Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

imageCharlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

When we first meet Charlie she is being wrapped up in a sheet and brought to a hospital where she floats in and out of consciousness for a while before fully coming around in a mental health facility. She is surrounded by other girls who self harm in various ways.  She is a  selective mute, unable or unwilling to talk to anyone.  She is happy to be where she is, she is safe, fed, has shelter and most of all, away from one of the people who has abused her.

When after being in the facility for a month she is told that she has to leave because there is no more money coming in to care for her.  She is put on a bus out to Arizona where things seem to look up for her, but not for long.

This is a hard, brutal, raw and depressing read.  It’s a struggle to battle through it, it’s like you are living the struggle with Charlie as she trades one form of addiction for another.  The person she puts her trust and love into isn’t an easy person to deal with either and is battling his own demons.  Life seems to keep kicking her down no matter how much she struggles to get back to the the little bit she does have in her life.  How much tragedy and bad luck can one person have and continue to go on.  She has more strength that she knows and her tenacity to keep going without giving up was inspiring.  She deals with abuse, rape, alcoholism, self harm and so many things that most people would have just rolled over and given up.This isn’t about a girl who becomes cured of her self harm but learns to live with what she has done and how to cope with things better.

While this is an extremely hard read, it is beautifully written by someone who knows what it’s like to self harm. It’s a testament to the human spirit that just doesn’t give up and for that you end up admiring Charlie for never giving up. We all have scars, but most aren’t visible. A remarkable read!


5/5 stars


Buy: Amazon

Buy: Amazon UK

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