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The Breakable Vow Paperback – January 6, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up Annie, 18, is looking forward to the rest of her life. She's been in a relationship with Kevin, and they are certain that they're in love. He has a temper, but that doesn't concern her because she knows that he cares deeply for her. Several weeks after spending a night together, Annie discovers that she is pregnant, and her life begins to spin out of control. Deeply religious, she refuses to accept Kevin's offer of money for an abortion, and, after a tumultuous pregnancy, has a baby girl. Her partner's abuse ebbs and flows, and his threats and her fear that he will take Mary from her keep Annie in the marriage. It takes a final, violent event to prove to Annie that she has to break free--but is it too late? Unfortunately, the novel is marred by awkward sentence structure and didacticism. While the conversations between characters are more realistic, teens will be put off by the pedantic tone of the narration. This is an important topic, but the book is too long and rambling to hold the interest of young adults.--Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"I was surprised and delighted to see the involvement and enthusiasm of a multi-cultural population of young women..." -- Susam M. Sanders PhD Assiociate Professor Public Services Graduate Program Depaul University, Chicago, Illinois

"The topic was well recieved and the students really got into the book." -- Karla Fiaoni, J.D. Adjunct Professor Governor's State University

"This book provides the reader with the shocking reality of dating abuse. It allows the reader to enter the world..." -- Sr. Mary Therese Mount Assisi Academy Lemont, Illinois --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 56955th edition (January 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060518219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060518219
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was glued to this book for many reasons. As a well educated woman, I never expected the man of my dreams to be an abuser. In this book I found a light that illuminated the nightmare I was living. This book helped me make sense of the muddy, confusing situation of being emotionally and physically abused. The Breakable Vow educates the reader about the consistent dynamics presented in all abusive relationships. I wish I had read a book like this as a teenager. I am grateful Ms Clarke wrote this book. It saved my life and the lives of my five children. Whether you agree with Annie's choices along the way , or not, you cannot deny that Ms Clarke has done a fabulous job of showing and telling what it is like to live with an abuser. Just as important, the back of the book is LOADED with good information on how to get out of the abusive relationship safely and how to help a family member or friend who is stuck.
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Format: Paperback
A few years ago, I picked up my son from a Catholic high school (SW corner of Chicago, sort of rhymes with "Fairest"). The school had recently gone from all-boys to co-ed, and at the intersection outside the parking lot we pulled up alongside a red sedan carrying two kids in school uniforms--a boy and a girl. They were talking, when all of a sudden the driver--the boy--wound up and smashed the girl in the face with his fist. The girl's head flopped forward, but at that point the light changed and we lost them. My son and I were horrified, but we had a description of the car, part of the license plate number, and a good look at the kids. I knew the school had a list of students who were registered to park in their lot, and I figured that would be enough information for the school to track them down--especially if the girl had a busted lip or black eye.

As soon as I got home, I called the school to report the incident. I was connected to an administrator who cut off my narrative to ask, "Did this happen on school property?"

"No," I said, "It happened at the light on 115th..."

"Well, then--it did not happen on our property, so it's not really our problem. Thanks and have a nice day."

That reaction was almost as shocking as incident itself.

Unfortunately, the admin's response is all too common. Annie, the protagonist in "The Breakable Vow," musters the courage several times to seek help. Not only is she shot down and dismissed, but when her husband finds out that she's been "disloyal" to him, he feels compelled to smack her around some more to teach her a lesson.

My daughter read this book as part of her (all-girl) high school's effort to raise awareness about abusive relationships.
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Format: Paperback
Kathryn Clarke has successfully conveyed exactly what it is like to be trapped as a young woman in an abusive relationship, while trying to rationalize her choices and keep herself safe. I applaud this incredibly talented writer for boldly addressing a terrifying issue and for writing so honestly and adroitly about dating violence.
In the United States, the greatest increase in partner violence is in the group of young woman 13-18 years old and Ms. Clarke's well-written and compelling story reaches this audience in a book every young woman should read. I recommend this keen and poignant novel for every teen's bookshelf-- male or female. Give it as a gift to every young woman you know as she enters high school or graduates. Give as a gift to every young man you know as a reminder that controlling behavior is hurtful and wrong. As parents, we can take the lessons from this well-told story and learn how to be more understanding and concretely helpful to the young women and men we know who may find themselves in relationships they are simply not prepared to handle. Congratulations to Ms. Clarke for a superb story about a topic we all need to understand.
I know how difficult it is to articulate the confusion and chaos of that turmoil. Ms. Clarke has done this better than any other writer I have read on the subject. What Anna Quindlen's "Black and Blue" did for the understanding of domestic violence in marriage, let this be the bible for young women and men understanding violence in dating relationships.
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By A Customer on December 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have used this book and curriculum in my classroom to teach high school students about an issue that plagues them sorely: domestic and teen dating violence. Both the students and I learned a great deal about the mindset of the abused as well as of the abuser, information that is necessary to deal with this issue effectively. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who will read it, abused, abusers, and their families, as well as those who have never been touched by this awful crime of the soul and spirit. Read it, in conjunction with the tools in the back of the book, and learn how to make a difference. Kathryn, Thank you for your candor. You are saving lives.
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Format: Paperback
As a young child, I was abused by my father and often saw my mom go through almost the same things Annie goes through in this story. Most people don't understand why women and sometimes men just don't pack up and leave, just like that, but it is incredible the mask that the abuser can tie tighter than a noose around the victim. The list about Batterers really helped me to understand the vicious cycle that the abusers use. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though at times I didn't like the writing style. This book is EXTREMEMLY realistc, even though it seems stupid that Annie and Mary didn't just leave. It's so true to life I had to go sleep in my sister's room at the end, because I was having flashbacks of what happened to me. It is so amazing how true this book is.

I recommend that every teen read this book -- they'll be glad in the future that they did.
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