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The Unbreakable Child: A Memoir About Forgiving the Unforgivable

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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/Saint 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. The Unbreakable Child: A Story About Forgiving the Unforgivable is a riveting journey inside the secretive underbelly of the St. Thomas/Saint 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 forty-two other children. The Unbreakable Child offers hope, justice, and forgiveness.


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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/Saint 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. The Unbreakable Child: A Story About Forgiving the Unforgivable is a riveting journey inside the secretive underbelly of the St. Thomas/Saint 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 forty-two other children. The Unbreakable Child offers hope, justice, and forgiveness.

30 review for The Unbreakable Child: A Memoir About Forgiving the Unforgivable

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan Ideus

    "How does one describe evil, and how does one explain the evils of those who wore the face of God, who cloaked evil with His Veil?" Kim Richardson has written a stunning story of abuse, heinous crimes against helpless children, and amazing triumph over those circumstances. It is a story which both broke my heart and showed me hope and what it means to be resilient and of strong character. Church should be a safe place and religious leaders should be models of caring and compassion. Schools and orp "How does one describe evil, and how does one explain the evils of those who wore the face of God, who cloaked evil with His Veil?" Kim Richardson has written a stunning story of abuse, heinous crimes against helpless children, and amazing triumph over those circumstances. It is a story which both broke my heart and showed me hope and what it means to be resilient and of strong character. Church should be a safe place and religious leaders should be models of caring and compassion. Schools and orphanages run by churches should be havens of safety and learning, not the hellish existence Richardson and so many others lived through. It boggles the mind that so many troubled abusive individuals were congregated into a single staff at one orphanage in rural Kentucky. This is not a story for the faint-hearted. The abuse descriptions are graphic, and all the more tragic given the age of the abused. Richardson's first clear memory of abuse was at age three. The story is told in a series of flashbacks superimposed over the present, most notably Richardson's deposition given to the Catholic attorneys in her lawsuit. It offers a strong contrast between the frightened, confused child who was abused and beaten for nonsensical offenses and the strong confident adult facing her fears. She was speaking out on behalf of herself, her sisters and other orphans who had endured the same cruelty and abuse. Imagine being told every day of your young life that you are useless, that you are evil. Imagine being forced to do menial labor and bloodying your own hands so the overseers would be convinced you'd worked hard, even being dosed with undocumented drugs. How can this be in a world where adults are supposed to be the nurturers, the caretakers? These children were not troublemakers—they simply had the misfortune to have been handed over by the state of Kentucky to the St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage. "Orphan. Was there a more lonesome word in the lexicon?" Richardson reflected as an adult. Surely she and her fellow orphanage dwellers must have wondered. With not a single caring adult to advocate for them, to help them negotiate their hellish day-to-day existence, they absorbed horrific shocks to their physical, mental, and spiritual selves. It's a wonder any survived—some did not, and all had to bear lifelong scars. "One day I'm going to be that the rainbow at the end of that road and I will stretch across, disappear, and I will be in charge of my changes." At six years old, Richardson found a kernel of hope to which she clung. Ironically, perhaps, it was a rainbow, a symbol of God's hope and promise in the Bible. Not only did Richardson survive, she fought back. She found a dedicated, compassionate attorney who would help her expose the horrors and file a lawsuit against the Church and the Sisters who had terrorized so many innocents. Bad days, bad memories—yes, they exist in her life, but the good far outweighs the bad. She found in attorney McMurry a man who "knew who wore the face of God." She has the "forever family" she always dreamed of in her loving and supportive husband and children. She cheated death to live victoriously. I would recommend this book to anyone who works with abused children or works with support groups for those who have been abused. This new edition, which includes the outcome of the lawsuit, as well as a new Readers' Guide, would make it a fine choice for book clubs. It is not an easy read, or one which I would term "enjoyable," but it is enlightening and encouraging. It is a story of triumph over great evil and against great odds. It will enrich your life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    "There were no hearts but the broken at Saint Thomas," says Kim Richardson in The Unbreakable Child. The victim of abuse at the hands of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth during her stay at St. Thomas St. Vincent Orphanage, Kim was involved in a lawsuit against the nuns at the same time that the abuses on children previously covered up by the Catholic church were making headlines. Kim and forty-four other orphans who lived at the orphanage were granted the very first monetary settlement ever pa "There were no hearts but the broken at Saint Thomas," says Kim Richardson in The Unbreakable Child. The victim of abuse at the hands of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth during her stay at St. Thomas St. Vincent Orphanage, Kim was involved in a lawsuit against the nuns at the same time that the abuses on children previously covered up by the Catholic church were making headlines. Kim and forty-four other orphans who lived at the orphanage were granted the very first monetary settlement ever paid by the Catholic church in the United States. This book flip-flops between Kim's experiences during the legal proceedings involved in her lawsuit and her experiences in the 1960s during her stay at the orphanage. She details her day-to-day life in the orphanage, which was filled with chores, studies, and the constant fear of the nuns and the orphanage's resident priest. At first the abuse written down on these pages is extreme. After a few chapters, it's easy to see this was commonplace at the orphanage. Kim's recollections are mostly clear and consistent, as the abuse doled out by the nuns took on a familiar pattern depending on which nun was involved and the apparent offense committed. Kim was under 10 during her stay at the orphanage; her first memory is apparently of her at age three or so, and is vague but still no less disturbing. She lived in the orphanage with her sisters, though she only saw them in passing and during mealtimes, and her life was complicated by the fact that she was not truly an orphaned child - her mother was alive but deemed unfit by the state of Kentucky to raise the children. The only adult who took an interest in her welfare was a social worker, whom Kim clung to as a mother figure. I found this book very haunting. Any skepticism I had when I first began reading was, for the most part, eliminated by the consistency of the stories, as well as the fact that other victims of this orphanage are alive and were able to collect in the suit, presumably with similar stories to tell. My only criticism was the dialogue, both in Kim's childhood memories and her present-day conversations. I simply found it unbelievable that everyone was talking as she wrote them, particularly the children. I'd guess she just doesn't have a good memory for the spoken word (I'm the same way, and never recall a conversation exactly word-for-word), but I believe she got the gist of what was said across. It's a small thing, though. Obviously Kim is still hurting from her abuses. Anyone would. I do think she could benefit from someone to talk to; she never even told her husband what she went through, until, presumably, this book was printed. I got the feeling she could really use a therapist. She lashes out at her attorney when he suggests it, but she's kept everything bottled up inside for so long that just writing her demons into paper can't be enough for her to deal with them. I hope she can find the peace she needs and deserves.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Juanita

    Review: The Unbreakable Child by Kim Michele Richardson. This is a disturbing true story of abuse to children in a Catholic orphanage in Kentucky. The story is narrated by a victim who spent nine years confined to the orphanage with her three sisters. It’s also the story of a lawsuit brought against the order of nuns who ran the orphanage. Her attorney, William McMurray an advocate for abused children, and herself wanted justice for the other forty-five other victims. Richardson explains her abus Review: The Unbreakable Child by Kim Michele Richardson. This is a disturbing true story of abuse to children in a Catholic orphanage in Kentucky. The story is narrated by a victim who spent nine years confined to the orphanage with her three sisters. It’s also the story of a lawsuit brought against the order of nuns who ran the orphanage. Her attorney, William McMurray an advocate for abused children, and herself wanted justice for the other forty-five other victims. Richardson explains her abuses and how society, the Church, and even her own family had abandoned her at a very young age. She was the youngest of the four sisters who were residing at the orphanage. The story will break your heart but you’ll also read how Kimmi Richardson’s strength and determination brings forth her forgiveness as an adult. Most important is the courage she showed in exposing the sadistic side of the Catholic Church in its treatment of orphans. The story is told at the time of Kim’s disposition hearing at court many years after the abuse. The story goes back and forth through past to present as she tells her story beginning at the age of three. Kimmi and her three sisters were removed from their mother, Diane, a drug addicted alcoholic and neglecting parent and placed at the orphanage and later subjected to horrific abuse and child molestation. I was not an orphan but I had spent eight years at a Catholic school back in the sixties (about the same time as Kim and her sisters) and through those years there was abuse from the hands of the nuns and a Monsignor of the Church. For some reason my eight siblings who were also abused were stronger than I was but I do know their behavior was shone within different characteristic as, being a class clown, being tough, and being a bully, etc…where I hid within myself. I even stop talking for two of those years also due to having both parent alcoholics and trying to survive living in a dysfunctional family. I applaud Kim Richardson for reaching out to an attorney years later to find justice for herself, her sister’s and all the many children who were abused in the same fashion under the care of the nuns and the Catholic Church. Kim Richardson could have taken the path of a victim, but instead after she left the orphanage she struggled but faced her fears and later married and had two children that she sent to a Catholic school. Kim Richardson was a great parent even with the scars from her past that will never be forgotten….

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shari Ring Wolf

    I am appalled at some of the reviews I include reading the lower star reviews before I invest the time reading a book. This book had several reviews doubting the intensity and frequency of the abuse many orphans suffered in the late 50's/early 60's. One person had the arrogance to write that there was regulation that would have made it impossible. My husband survived living in orphanages during that era. When he talks about the things done to him and what he did to survive? I can easier handle hi I am appalled at some of the reviews I include reading the lower star reviews before I invest the time reading a book. This book had several reviews doubting the intensity and frequency of the abuse many orphans suffered in the late 50's/early 60's. One person had the arrogance to write that there was regulation that would have made it impossible. My husband survived living in orphanages during that era. When he talks about the things done to him and what he did to survive? I can easier handle his stories about the jungle in Viet Nam. Barely. Social workers came to the orphanages once a year, and the orphanage personnel was always outside the door. Even today, I know as a retired social worker that there is not enough money out into programs for children without parents. There are people who take in kids for the money. Some care, some don't. Workers can't be overly picky when there simply aren't enough foster families. This book had content that was too difficult for some people to look at. I guess we can desensitize by calling the victims liars. That being said, the book did focus on retelling the traumatic abuse stories over and over, which made the story not as good as it could have been. Not an easy read. Yet thousands of orphans lived through it. If we aren't willing to take a hard look at what is really happening, regulation will always be something someone else is seeing to.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    After I read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek I had to read more about Kim Michele Richardson. She spent almost a decade in a Roman Catholic orphanage in rural Kentucky along with her three sisters. Her mother was declared unfit by the state and she and her three older sisters were removed from their home. It is a sad story that deals with physical, emotional and sexual abuse by the nuns running the orphanage and one priest. There are really two stories in the book—one that deals with the clas After I read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek I had to read more about Kim Michele Richardson. She spent almost a decade in a Roman Catholic orphanage in rural Kentucky along with her three sisters. Her mother was declared unfit by the state and she and her three older sisters were removed from their home. It is a sad story that deals with physical, emotional and sexual abuse by the nuns running the orphanage and one priest. There are really two stories in the book—one that deals with the class action lawsuit she filed on behalf of 44 other victims. It is the first-ever settlement paid by the Roman Catholic nuns in the United States as compensation for years of institutional abuse. In order to help her get through the lawsuit. Richardson started writing about her childhood. When the lawsuit was finished, she gave the manuscript to her attorney William F. McMurray as a gift for standing up for those who were silenced for so many years. And that’s the other part of the book. Sadly it describes some of the most horrid incidences imaginable. The phrase that kept coming up in the book was “Who wears the face of God?” How could these people who represented the church claim to wear it? She says only the innocent child could wear the face of God. And maybe even the attorney who took on this case. It’s hard to believe that Richardson survived all this abuse. It’s also hard to believe that she didn’t reveal this to her husband until she started the lawsuit, at which point they were married about 17 years. It is also surprising that she has remained a woman of faith after all she has been through. The book reads more like a journal or diary, flows easily, and is worth reading. Its redemptive quality is that she survived, and she continues to work for the those abused by clergy. I am always amazed at how some people can rise above abuses such as those she endured, and others simply give up living through destructive. There is no easy answer.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Unbreakable Child will rip your heart out of your chest and dangle it in front of you. You’ll ignore that minor inconvenience, because your eyes won’t move from the pages of Kim Richardson’s debut memoir. This is the story of Richardson’s nine years in a Kentucky orphanage. At the same time, it’s the story of the lawsuit brought against the order of nuns who ran the orphanage by Richardson and forty-four other former orphans. You know those sensational stories splashed across the newspapers The Unbreakable Child will rip your heart out of your chest and dangle it in front of you. You’ll ignore that minor inconvenience, because your eyes won’t move from the pages of Kim Richardson’s debut memoir. This is the story of Richardson’s nine years in a Kentucky orphanage. At the same time, it’s the story of the lawsuit brought against the order of nuns who ran the orphanage by Richardson and forty-four other former orphans. You know those sensational stories splashed across the newspapers and leading the nightly news? The ones about priests and nuns abusing and molesting children? Kim lived it. Kim and her three older sisters were taken from their neglectful mother when Kim was a toddler. The beatings started soon after and didn’t stop until the girls’ mother was granted custody again nine years later. There were bright spots—the gardener’s flowers and homemade cookies, the friendships, the visits from the mostly ineffectual social worker. But the brightest spot was perhaps the death of Kim’s main abuser. Interspersed with the story of Kim’s childhood is the story of the lawsuit. Forty-five regular people against the might of the Church might seem too daunting to attempt. But one lawyer took on the task, and won. Kim’s struggle against high-powered lawyers mirrors her indomitable spirit struggling against years of abuse. Kim came out the victor both times. The end of this book, with Kim loved by her husband and children, is a testament to hope and strength. The Unbreakable Child isn’t a fluffy beach read, but it’s worth every page.

  7. 5 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    This was a.... Hard read to put it simply. The abuse retold in this is not, as graphic as other books ive read but still, you can only sugar-coat abuse enough. This book was perosnally a hard read as well, but overall im happy i read it, very powerful book about people's lives and stories.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edes

    There are no words...

  9. 4 out of 5

    justablondemoment

    As my major in college was social work, I have read a lot of these types of books and find the stories of courage to be of great value to all that read them. Having been raised in a warm loving family with all my needs met and very little wants denied, it is hard to read abuse victims' tales without shedding a tear or two. This book was not one of them. It is not the story; it was the way it was written that just didn't move me the way these types of books should. They should leave you with a fe As my major in college was social work, I have read a lot of these types of books and find the stories of courage to be of great value to all that read them. Having been raised in a warm loving family with all my needs met and very little wants denied, it is hard to read abuse victims' tales without shedding a tear or two. This book was not one of them. It is not the story; it was the way it was written that just didn't move me the way these types of books should. They should leave you with a feeling of wanting to save, to change a life in whatever way you can so that it will not continue. Books of this subject should enrage you, stroke a savior passion in you. It fell flat for me. I do admire the author for letting it out. This is the key to healing and hence, gets full respect from me for that. Nevertheless, there were much better ways of doing this and would have been way more effective. For instance, her clear account of things happening at the age of three were unbelievable as I don't remember things at three. She makes it more unbelievable because all through the book she let's us know that there were no pictures (other than two) and no documents except a very small file. So where did she draw her very clear details from? She just never lets us know HOW some of the memories and details are there to write down. Did she keep a journal? No, she wasn't allowed things of that nature. Was she in therapy after she left? She doesn't say. Just, a lot of questions for me that come away unanswered. Courage gets a 5-plus star...but filling me with outrage naww would have been better left to a professional writer who could guide her through it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This book is the 3rd one I've read by Kim. I wanted to read her memoir because I wanted to understand the writer behind The Book Woman. What a horrifying childhood she experienced, but what an incredible story of survival and redemption. The 3 stars are because while her story was compelling, her writing was not. It was very unpolished and read more like a journal than a published memoir. I don't blame Kim for this, as she was processing deeply traumatic events. I think her editor let her down o This book is the 3rd one I've read by Kim. I wanted to read her memoir because I wanted to understand the writer behind The Book Woman. What a horrifying childhood she experienced, but what an incredible story of survival and redemption. The 3 stars are because while her story was compelling, her writing was not. It was very unpolished and read more like a journal than a published memoir. I don't blame Kim for this, as she was processing deeply traumatic events. I think her editor let her down on this one, because it had the potential to be another Glass Castle.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Eaker

    This book was a roller coaster of emotions, very powerful and gut wrenching.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Asha Greye

    Suffer The Little Children The author, child of a wayward and unfit single mother in the late 1950s/early 1960s, was removed as an infant along with her sisters by the state of Kentucky and sent to the "safety" of a Catholic orphanage. The children weren't even Catholic initially, but somehow they ended up in a Catholic orphanage. We've probably all heard of the horrors of Catholic orphanages in countries like Ireland, but few would believe such abuse and torment could occur right here in the US Suffer The Little Children The author, child of a wayward and unfit single mother in the late 1950s/early 1960s, was removed as an infant along with her sisters by the state of Kentucky and sent to the "safety" of a Catholic orphanage. The children weren't even Catholic initially, but somehow they ended up in a Catholic orphanage. We've probably all heard of the horrors of Catholic orphanages in countries like Ireland, but few would believe such abuse and torment could occur right here in the US of A. Well the author is here to bring the truth to the light. Strenuous chores, only enough food to stay alive, pedophiles around every corner, and vicious beatings. The nun helping little Kim get dressed on the day of her First Holy Communion broke her arm and later that night beat her again for staining her dress. No medical attention, no concern whatsoever. And the orphanage was full of equally callous monsters who seemed to get their kicks out of tormenting the children left under their care. I'm surprised that the police haven't searched for bodies. The author survived, but was every child so lucky? Shocked doesn't describe my reaction to this book. You will run the full gamut of emotions when reading this story of unspeakable abuse and triumph. I definitely recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    The Breakable Child This is a memoir depicting the childhood of the author. She has undertaken this painful experience of recalling her life in an orphanage in Anchorage, Kentucky (Sister of Charity Orphanage -St. Thomas/ St. Vincent Orphan Asylum) in order to shed light on the abuses there in the 1960s. From ages 3 to 10, she was emotionally, physically, and psychologically abused. Written about 4 decades later, with the help of her lawyer William McMurray, Kim and 44 other former plaintiffs brou The Breakable Child This is a memoir depicting the childhood of the author. She has undertaken this painful experience of recalling her life in an orphanage in Anchorage, Kentucky (Sister of Charity Orphanage -St. Thomas/ St. Vincent Orphan Asylum) in order to shed light on the abuses there in the 1960s. From ages 3 to 10, she was emotionally, physically, and psychologically abused. Written about 4 decades later, with the help of her lawyer William McMurray, Kim and 44 other former plaintiffs brought a civil lawsuit in 2004 to expose the injustices they faced under the care of the Catholic nuns in the orphanage. Her words powerfully depict the horrors and anguish she feels as she remembers and confronts the lawyers for the Cathoiic nuns. This is a powerful book that not only reveals the abuse during her childhood, but demonstrates the long time damage done to children who are separated from their family with no one to protect them. The child may try to forgive and forget, but the pain and damage impact their being and never heals. This is one of the most personal and emotional books I’ve ever read. Filled with horrific details & feelings of abandonment & abuse, this story should be a primer for those who think separating immigrant families from their parents is acceptable. Yes, some people are not good parents, but the foster homes and institutions where children are raised must have caring oversight. The good news here is that some children survive to tell the truth but are so damaged. They can forgive perhaps but will they ever forget?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    There are two things that upset me most 1) mistreatment and abuse of children and 2) mistreatment and abuse of animals. These are the innocents that should be protected and cared for. I discovered this book after finishing the author's Sisters of Glass Ferry and decided to read it, even knowing the subject matter. Everyone should read this book, if we have a hope of protecting children from such hideous abuse. I cannot imagine what kind of people these nuns were to even think up some of the puni There are two things that upset me most 1) mistreatment and abuse of children and 2) mistreatment and abuse of animals. These are the innocents that should be protected and cared for. I discovered this book after finishing the author's Sisters of Glass Ferry and decided to read it, even knowing the subject matter. Everyone should read this book, if we have a hope of protecting children from such hideous abuse. I cannot imagine what kind of people these nuns were to even think up some of the punishments for the orphans left in their care. It was very hard to read and I commend Ms. Richardson for sharing her story. I am glad that she was as strong as she is, and I'm thankful that she found the right attorney. I watched an interview Mr. McMurry did nearly 15 years later and could see how disturbed he was by the terrible treatment of the children in this orphanage. If I met Ms. Richardson, I would give her a big hug for speaking out. I'm glad she forged ahead with her own forever family and thank her for sharing one of the endearing expressions she and her husband came up with, which was also in Sisters of Glass Ferry. It made me smile after all the heinous events in this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    It was difficult to believe that this child abuse took place around 1960 because it seemed as if it would have been many, many years ago. It is also difficult to believe that people who had professed to be serving Jesus would commit such horrible deeds. Thank goodness the author switched back and forth in the book between her childhood and her time as an adult when she was working with her lawyer to speak out for herself, her sisters, and the other children who were abused in the orphanage. The It was difficult to believe that this child abuse took place around 1960 because it seemed as if it would have been many, many years ago. It is also difficult to believe that people who had professed to be serving Jesus would commit such horrible deeds. Thank goodness the author switched back and forth in the book between her childhood and her time as an adult when she was working with her lawyer to speak out for herself, her sisters, and the other children who were abused in the orphanage. The readers needed a break from all the abuse, but there was no escape from it for those abused children until they left the orphanage. How wonderful it is that the author has managed to find it in her heart to forgive the people who abused her and the other orphans and is able to appreciate the family she has now. Her book about the terrible situation of her own childhood may provide more help to others than she will ever know. It certainly should help most readers to appreciate their own childhoods and to be more aware of abuse today.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dianna Kinkead

    Heartbreaking Story of Resilience I couldn't put this down. I have frequently worked with victims of child abuse during my career as a marriage and family therapist, and I've heard some heartbreaking stories, but the systematic orchestrated torture that Kim Richardson, her sisters and the other children in this Church Sanctioned Orphanage had to endure leaves me speechless. And angry at the dysfunctional system that knowingly protected the perpetrators while discounting the poor helpless little c Heartbreaking Story of Resilience I couldn't put this down. I have frequently worked with victims of child abuse during my career as a marriage and family therapist, and I've heard some heartbreaking stories, but the systematic orchestrated torture that Kim Richardson, her sisters and the other children in this Church Sanctioned Orphanage had to endure leaves me speechless. And angry at the dysfunctional system that knowingly protected the perpetrators while discounting the poor helpless little children who through no fault of their own found themselves the victims of such evil cruelty disguised as charity. Thank you Kim Richardson for having the courage to tell your story and to be a part of the solution by shining a light in the darkness. "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5 RSB

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donetta

    Touching & Heartbreaking This is a tragic story of abuse in an orphanage that should have been protecting the children. At times I found myself with tears in my eyes, even at the small beauties Kim found as a child. The unprovoked abuse reigned down on these children is horrific. It's refreshing to read that Kim found love, her forever family, and a belief in God as an adult. This book shows what a strong person Kim is mentally. It's an eye-opener about the secrets within Catholic churches. The w Touching & Heartbreaking This is a tragic story of abuse in an orphanage that should have been protecting the children. At times I found myself with tears in my eyes, even at the small beauties Kim found as a child. The unprovoked abuse reigned down on these children is horrific. It's refreshing to read that Kim found love, her forever family, and a belief in God as an adult. This book shows what a strong person Kim is mentally. It's an eye-opener about the secrets within Catholic churches. The work her attorney does is acknowledged in here as well. Although heartbreaking to read, it is well written with cleverness and genuine empathy. I'd recommend this to anyone and everyone.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    4.5 stars.. an absolutely harrowing, heartbreaking and TRUE account of many childhoods lost. My dad went to Catholic school all throughout his primary grades and it was during this same time period. He has horror stories of his own, but I nvr knew details like this. Just that he converted to my mom's Christian religion and I've always been positive the roman Catholic Church was a "cult" for lack of a better term. When the sex abuse of young boys by priests came out in the late 90s/early 2000s it 4.5 stars.. an absolutely harrowing, heartbreaking and TRUE account of many childhoods lost. My dad went to Catholic school all throughout his primary grades and it was during this same time period. He has horror stories of his own, but I nvr knew details like this. Just that he converted to my mom's Christian religion and I've always been positive the roman Catholic Church was a "cult" for lack of a better term. When the sex abuse of young boys by priests came out in the late 90s/early 2000s it always seemed a bit of a "duh" moment for our family. Like soooo many before them, the catholics have used God as an excuse for their perversions, violence, and hatred. Above all else, jesus loves the little children. Fuck with them and you'll have hell to pay, come judgement day.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lahna

    This was a disturbing book, to say the least, but a very powerful one, a story that needed to be told. I applaud her bravery for telling it and for pursuing the culmination of the story, which I wont reveal to those who have not read it. This story broke my heart and I was just furious when I finished it. It took me awhile to calm myself, not to mention get my blood pressure down! I did have to keep reminding myself that there are good people in the Catholic church, and there are bad people in o This was a disturbing book, to say the least, but a very powerful one, a story that needed to be told. I applaud her bravery for telling it and for pursuing the culmination of the story, which I wont reveal to those who have not read it. This story broke my heart and I was just furious when I finished it. It took me awhile to calm myself, not to mention get my blood pressure down! I did have to keep reminding myself that there are good people in the Catholic church, and there are bad people in other churches also. A positive step for me is that I am donating money to a foster home now. The very least I can do.

  20. 5 out of 5

    kris

    This is an incredible story of an incredible child. It's not as polished as The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, but it is honest and raw and real. She was a child and survived the worst of the worst from people she should have been able to trust. How do you do that? She did. She also wrote about it and showed her hurt and disbelief and sadness. But she's carved out a good life which is amazing. I recommend this book for people who need to hear about a person who can make it in spite of the odds This is an incredible story of an incredible child. It's not as polished as The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, but it is honest and raw and real. She was a child and survived the worst of the worst from people she should have been able to trust. How do you do that? She did. She also wrote about it and showed her hurt and disbelief and sadness. But she's carved out a good life which is amazing. I recommend this book for people who need to hear about a person who can make it in spite of the odds. Thank you to Kim for courage and her writing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Mccorkle

    A heart wrenching story of abuse, survival and love. It is horrendous to know that this happened in the 1960's to innocent children. The treatment in the orphanage was brutal and I admire the author and her lawyer for bringing the story to light and for acknowledging publicly the wrongdoings. Having read Kim's book The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek, I wanted to know more about her. That led me to her memoir. I didn't enjoy it, but I am glad I read it and I applaud Kim for the work she does with A heart wrenching story of abuse, survival and love. It is horrendous to know that this happened in the 1960's to innocent children. The treatment in the orphanage was brutal and I admire the author and her lawyer for bringing the story to light and for acknowledging publicly the wrongdoings. Having read Kim's book The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek, I wanted to know more about her. That led me to her memoir. I didn't enjoy it, but I am glad I read it and I applaud Kim for the work she does with others who have been abused.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    I work in child abuse prevention and deal with the worst that humans do to children, and I was still shocked and sickened by the abuse Kimmi and her fellow “orphans” suffered at the hands of women who were supposed to represent Christ on earth. That Kim survived the abuse and went on to find a “forever family” with her husband and children is nothing short of a miracle and a testament to her resilience. I echo what was said in the documentary The Keepers about the Catholic Church - those fuckers I work in child abuse prevention and deal with the worst that humans do to children, and I was still shocked and sickened by the abuse Kimmi and her fellow “orphans” suffered at the hands of women who were supposed to represent Christ on earth. That Kim survived the abuse and went on to find a “forever family” with her husband and children is nothing short of a miracle and a testament to her resilience. I echo what was said in the documentary The Keepers about the Catholic Church - those fuckers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sally Back

    A sad chapter in history that I hope is finally over It is shocking what a religion could get away with in this time period. My heart goes out to all these poor children who are now adults. Decent humans would never dream of treating poor defenseless children as if they had no value or soul, but that is exactly what the Catholic Church enabled so many to do. They will have to answer for their sins but I pray these children have love in their lives now. Well written and valuable reading for adults A sad chapter in history that I hope is finally over It is shocking what a religion could get away with in this time period. My heart goes out to all these poor children who are now adults. Decent humans would never dream of treating poor defenseless children as if they had no value or soul, but that is exactly what the Catholic Church enabled so many to do. They will have to answer for their sins but I pray these children have love in their lives now. Well written and valuable reading for adults.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cj Caudill

    A tragic story of abuse in the church This is a very true and very scary look in to the lives of children left to be cared for by a Church and the unspeakable abuse these children suffered at the hand of the people who were suppose to protect them and nurture them. Forgotten by a too busy society and basically left to fend for themselves. Very riveting and very sad, but yet, all too true.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    What a horrifying story!! Kim, who is the author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, ( which is why I picked this book up), grew up in a Catholic orphanage, enduring the kind of abuse I couldn't have imagined. Satanic level evil. The fact that she grew up to be part of the beginning of the movement to call the church to account for their atrocities is amazing. That she is healthy and happy is a miracle.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Carver

    Compelling Story The author writes of a tragic life while in the care of a Catholic orphanage . She and her sisters are beaten and abused for years before she is removed by her mother. This is probably one of the sadist books that I have read. It doesn't seem possible in our lifetimes but I know that it is. We must always be wary of the evil nature of man among vulnerable populations.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Kosakowski

    The book tells of the abuse, both physical and sexual, given to orphans in a Catholic institution in Kentucky. The horrors the author experienced makes the Catholic church look like an abomination. The author did get some monetary restitution from the Sisters of Charity, but that hardly covers the mental abuse she and others had to deal with into their adult years. A quick read, but an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brea

    An intense read, you feel Kim’s pain as she details her childhood abuses. I would say this book has a “happy” ending as far as real life happy endings go. I found relief from the horrors throughout the book in the little moments the author spends with her husband. It’s a nice reminder that even with the cruelest of pasts, we can all rise above to find a better future for ourselves. I applaud the bravery of this strong woman sharing her story. Definitely recommend.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn A. Smoke

    Heroism born of pain A compelling read that made me angry, and then put me in awe of someone who could go through hell and come out the other side as a whole person. So many have never been able to overcome the emotional as well as physical scarring brought down on them by the predator clergy. Bless you Mrs Richardson for helping bring justice to all those orphans that were preyed upon.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Harriet

    This was a difficult book for me to read....I could identify with some of the abuse and it complicated the reading. I can only imagine how difficult it was for Kim Richards to write it...but I'm glad that she did. The book is a good read and it reveals the pain of individuals with Complex PTSD. It took a lot of courage for her and her sisters to identify their abusers. In doing so they relived the horrors of the past. If and when you read her story ...do so through a child's eyes.

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