May 23, 2009

Review: Shattered Reality by Kimberly Cheryl

BOOK #: 40
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I don't know where to begin with this book because I know my review cannot do it justice!

Shattered Reality is the true story of a mother who finds out a beloved uncle has been sexually abusing her daughter. It is a story that fired up so many emotions in me- anger, frustration, confusion, sadness, sympathy (but not pity, never pity- they are too strong for that). It was definitely an emotional read, but one that I think is long, long overdue.

The book is written in a sort-of diary format. Cheryl shares her deepest fears, most inflamed emotions, and most irrational thoughts. What surprised me and horrified me was that when she and her daughter were going through all of this was that there were no resources available for them on how to deal with sexual assault and its aftermath. What? How can this be? Isn't there a book on everything these days? Including how to get into the porn industry and how to make a bomb?

But, it's true. This is why she wrote this book and shared her very personal story with the world. She did not want anyone else to face their own similar crisis without a place they could turn to that said 'you're not alone' and 'it is normal to feel this way'. I am so glad she did, too. Even though I am fortunate enough not to have been sexually abused, I know what it is like to have something happen in your life and want to run and be able to find answers to it- and now.

The true story of the way the "justice system" runs in America for those who are victims of sexual abuse is enough to make you outraged. In fact, if you aren't outraged by the way our legal system handles these cases when you finish reading this book, then you weren't paying attention. It's despicable. I recommend reading the book on this note alone. But there is so much more to the story than that.

Cheryl gives parents of children who have been sexually abused a book to help them process what has happened to their child and their family, a book to tell them they are not alone in their journey, and a book that opens the door to, what I can only hope, are many more resources on sexual abuse in the future.

This book was a very difficult book to read. In fact, even the review was a difficult review to write. The subject matter is so emotional and intense. But it is a book that is so important to read. Their story needs to be shared with others and there are a vast number of resources in the book to help those who are being/have been/might know someone who has been sexually abused.

I want to share two quotes here that stood out to me while reading this book. They touched me deeply and I think they will touch you as well. *It is important to note that while the subject matter is about sexual abuse, Cheryl does not go into great detail and specifics as far as the sexual part goes.*

"One evening we (daughter and mother) were sitting on the lawn picking flowers and pulling the petals off until they were gone, and all that was left was the yellow-gold circle; dimmer than the white in the natural light left from the day, but still visible. It was funny, she said, how up until you pulled the last petal off, it was beautiful. A symbol of love. But once your fortune was told, it didn't remind anyone of love anymore and it wasn't beautiful. It was a mutilated flower. A deflowered flower. Something to throw away. That's how she felt after the abuse." pg. 106

And this quote, which resonated with me for a lot of different reasons, was my favorite:

"I've discovered that any life event can make you go forward, or backward, or neither, but gradually you find all your pieces, your important pieces, and they will stay with you, so that you're your whole self no matter where you go from there." pg. 135

Child Abuse and Neglect: Warning Signs and How to Report It

Other Reviews of Shattered Reality:


  1. This sounds like a challenging read that is well worth the emotional energy. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Rebecca,

    Signing up for your contest. This book is a no-brainer for me. I know many victims of sexual abuse and almost every woman I know well has either been abused or knows someone who has. I know how prelevant it is because it's touched my own life. Thanks for reviewing this.

    I'd love to have this in our library. Many of our girls have been victims of sexual abuse.

  3. Wow! I wonder how hard it was for her to write this? Great quotes!

  4. Thanks for the great review. I am glad she was able to tell her story and share it with others. I know it must have been difficult for her.

  5. This sounds like a powerful book - and I agree with others: how hard it must have been to write this. Awesome strength.

  6. By sharing the bad it will help others!! Sounds like an important read!

  7. This sounds like a heartbreaking book, but a story that needs to be told. Great review!

  8. This sounds like a very powerful book. I really want to read it.


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