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.
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 is the ultimate act of courage.
In Unbroken, Madeleine tells her moving and empowering story, as she discovers that our lives are not defined by what knocks us down – they are defined by how we get back up.
Unbroken is the authors own story.
Now I won’t lie, this isn’t an easy read. The author starts off with the horrendous events that happened when she was thirteen. We don’t fully get to know what happened that night until later on in the book when the author made the tough decision to give a detailed account of what happened. It can not have been easy and I did find it hard to read but I applaud the author for doing it. Sadly life is not all rosy and this is a stark reminder of the horrors that go on in the world.
It was moving seeing the woman that Madeleine becomes. The choices she makes and how it affected her self esteem. I just wanted to wrap my arms around her many a time through out as she is on a road to self destruct as she battles with dealing what has happened. It was interesting to see her life changing direction and the things she became interested in. I have to say I learned quite a bit from her story. It was also interesting to see how her family reacted and how the relationship more so between Madeleine and her mother grew.
Unbroken is a frank and honest account by a woman who made me greatly admire how she turned her life around. It can’t be easy to have chosen the route she has in helping others but her determination and how she found solace in dealing with her past, made for again, admirable and emotional reading. A harrowing but absolute must read.
My thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.
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.
For more info please see her website madeleineblack.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @madblack65