Book Review: The Unbreakable Child

This book was written by Kim Michele Richardson, and I can’t recommend it highly enough:  five stars out of five, two thumbs up… heck, I wish I had more hands so I could give it more thumbs up.


The Unbreakable Child is a beautifully-written memoir which chronicles heart-wrenchingly grim experiences: Kim grew up in a Catholic orphanage and was brutally abused by the nuns and the priest to whose “care” she was entrusted.

As I read the book, my heart went out to the young Kimmi: such a strong, brave little girl. Though she endured unspeakable horrors, she managed not only to retain her capacity for love and joy but even to nurture it, becoming as an adult a much-loved — and much-loving — wife and mother.

And reading the book, I rooted for the adult Kim, as she worked with her lawyer along with forty-four other former orphans to bring to light terrible abuses which had been sanctioned by the Church.

As a little girl, Kimmi wanted so much to be loved.  I cried for her; I wanted to travel back in time and give her hugs, to take her far away from that terrible orphanage and to tell her each and every day what an wonderful little girl she was and what an amazing woman she would grow up to be.

Throughout those horrible years at the orphanage, Kim endured treatment which ran the gamut from physical, mental, and emotional abuse to ice-cold neglect.  I applaud her with all my might that she was able to escape that soul-crushing spectrum with her heart and mind intact, not only to enjoy a life of love and joy with a forever family of her own, but I also applaud her for her indomitable spirit and courage in writing her memoir, a force for good to help and inspire so many.

Thank you, dear Kim, for your compassion, for your courage and your grit, and for your boundless loving heart.  The world needs more people like you.

17 Responses

  1. denise April 21, 2009 / 6:42 pm

    This is a wonderful review! Having read Kim’s book, I couldn’t agree more. I hope someday to meet Kim and have her sign my copy. 🙂

  2. thommalyn April 21, 2009 / 7:17 pm

    Me too, Denise! What a special lady she is.

  3. Leah J. Utas April 21, 2009 / 8:54 pm

    Sounds like a must-read.

  4. thommalyn April 21, 2009 / 8:56 pm

    Definitely, Leah.

  5. Julia Smith April 21, 2009 / 9:27 pm

    I just popped over to Kim’s blog to give her a shout out!

  6. thommalyn April 21, 2009 / 9:55 pm

    Yay, Julia! Awesome. Kim and her book deserve shout-outs from rooftops and mountain tops! 😀

  7. bunnygirl April 22, 2009 / 8:37 am

    Definitely going on my reading list!

  8. Gwen April 22, 2009 / 11:07 am

    Great review, Thomma – and wow. That’s definitely a heavy topic, but one that needs to be brought to light. I applaud Kim for her courage too.

  9. thommalyn April 22, 2009 / 12:31 pm

    Thanks, Bunnygirl and Gwen! 🙂

  10. thommalyn April 22, 2009 / 10:49 pm

    Hi, Liara! 🙂 Thanks for visiting and for the link.

  11. Ariel April 23, 2009 / 9:02 pm

    Sounds like a good read mom’s gonna get it on Amazon.

  12. thommalyn April 23, 2009 / 10:19 pm

    Great, Ariel! 🙂 And MaoMao sends you love and snuggles.

  13. jason April 24, 2009 / 7:04 am

    sounds like a necessary addition to any social worker’s library. a lot of times those of us who work with emotionally troubled kids forget the percursors to the behaviors we have to process through. thanks –

  14. thommalyn April 24, 2009 / 12:09 pm

    Hi, Jason — thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂 Yes, The Unbreakable Child would be an excellent addition to a social worker’s library.

  15. Dorothy April 28, 2009 / 5:25 pm

    Finally, I was able to read Kimmi’s book. I loved it. I felt so much emotion…a real rollercoaster ride for me, yet my experiences were not in the same class of abuse as hers. She’s a champion. She’s also a very good writer.

    I’ve posted my review on my blog today. Although it’s not as beautifully written as yours.

    Thanks for being such a great friend. Hugsabuches, KS…D

  16. thommalyn April 29, 2009 / 2:34 am

    Kimmi’s book is indeed amazing, and she’s a treasure. Your review is wonderful. I hope many, many people read The Unbreakable Child.

    (((((((((hugs)))))))), my dear KS — what a precious friend you are. 🙂

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