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The Unbreakable Child
     

The Unbreakable Child

4.7 11
by Kim Michele Richardson, Dara Brown (Read by)
 

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The Unbreakable Child, a story about forgiving the unforgivable, is a riveting journey inside the secretive underbelly of the St. Thomas/St. Vincent Orphan Asylum in rural Kentucky. It is the first book in the United States to confront the institutionalized physical and emotional abuse suffered by countless orphans at the hands of Catholic clergy over these

Overview

The Unbreakable Child, a story about forgiving the unforgivable, is a riveting journey inside the secretive underbelly of the St. Thomas/St. Vincent Orphan Asylum in rural Kentucky. It is the first book in the United States to confront the institutionalized physical and emotional abuse suffered by countless orphans at the hands of Catholic clergy over these last decades. It also documents the historic United States lawsuit and first-ever settlement paid by Roman Catholic nuns in the United States as recompense for decades of brutal institutional abuse of the author, her sisters, and 42 other children.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Richardson's candid accounts are chilling, and the strength she shows-with a very supportive husband at her side-is inspiring. Remarkably, she did not abandon the Church and in fact sends her children to Catholic schools. Hers is a beautifully told story about strength and an enduring faith that can lead but one place: to forgiveness.
Eugene H. Foster

A must read for students entering the field of social work! Thank you, Ms. Richardson, for opening your life and sharing your journey for our betterment. (Dr. Eugene H. Foster, former state child welfare executive)

Kentucky Examiner
Grim yet ultimately inspiring, this harrowing biography catalogues years of institutional abuse that took place in the Saint Thomas—Saint Vincent Orphan Asylum, a Catholic orphanage in Anchorage, Kentucky.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781511361934
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
01/19/2016
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

Alanna Nash
A harrowing, but beautifully crafted saga of one woman's courageous fight against evil, and her victory over the greatest titan in history—the Catholic church. This is a book that will haunt you. (Alanna Nash, author, The Colonel)
David Clohessy
This is a gripping account not just of horrific betrayal but also of heroic recovery. (David Clohessy, Director of SNAP, People Magazine's 25 Most Intriguing People 2003)
Jenna Glatzer
The most powerful story I've read in a long time. You'll feel [the author's] pain and her triumph, and be reminded that the human spirit is resilient beyond all reason. This book will change you. (Jenna Glatzer, author, Celine Dion: For Keeps )
Greg Barrett
Not so much a tragic tale as it is a testament to the resilience of human nature and the fighting spirit residing somewhere in each of us. (Greg Barrett, veteran journalist and author, The Gospel of Father Joe )
Jason Berry
The Unbreakable Child is an act of courage, a book that insists on the primacy of justice, no matter how long the delay. Kim Michele Richardson, an author determined to give traumatic memories a rightful meaning, is one indestructible woman. (Jason Berry, author, Vows of Silence )

Meet the Author

Kim Michele Richardson resides in the rolling hills of Kentucky. She is an advocate and ear for child abuse victims, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer and a contributing writer for The Huffington Post.

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The Unbreakable Child: A Memoir About Forgiving the Unforgivable 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Ann_Carbine_Best More than 1 year ago
I first downloaded a sample of the book to my Kindle. When it ended, I thought, Wow! I've got to finish this. So I bought it and couldn't stop turning the pages. It was one of the most powerful reading experiences I've recently had. Life and death. Goodness and evil. These are two of the great themes of literature, and I found them in this memoir. In memoir, as in fiction, I look for lean, compelling prose, dramatic scenes, credible dialogue, and vivid description. In the hands of a great writer, these "tools" can be powerful. They are powerfully used by Kim Michele Richardson in The Unbreakable Child. I am awed by her writing skills, and by her courage. As a memoir writer myself, I know how difficult and painful it can be to dig into one's past, and yet Richardson does it. She does it for her siblings and for the other children who suffered horrible mental, emotional, and physical abuse. She gives voice to their pain, and I'm glad she did. I want to empathize with those who struggle even if I'm not always in a position to help. I want to empathize, for in the process I can become a more compassionate human being. I believe all of us need to know and feel for those who suffer, and for those who inflict the damage. Often the latter are good people who also need our help and concern. Sometimes good people do bad things. This is how I felt when I read this book that was sometimes difficult to read as the abusive scenes were so vividly dramatized. That Kim Michele Richardson survived and triumphed over her terrible childhood is a testament to me of the human spirit. Her story is also a testament of the good people who step into the battle, people such as her attorney William McMurry. He, too, fought for the orphans of Thomas/St. Vincent Asylum in rural Kentucky. I can't praise him or Kim enough for speaking out. I was also happy that she had a wonderful husband. The adult Kim's voice is eloquent. I can't praise this memoir enough.
StevenF More than 1 year ago
Kim Richardson's story of her abusive childhood, as well as how she has dealt with her past as an adult, is an inspiring story for the professional in the field of child welfare and for the average reader. Her ability to overcome the difficulties of her childhood offer lessons to those in similar circumstances, but also for those who must overcome other obstacles. It has been a long time since I have read a book that I found I just couldn't put down until I had finished it. This is that type of book.
Marian_Perera More than 1 year ago
I've read a few memoirs dealing with child abuse (A Child Called It, Ten Thousand Sorrows), and while these made me feel sorry for the children in those stories, they never got beyond that. The abuse in them was too difficult to imagine. The accounts were so bleak that I either detached emotionally or found them not fully convincing or both. With that in mind, I read Kim Richardson's "The Unbreakable Child" because it described the years she spent in a Catholic orphanage. I'd attended a fairly strict Catholic school, so I thought that would give me a way to connect with Kim's story. I was wrong for two reasons. The first is that other than being run by nuns, there wasn't much the two facilities had in common. The second is that Kim's poignant, realistic memoir formed that emotional connection all by itself. The ill-treatment she went through is brutal but believable; I wanted to curl my fingers inward to hide my nails as I read this book. And the single-sentence description of sexual abuse - touching with the hands rather than the heart - is unforgettable. Kim and her three older sisters were placed in the care of the State, which handed them over to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. She was only three at the time, yet had to conform to rigid standards of conduct and endure incredible cruelty. Yet this isn't an unrelieved, one-note account of abuse. There are bright moments, like Kim's eighth birthday present, a bracelet from one of the few adults who treated her kindly. Resourcefully, she hid that from the nuns, who confiscated any personal possessions. Most of all, though, her story of the past is interwoven with her life in the present, where she and other survivors of the orphanage brought what had been hidden into the light. Represented by attorney William McMurray, they successfully sued the Sisters of Charity. But Kim's greatest victory was to find happiness with a family of her own, to keep her love of life, and to be unbreakable in every sense of the word. I'm grateful that she wrote this book, and that I read it.
J_Kramin More than 1 year ago
It's hard to put into words all the emotions that ran through me as I read this book. We've all heard stories about child abuse, but to learn how bad it really was first hand is beyond infuriating. I would never have imagined the depths of the evil she endured. To make it even worse was the fact that the hands that abused these children were seconds later folded in prayer. I applaud Kimmi for her courage to tell her tale, her wonderful writing style, and most of all her survival skills - I don't know how you did it. I have a small list of heros in my life, you've just been placed on the list, Kimmi.
DR_Grindstaff More than 1 year ago
I began reading "The Unbreakable Child" with the expectation of learning more about institutional child abuse and deprivation. But this story is so much more. Well-written and focused, this is an incredible story of survival. I felt my anger grow at the abusers along with my compassion for little Kimmi, her sisters and all the children of this hellish orphanage. "The Unbreakable Child" is truly a fitting title, for every means was employed to break them, physically, emotionally, and spiritually through vicious beatings, verbal attacks, and, worst of all, the deplorable and mentally destructive sexual abuse suffered at the hands of those professing to show the face of God. This is a story that sinks deeply into one's soul. Mrs. Richardson's fortitude, courage, and just plain guts is a lesson to us all about the indomitable human spirit. Reading this book will change your life a little. You won't look at the world quite the same way as before. You will look at others with more compassion. You will understand a bit more just how strong the human spirit can be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this down. I am a survivor a child abuse and child sexual abuse but unlike Kim, it took until I was in my forties before I finally found my voice. I had spent my life standing strong but no one truly understood because i kept my secrets. Kim is such an inspirationand as hard as this was to read i think everyone should. Maybe it will help you see the signs of abuse that you didnt realize are there. God bless you Kim!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kim is a survivor and seems to be very resiliant and strong. This book is a great read for everyone. I think this book should be read by all. This book puts insight into the wickedness of the past religous orphanages and schools. The acts that occured are unspeakable. Read this book and you will not be disappointed!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once in a blue moon there comes a book whose story is so compelling, so filled with truth that you can't seem to put it down-Kim Michelle Richardson's, The Unbreakable Child is definitely one such book. The story is riveting and the writing supreme. I literally felt like I was walking hand in hand with this courageous author as she revealed this startling, yet truly inspiring story of survival. It will touch your heart and open your eyes. If you only read one book this month, this is the one... You will find yourself rooting for justice with each turn of the page! S. Meredith