I have to fall all over myself to make a disclaimer. Books that I work on via my Mia Darien Author Services, I have made a point of not doing reviews of. I don’t want any appearance of impropriety that I’m being “paid” for my reviews, since I never am except in free books, but Broken by Angela Chrysler is too powerful to not want to spread the word about. So in being entirely up front, I worked on this book both in editing and formatting. None of this was for reviewing. In fact, she doesn’t even know I’m doing this… (Hi, Angela.) I did give her a quote for her website, but have decided it wasn’t enough. All that being said… It cannot be stressed enough that this book is not for everyone. It was incredibly hard to read. As she tells you over and over in her description and author’s notes, it features a lot of topics that will make people very uncomfortable and could even be dangerous for some readers as “trigger” topics for victims of trauma. If you can read it, however, it’s hypnotic in her storytelling. It reads with the ease of literature but with the organic flow of a person’s recollections. It’s raw. When I was younger, my mother told me about what it was like to see Judy Garland sing live; that she was like an exposed nerve on stage. She couldn’t put herself out there without just putting all of herself out there, which had to be the source of her greatest gifts and greatest flaws. Reading Broken was, for me, what I imagined seeing Garland sing was like. It was like opening up pages to a person holding their heart and soul in their hands, bleeding in front of you, and screaming, listen to me and how can you not listen? When someone stands before you like that, it is almost impossible to truly ignore what is right before your eyes. I could barely tear my own away, even through the darkest scenes and the spirit-grinding moments that are described, both with chilling rationality and bleeding passion. Like you put down the book and are almost surprised that your hands are clean. If you can read this book, I don’t think you’ll come out the other side precisely as you were. And it is with great courage that Ms. Chrysler has come to share it. It deserves no less than my best rating. Even though the events and history in the story are not to be celebrated, the author is. 5 Fireballs.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Misfits farm

    I knew that this would be a difficult read. Described in the prologue as a “true and raw” story of a life of abuse with some creativity “to keep it flowing”. A well written, well described book however something didn’t ring quite true to me. If these things had happened and this was as raw as the author says, then to me there is a passion or anger/vitriol lacking. Maybe it’s me? Maybe after so much abuse the writer is desensitised and can write these things as if they are happening to a fictiona I knew that this would be a difficult read. Described in the prologue as a “true and raw” story of a life of abuse with some creativity “to keep it flowing”. A well written, well described book however something didn’t ring quite true to me. If these things had happened and this was as raw as the author says, then to me there is a passion or anger/vitriol lacking. Maybe it’s me? Maybe after so much abuse the writer is desensitised and can write these things as if they are happening to a fictional character. Things happen some of which are clearly out of Elizabeth’s control, however some I would have thought she is so repulsed by that the very thought of going anywhere near that person/image/house whatever would be enough to make her ill/frightened and hence stay away. She also mentions several times “that is when I was beautiful, really beautiful”. This could be her self -preservation -however someone who has been put down so often for so many things, I find it strange that she can think of herself this way when she also reiterates “I am only worth $1 “. One to me, is not disparate from the other. That said there is a lot more to the story than abuse. About Elizabeth starting to find her true self and what life should and could be like. This is not a book if you are easily upset. There are graphic scenes which some may find disturbing. If you have been abused it may help, or may bring back what has happened. This is not written as a “psychological thriller” and hence I feel the audience will be very limited. An unusual read. I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review

  18. 4 out of 5

    S.J. Hermann

    If there ever was a book that sends you down a dark corridor of a fractured woman’s mind, Broken would be it. It took my arm and dragged me into the personal hell of the stories main character, Elizabeth. I intended to read the first few pages, to get the feel for it, and before I know it, I was so engrossed in the story, I was on the fourth chapter before I knew it. I have to mention that this book is not an easy read. There are certainly triggers throughout. Rape, mental torture, animal cruelt If there ever was a book that sends you down a dark corridor of a fractured woman’s mind, Broken would be it. It took my arm and dragged me into the personal hell of the stories main character, Elizabeth. I intended to read the first few pages, to get the feel for it, and before I know it, I was so engrossed in the story, I was on the fourth chapter before I knew it. I have to mention that this book is not an easy read. There are certainly triggers throughout. Rape, mental torture, animal cruelty, are just a few of the things Elizabeth endures from a young age, and it entrenches itself into her mind; forms who she becomes. There were times when I just wanted to shut down the kindle and walk away, and yet, I was so engrossed, so captivated by the story and writing, that I continued on, sinking deeper into the psyche of Elizabeth. I am nearly speechless as I write this review, because so many parts of the book are still resonating in my head and I’m not sure how to articulate them. Not many books have left that kind of impact on me. You will cringe at the animal cruelty her step-brother Shaun inflicted on her cats. The sexual hell her “boyfriends” put her through as a pre-teen and teenager. There is a part where a boy does something so disgusting, that I couldn’t believe my eyes what I was reading. Broken has made its way to my top five favorite Indie books. In fact, it may be number one. It’s certainly a book that I will remember.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicki Southwell

    For once, words fail me. I have such mixed feelings about this book that powerful, violent, abusive, negligent, torture and soul destroying are just some ways of expressing how it left me feeling. William D. Shaw visits Elizabeth asking for an interview in order to write a biography. Surprisingly, she agrees to give him 24 hours and what follows is a frightening and almost unbelievable journey into her psyche. Her insanity is apparent to him after hours of her telling her story and revealing how For once, words fail me. I have such mixed feelings about this book that powerful, violent, abusive, negligent, torture and soul destroying are just some ways of expressing how it left me feeling. William D. Shaw visits Elizabeth asking for an interview in order to write a biography. Surprisingly, she agrees to give him 24 hours and what follows is a frightening and almost unbelievable journey into her psyche. Her insanity is apparent to him after hours of her telling her story and revealing how she got to this point in her life. Elizabeth is a strong character. How could she have survived this if she wasn't? The only part that didn't sit well with me, was her understanding of why things happen and how she can change their outcome. Obviously not as a child but as an adult. I cannot imagine the horror of her life, but do understand that switching to a fantasy world eased her journey. Changing from sanity to insanity is totally understandable when you have the raw details of her life. I cannot image growing up without hugs and physical comfort, abuse, neglect and many more forms of abuse. It is not a childhood, it is hell. This is not for the faint-hearted but I couldn't stop reading once I started. I was hanging in there for a happy ending. You will need to make your own mind up about that. My thanks to Booklover Catlady for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review. I would not have read to the end without your recommendation, and am glad that I did.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I received a copy of this book from BookLover CatLady in return for an honest review, thank you. I'll admit right from the start this is a gut wrenching book, showing how one negative in your life can just pave the way onto another then another. All starting in her childhood Elizabeth wants contact, she doesn't get enough from her family so finds it in her cats. The abuse she receives from her step brother just starts the road to constant pain. She tries desperately to be the hero to her cats, the I received a copy of this book from BookLover CatLady in return for an honest review, thank you. I'll admit right from the start this is a gut wrenching book, showing how one negative in your life can just pave the way onto another then another. All starting in her childhood Elizabeth wants contact, she doesn't get enough from her family so finds it in her cats. The abuse she receives from her step brother just starts the road to constant pain. She tries desperately to be the hero to her cats, they being the one thing she truly cares for and feels cares for her. But as she ages she goes from one bad thing to another. She tries to lose herself in books and a made up world with imagined up companions. But she refuses to seek proper help. I found the book hard to read in some places, yet others I wanted to shout at it and tell her to actually get help. She admits to struggling with men and mother hood. But from one moment shouting at her husband for taking them it seems the kids just seem to vanish from the book altogether and it makes me wonder about where they are and who's actively caring for them. I do have a lot of mixed emotions about the book, but regardless the power of inner strength and survival is in there which makes it a story that will stick with you.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Tsipouras

    As mentioned by other reviewers this is a very hard read and surely not for everybody. Angela claims that she wrote the book when she was the most insane - and it shows. This is the incredible opportunity to look into an insane mind and I wonder if it is at all possible to endure what she endured without being damaged and broken. As a skilled author of fiction Angela is able to tell her story like a psychological thriller, but it is impossible to forget, that it is all real. Angela is honest to t As mentioned by other reviewers this is a very hard read and surely not for everybody. Angela claims that she wrote the book when she was the most insane - and it shows. This is the incredible opportunity to look into an insane mind and I wonder if it is at all possible to endure what she endured without being damaged and broken. As a skilled author of fiction Angela is able to tell her story like a psychological thriller, but it is impossible to forget, that it is all real. Angela is honest to the point where it hurts. She does not sugarcoat anything. Her childhood with non-loving parents and an abusive and cruel half-brother leads to more abuse, rape, fear, isolation, destructive relationships and fear of people. In order to cope she compartmentalizes parts of her soul into fictive characters she meets in her fictive worlds. I want to thank Maxine for the free copy in exchange for my honest review and this extraordinary read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lavern Winters

    I was totally absorbed into this fictionalization memoir. The sort of story based on a true story where the names have been changed to protect the innocent, except many were not innocent. I've always had an interest in psychology, even from my teens. Why I didn't pursue that career is unknown to me, I should have. This woman's life story captured my heart. It helps to understand the things that go on in the mind of someone who has known nothing but a traumatic life since early childhood. I can s I was totally absorbed into this fictionalization memoir. The sort of story based on a true story where the names have been changed to protect the innocent, except many were not innocent. I've always had an interest in psychology, even from my teens. Why I didn't pursue that career is unknown to me, I should have. This woman's life story captured my heart. It helps to understand the things that go on in the mind of someone who has known nothing but a traumatic life since early childhood. I can say I hated what happened to her but loved the book. Well written, informative, raw, intense, and heart wrenching. I give this a 5 out of 5.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

    Maxine's review is one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful (for there is always hope,) that I have ever read. Highly recommended. You can find it here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Maxine's review is one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful (for there is always hope,) that I have ever read. Highly recommended. You can find it here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Leist

    As I read about Elizabeth's life story and the abuse she lived through, I had to keep reminding myself that the story is based on real life. The author explains in depth and vivid color the depths of depravity to which human beings can fall. Life can serve us some bitter pieces of pie, and I have had my share. However, this author has eaten the whole pie. The fact that she has become the person she is today is amazing. This book will haunt me. I am happy that I read it. The story gives us hope tha As I read about Elizabeth's life story and the abuse she lived through, I had to keep reminding myself that the story is based on real life. The author explains in depth and vivid color the depths of depravity to which human beings can fall. Life can serve us some bitter pieces of pie, and I have had my share. However, this author has eaten the whole pie. The fact that she has become the person she is today is amazing. This book will haunt me. I am happy that I read it. The story gives us hope that we can overcome enormous obstacles and walk away better people.

  25. 5 out of 5

    lizzie

    Broken Broken, a far cry from usual genre, but a book I am so very glad I read. A true story, a heartbreaking and terrifying story of the life the author endured. It had me in tears, but yet despite the trauma, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Amazingly well written by an amazing person, inside and out. Broken Broken, a far cry from usual genre, but a book I am so very glad I read. A true story, a heartbreaking and terrifying story of the life the author endured. It had me in tears, but yet despite the trauma, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Amazingly well written by an amazing person, inside and out.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sionna

    --I won this book in a goodreads giveaway -- This is a hard book to review for me, for a few reasons one being because I've never read a book like this. I tend to stay away from true stories or sad heart wrenching tales. But also because, How does one explain liking a book yet hating it at the same time? Finding it entertaining yet wishing I was reading something else? --this is my dilemma. The tragedies in this book are real and they read that way. There are times I felt like gagging or crying. --I won this book in a goodreads giveaway -- This is a hard book to review for me, for a few reasons one being because I've never read a book like this. I tend to stay away from true stories or sad heart wrenching tales. But also because, How does one explain liking a book yet hating it at the same time? Finding it entertaining yet wishing I was reading something else? --this is my dilemma. The tragedies in this book are real and they read that way. There are times I felt like gagging or crying. When I had to stop reading for the night I knew I was awake enough to keep going but, I knew the farther I went in the harder sleeping would be because I tend to dwell and return to the last things going through my mind. No one wants to dream of rape or torture. This was a very interesting book though and I feel it has changed me but, I'm not sure how. It is like I got half of what I need and I'd need to read it again to understand myself more-- which is weird for me because I haven't experienced any of the things in the book. Yet, I understand more than I did and I can't stop thinking. There are a few really great lines/thoughts here. Little treasures I wanted to underline or come back to later. Some really great words. After this i really want to read more from this author. Recommendation: complicated. I won't go out of my way to tell people about the book but If conversation permitted it I would talk about it and want to talk to others about it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nic

    Wow where to start with this one?! I've never read a book like this. It depicts the traumatic life of a girl/woman who has experienced grief, loss, abuse, rape, physical and mental ill health. It is a gripping read, which however also makes you feel uncomfortable as each page describes another terrible experience for the main character. That this is someone's actual experience makes the book all the more amazing because had this been fiction, I would have said it was far fetched and unbelievable! I Wow where to start with this one?! I've never read a book like this. It depicts the traumatic life of a girl/woman who has experienced grief, loss, abuse, rape, physical and mental ill health. It is a gripping read, which however also makes you feel uncomfortable as each page describes another terrible experience for the main character. That this is someone's actual experience makes the book all the more amazing because had this been fiction, I would have said it was far fetched and unbelievable! I truly hope the author has recovered and that this book has aided her to do so. The book is cleverly written from the victim perspective and woven into this are depictions of how she experienced temporary losses of reality to escape from her actual real life. I have gone for a strong 4 stars although to be honest I can see why a lot of people have given it 5. I would like to thank the author and Maxine Booklover Cat Lady for this copy in return for my honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I finished this book a coupe of days ago. I had to take a few days to really process and think what I wanted to say about it. Broken is the real story of a woman that has lived a life filled with abuse. It is difficult to comment on the events of the story, as these are not works of fiction but someones raw and emotional story. I am very glad that I had a chance to read this book and read first hand the accounts of someone that also deals with mental illness. I think it is really hard to capture I finished this book a coupe of days ago. I had to take a few days to really process and think what I wanted to say about it. Broken is the real story of a woman that has lived a life filled with abuse. It is difficult to comment on the events of the story, as these are not works of fiction but someones raw and emotional story. I am very glad that I had a chance to read this book and read first hand the accounts of someone that also deals with mental illness. I think it is really hard to capture the complexity of mental illness and the author has been able to give words to feelings and emotions that are so hard to explain to others. I have to say that some parts of this book were hard to read as the warnings do say. At the end of it though it is an excellent book that will haunt you with its honesty. I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jin

    Amazing tends to describe many things. For me to say this story is amazing or that it rings true to me would be a terrible understatement. This book is dark, raw, and true. I would argue that the story within these pages will ring true with more people in the population than we would like to admit. This story is not for the feint of heart. This story is not for people currently going through any mental issues as the demons it awakens are hard to put back down. Within me, from my own personal lif Amazing tends to describe many things. For me to say this story is amazing or that it rings true to me would be a terrible understatement. This book is dark, raw, and true. I would argue that the story within these pages will ring true with more people in the population than we would like to admit. This story is not for the feint of heart. This story is not for people currently going through any mental issues as the demons it awakens are hard to put back down. Within me, from my own personal life, many demons from my past and many many dark memories were awakened. I am happy that I was able to read this book in my current state as if I had read this book ten years ago I would be suffering more than anything else. The story is that hard hitting.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Livia

    This book is not for the faint hearted. A very difficult and uncomfortable read, if you're fine with this then I recommend it. It is a raw recording of the author's harrowing life from early childhood to adulthood. 'Broken' is as the title suggests, a broken life full of shocking twists and turns. There is always another vile person appearing in her life. This is as real as it gets and for that I was completely absorbed. You will feel the range of emotions she goes through, the fear, the anger, This book is not for the faint hearted. A very difficult and uncomfortable read, if you're fine with this then I recommend it. It is a raw recording of the author's harrowing life from early childhood to adulthood. 'Broken' is as the title suggests, a broken life full of shocking twists and turns. There is always another vile person appearing in her life. This is as real as it gets and for that I was completely absorbed. You will feel the range of emotions she goes through, the fear, the anger, the vulnerability. One minor point; I felt like the ending of the book was somewhat rushed. I need to remember that this is a raw recording of events however and this must be taken into account.

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