Young Emily is determined to undo the emotional damage of her abusive childhood. She feels alone and isolated until she meets Sean. As they both mature, Sean becomes a key member of Emily’s support group. The two additional members are Martha, Sean’s grandmother, and Emily’s girlfriend, Jeannie. With the emotional help of her group, and at age twelve, Emily turns her world upside down freeing herself from the physical effects of the abuse. As Emily and Sean are about to be separated by time and distance, they learn their childhood crush is far more than infatuation.
As you read her story, you’ll cry, laugh, and sing Emily’s song. You’ll also fall in love with Emily’s mother, Sarah, who learns to grow a backbone.
This is a story of struggle, guts, and the determination of a young girl unwilling to allow her past to consume her.
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I picked up Maribeth Shanley’s novel, Crack in the World, with a bit of dread. As a former social worker, dealing with issues of sexual assault and domestic violence had been a daily task for me for a quarter century, and I was not looking forward to recalling decades of horror told by clients. I was pleasantly surprised that Ms. Shanley focused more on the emotional fall out from abuse, rather than the details. She accurately describes the family pain resulting from sexual abuse, without ever losing sight of the strength of her main character, Emily. The reader can’t help but rejoice in Emily’s triumph.
Yet, I found myself cheering equally hard for Emily’s mother, Sarah. It is through her eyes that we really come to know the depth of the damage, the layers of hurt. In her descriptive style, Ms. Shanley is able to draw the reader into understanding the thoughts, fears, frustrations, and sadness that often go unsaid in families impacted by the ultimate betrayal.
If you are looking for a feel good tale of love and support, you will find it woven among the complications of human pain and lost innocence. You will be reminded that wounds can be healed with kindness and honesty, even if they never quite disappear. Crack in the World is accurate, raw, and honest. Anyone impacted by abuse will benefit from reading Ms. Shanley’s insightful novel.
Author Susan Emmerich, GIRL ON A BIKE: MUSINGS OF LIFE, LOSS AND HOT FLASHES
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.
Author Carrie Knowles, APRICOTS IN A TURKISH GARDEN
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 offers a window into their reality.
Author Nicole Eva Frasier, I DON'T THINK IT'S THAT SIMPLE
The book was good reading. It showed how life is for many people and one must take a stand to change it. I hope that those dealing with with the problem have the opportunity to read it . It also says to those of us that might think there is problem to try to help those in need. I highly recommend this book.
I look forward to reading Maribeth's Second book A View to the Unknown.