Friday 19 June 2020

#BlogTour Audiobook: Unbroken by Madeleine Black

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Unbroken: One Woman's Journey to Rebuild a Life Shattered by Violence. A True Story of Survival and Hope by Madeleine Black. I reviewed the Audiobook version of Unbroken.
About the Author
The sharing of her story on The Forgiveness Project's website in September 2014, opened many doors for Madeleine in ways she never imagined and the invitations started to pour in.
She has taken part in both TV and radio interviews and has been invited to share her story at conferences, events and schools.

She recognises that she was a victim of a crime that left her silent for many years, but has now found her voice and intends to use it. Not just for her, but for so many who can't find theirs yet.
She is married and lives in Glasgow with her husband, three daughters, her cat, Suki, and dog, Alfie.

Follow @madblack65 on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit Unbroken

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

Violently gang-raped when she was thirteen years old, and raped three more times before the age of eighteen, Madeleine has experienced more trauma in her life than most ever will.

Living in a state of shock and self-loathing, it took her years of struggle to confront the buried memories of that first attack and begin to undo the damage it wrought, as men continued to take advantage of her fragility in the worst possible way.

Yet, after growing up with a burden no teenager should ever have to shoulder, she found the heart to carry out the best revenge plan of all: leading a fulfilling and happy life. But the road to piecing her life back together was long and painful. For Madeleine, forgiveness was the key. True forgiveness takes genuine effort. It takes a real desire to understand those who have done us so much harm. It is the ultimate act of courage.

In Unbroken, Madeleine tells her deeply moving and empowering story, as she discovers that life is about how a person chooses to recover from adversity. We are not defined by what knocks us down - we are defined by how we get back up.

This is an autobiographical account of Madeleine Black's path to reveal a secret so traumatic it determined the way she acted and felt about herself, which in turn made others react differently to her. That's not counting the many who were influenced by the malicious rumour mill started in an attempt to discredit a victim who  could potentially come forward and tell everyone the truth.

Gang rape becomes a consensual rough sexual experience with a girl who has no moral compass. See how that works when the perpetrator is given a voice.

Although it's at the very beginning of the audiobook for me one of the most poignant parts of this story is the way Madeleine has given a voice to so many by being courageous enough to break those heavy walls of silence she built around herself. The elderly woman in her eighties who heard her story and finally found the strength to tell her own daughter what had happened to her. That is the true power of this story.

By opening a door and starting a dialogue, despite the possible negative reactions she could have received, unfortunately the world of social media can be a jaded and cruel minefield, she opens doors for others too.

Given the era of #MeToo many victims have come forward to tell their tales of sexual abuse, assault, molestation, harassment and rape, because they feel it's safer to do so and that it is time for change. Imagine all the stories that remain untold. The secrets that will go to the grave with many who are unable to penetrate the wall built with shame, guilt and fear. This is exactly why stories like this are so important and women like Madeleine are too - they pave the way for others.

I think it's also important to note her involvement in the Forgiveness Project - a charity that helps victims and perpetrators explore forgiveness in relation to crime and violence. If it helps people to move beyond their trauma and be at peace with themselves or others then it's a positive thing. It won't be the path everyone chooses though.

It's a brutally honest account. Black doesn't pull any punches or make it warm and fluffy for the more sensitive, and that's a good thing. Some things need to be presented and told exactly they way they are and they way they were experienced.

Buy Unbroken at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd; pub date 4 April 2017. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length - 7 hours and 13 minutes, Author - Madeleine Black, Narrator - Madeleine Black, Henrietta Meire, Whispersync for Voice - Ready, Release Date - 17 April 2020, Publisher - Dreamscape Media LLC, Program Type - Audiobook, Version - Unabridged,  Language - English.

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