Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Grocery Amazon Gift Card Offer gdwf gdwf gdwf  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Fall Arrivals in Amazon Outdoor Clothing Halloween
Etched on Me: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $1.15 (8%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Etched on Me: A Novel has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Solid used copy with visible wear. May be former library book. FREE SHIPPING w/AMAZON PRIME!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Etched on Me: A Novel Paperback – February 4, 2014

18 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$0.83 $0.01

The Paradise of Glass by Petra Durst-Benning
"The Paradise of Glass" by Petra Durst-Benning
Check out The Paradise of Glass by Petra Durst-Benning, the latest novel in The Glassblower Trilogy. Learn more | See related books
$13.85 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Etched on Me: A Novel
  • +
  • Station Eleven: A novel
Total price: $29.11
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This coming-of-age story, set primarily in psychiatric institutions, may draw comparisons to Susanna Kaysen’s seminal memoir, Girl, Interrupted (1993). Lesley Holloway, 16, has run away from home— from a father who has sexually abused her for years—and now spends her nights in a hostel under the care of social services, and her days at a prestigious London prep school. But when her cutting-as-a-coping-mechanism leads to an almost-severed artery, she’s off to the first of several mental institutions. Fortunately, she has the unwavering support of her former teacher, as well as the social worker assigned to her case and a Zen-like therapist named Dr. P. When Lesley becomes pregnant in her early 20s, she faces an uphill battle: How does she convince case workers that her past doesn’t reflect her future capabilities as a mother? At turns heartbreaking and difficult to read, this is a raw, unflinching look at mental illness and one girl’s one-step-forward, two-steps-back attempts to claw herself out from under. It’s a sobering, yet empowering reminder: in order to create a meaningful life, sometimes it will take all the fight you have. --Ann Kelley


“With its deft plotting, rich characterization and often hilariously poignant dialogue, Crowell’s latest is a gem.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"Readers will cheer for Lesley's progress in this against-all-odds, sometimes grueling, suspenseful, and character-rich tale of individuation. Bringing to mind Susanna Kaysen's memoir Girl, Interrupted or Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides, Crowell's novel darkly fascinates." (Library Journal)

"At turns heartbreaking and difficult to read, this is a raw, unflinching look at mental illness and one girl’s one-step-forward, two-steps-back attempts to claw herself out from under. It’s a sobering, yet empowering reminder: in order to create a meaningful life, sometimes it will take all the fight you have." (Booklist)

"Etched on Me is one of the first authentic, searing portraits of a young woman's all-out fight for her sanity since I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. There is not one false note in this stark, frightening, and tender story. You will not forget Lesley, or her trials and triumph." (Jacquelyn Mitchard New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean)

"Lesley is set to become your favorite steel-boot-sporting, Kate Bush-loving, self profressed "queer" single mother of all time. Her story will resonate with anyone who understands what it's like to do battle with your mind while simply trying to remember to take a breath and just be here." (Curve Magazine)

"Etched on Me reinvents the "coming-of-age" novel by making the body of a young woman the center of the drama... As she beats back the abuse from her past and the self-destruction driving her, she discovers there is something alive in her bigger than her rage and hurt. What she has to fight for next will break your heart--just as it should--because what we tell females about themselves is a story that can indeed make or break them. Jenn Crowell will open your eyes with this tale of how the body and heart of a girl can, on her own terms, become that of a woman." (Lidia Yuknavitch author of Dora: A Headcase)

“I read the entire novel at a sitting and loved it. In fact, I think it's remarkable. Humane, insightful, intelligent, unflinching. There's such warmth here too, the very best and the very worst of which human beings are capable. The narrator makes delightful and engaging company (I'm kind of a bit in love with her) and the story is utterly compelling. I just HAD to read on to find out what happened in the end; it really mattered to me because Crowell made it matter, and that's what great writing can do. The world would be a better place if everyone read this book.” (Clare Allan author of Poppy Shakespeare)

“Jenn Crowell fuses compelling social drama, page-turning stay-up-past-midnight storytelling, and unforgettable characters in this honest, smart novel. Lesley’s transformation from being defined by her abusive father, to grasping for and accepting strength from the social services in which she could have drowned will, without an ounce of sugarcoating, melt away your preconceptions and steal your heart." (Randy Susan Meyers bestselling author of The Comfort of Lies and The Murderer's Daughters)

"Etched on Me is what you call a comeback. The mature Jenn Crowell writes with a razor's edge." (Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls' Rising)

"Filled with moments of biting humor and sharp insight…I couldn't put it down." (Amy Hatvany author of Best Kept Secret)

"In Lesley Holloway, Crowell has created a protagonist whom I wish I could meet off the page. Confronted with abuse, stigma, and shame, Lesley takes real risks to do more than survive her circumstances: she changes them. Along the way, Lesley draws strength from a small but hardy cast of supporting characters we'd also all benefit from knowing in everyday life. In the hands of an author lacking Crowell’s skill, the novel might risk falling into stereotype and caricature. But Crowell deftly maintains control—unflinching, authentic, and empathic—throughout." (Erika Dreifus author of Quiet Americans: Stories)

"Jenn Crowell has written a miracle of a novel, full of grit and grace; her Lesley Holloway is a character for the ages—wry and whip smart and achingly real. This book will forever be etched upon my heart." (Gayle Brandeis author of The Book of Dead Birds and winner of the Bellwether Prize)

"A harrowing and riveting story of a young woman struggling against inner and outer destructive forces to find peace, equanimity and connection. Crowell has written a moving psychological thriller that offers us deep insights into the legacies of trauma and the difficulties of moving forward. It's a wonderful novel." (Leonard Chang author of Crossings)

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476739064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476739069
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jenn Crowell is the critically-acclaimed author of the novels NECESSARY MADNESS (Putnam, 1997), a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers selection; LETTING THE BODY LEAD (Putnam Penguin, 2002); and ETCHED ON ME (Washington Square Press, 2014). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and is an alumna of the Berlin Film Festival Talent Campus. She lives near Portland, Oregon with her husband and young daughter.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 18 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By WestMetroMommy on February 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I'll come right out and say it. This isn't a fun book. It is one of those works that will put the reader through the emotional ringer.

And that is what makes it so good.

Lesley is one of those characters who just sticks with you. She has the sort of inner strength that I wish we all had--she is dealing with some really, really tragic circumstances and somehow, some way, she pulls through. And it is a struggle, there is no doubt about that.

I don't know that much about mental illness, so I have no way of knowing if what Crowell describes in this book is accurate. However, it certainly seems accurate to me. The pain that Lesley experiences is palpable to the reader, even to those who have little experience with anyone who self-harms.

The treatment that Lesley receives regarding the custody of her child seems almost barbaric to me. I doubt this would happen in the United States (not because child welfare is so much better in the US, but rather because it is lacking), but I could believe that it would happen in the United Kingdom. In fact, I found it interesting how involved the child welfare system was in a more socialized medical system. While I don't agree with decisions that were made there, I was impressed that there was a system in place for children before a problem developed.

Along the same lines, I was impressed at how "British" this book sounded. The dialogue was spot on and I never once questioned the authenticity, even though the author is American and lives right here in Portland, Oregon! I think that alone is quite a skill.

I will admit that this is not a book that I would recommend to just anyone. There are some very heavy subjects and I know that it is not everyone's cup of tea. However, for anyone with an open mind and willing to take it on, this is an excellent book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reeka aka BoundbyWords on May 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
Hey every book I read from now on! Yeah, you! Do me a favour and sport completely tricky, beautifully elegant front covers, and then shock the HELL out of me once I open you. Okay? Alright, good. Now that that's settled, let me to describe to you the wild ride that was Etched on Me. I feel like I should be making a video review for this, there is so much emotion I want to convey, that I feel like the use of writing as a medium just won't cut it this time. Etched on Me was that first SLAP of cold in the face, when you open your door to -35 degree weather (thanks Toronto). I was split open, and completely at the mercy of what this narrative was telling me. I have felt for characters before, and I will again, but right now, it's just me, and the lingering presence of Lesley Holloway.

She's escaped. That's where we find her. On a park bench, contemplating her next move. She's taken the ultimate step. She's freed herself from a HORRENDOUS reality that NO child should ever be subjected to: sexual abuse from a parent. I had to take pause, at the beginning, at the middle, and even at the end of this book to realize the magnitude of the situation. To stop myself from putting the book down due to feelings of nausea, of actual, PHYSICAL distress. The book isn't completely graphic in it's descriptions, but from the little that was described, to the rest left horribly to the imagination, I was RUINED. I sympathized and empathized and cried raw, real tears for Lesley Holloway. For the reality of SO many girls like her around the world. I couldn't stand it, but I also couldn't stop reading. Etched on Me was an extremely powerful book of survival, and as Lesley grew stronger, I grew stronger with her.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Ward on February 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
'Etched on Me' is a gritty and raw look at the obstacles and internal struggles that people with mental illness must deal with throughout their lives. It tells the story of Lesley Holloway - a teenage girl who finally finds the courage to flee her abusive home, which begins a series of mental illness issues, psychiatric facilities, and finally the fight for her child. Lesley is a very realistic main character for the novel. She's tough, witty, strong, smart, and determined. She also has some real problems - overcoming incest and abuse, mental illness problems, and taking charge of her own life when people want to rip it away from her. The book follows Lesley over the years - chronicling her ups and downs, triumphs and failures, and her struggle for control over her own life. She's a wonderfully written main character who is obviously flawed, but still manages to get the reader on her side cheering her on throughout the book.

I knew before reading this novel that it was loosely based on some of the author's personal experiences with mental illness, and I have to give her serious props for writing about these topics in such a raw and realistic fashion. Not many people have the courage to speak out about mental illness in everyday life - let alone write a novel about it. I've reviewed books before that deal with mental illness and I'm always an advocate for them. I believe that mental illness is still a taboo topic in our society and is filled with stigma. Anyone who stands up and speaks out about it is brave - especially those who have a large impact on people, such as writers like Jenn. I myself suffer from mental illness, including depression and self-harm issues, so reading Lesley's story was very hard for me, as well as really rewarding in the end.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Etched on Me: A Novel
This item: Etched on Me: A Novel
Price: $13.85
Ships from and sold by