on Dec. 12, 2015 :
At nearly twelve, protagonist Emily is a complicated child with a clear strong vocabulary and a sincere determination to protect herself. But how can a child be safe when a trusted adult abuses her? In a situation that all too often arises within the real world, the fictional Emily gains strength from both without and within, making friends, finding trustworthy adults, and slowly learning to say no.
Sadly, as in real life, the end of abuse is barely even the start of an abused child’s recovery. Accustomed to protecting everyone else, to blaming her problems on herself, and to trusting no one, Emily will have to learn to tell the truth, to risk rejection, and to be herself. Those around her, so long oblivious, will have their parts to play. And Emily will learn that joy isn’t something she can clasp by “shaking off her sadness and feelings of being out of control of what happens to her in her house.” “Feeling happy makes me happy” is not a good enough mantra after all.
With nuggets of wisdom and advice threaded into the storyline, this novel often feels more like memoir than fiction. Events follow a naturally uncharted course. Repetition is appropriate to a child’s recollection. Dialog is sweet and funny, though the details might slow it down. First love, first alcohol and first intimate relations are convincingly portrayed.
Many girls might envy Emily’s first adult sexual encounter as retold here, but none will want to repeat the childhood pain that leads to it. And many, sadly, will still need to learn from her road to recovery. It's a story told with a ring of personal experience and honest truth, and a valuable read.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I’m writing my honest review.
(reviewed 9 months after purchase)
Nicole Eva Fraser
on April 24, 2015 :
Maribeth Shanley wrote Crack in the World from her personal experience, intensifying the story's chilling realism. Shanley's characters and their relationships are drawn and developed with detail, authenticity, and feeling. Main character Emily ultimately frees herself from her father's abuse — but that doesn't immediately free her from the effects of the trauma she endured for years. Her trusted friends support her in her recovery process. The frank sexual content may be too much for some readers; the story and characters will ring true to survivors; and for those who have been spared that kind of real-life suffering, the book offer a window into their reality.
(reviewed 35 days after purchase)
on April 23, 2015 :
Maribeth Shanley’s novel, A Crack in the World is a rough jagged read that draws a roadmap for recovery and self-discovery, albeit sometimes bumpy, for anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse. It's an honest story of how difficult self-acceptance and healing can be for a person who comes from a family built on a solid foundation of lies. It forces you to take a hard look at the damage one selfish and morally corrupt individual can wreck on a family and a community.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)