When Kim Richardson’s lovely agent contacted me about her story, The Unbreakable Child, I was prepared to reject it. I really wanted to because it went against everything I don’t do – child abuse and previously published books.
Stories of child abuse tears my blackened, shriveled heart clean out of its housing. I can’t imagine the sick and twisted depravity required to brutalize an innocent child, let alone a whole orphanage. Sorry, but I believe child abusers should be put to death – the more painfully done, the better. There is no middle ground for me, and I remain unapologetic for my views. I don’t care what kind of childhood they had, nor do I care that they’re “misunderstood.” They’ve ripped the innocence from a child in the most heinous and atrocious manner. It’s the reason I don’t do abuse books. I have absolutely no objectivity.
“Yah,” sez l’ agent extraordinaire, “I know all that. Shaddap and read it.” As one who usually does as she’s told when uttered from agents she respects, I dropped what I was doing and read it.
Holy. Good. Jumpin’. Frogtails.
My heart exploded and rested on my sleeve for the duration. Kim was one of many orphans who were subjected to unspeakable abuse at the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth at the St. Thomas/St. Vincent Orphanage in rural Kentucky. Her story goes back and forth between her time in the orphanage and the resulting class action lawsuit nearly forty years later. Kim’s journey is nothing short of incredible, amazing, unbelievable, and heroic.
Heroic, you ask? Oh yeah. While many buckled under the weight of what befell them by those twisted carrion who hid behind their rosaries, Kim stood resolute and knew that her soul would never be broken. She stood strong and managed to accomplish the improbable: She survived and thrived. And forgave.
What impressed me about Kim’s book is that it isn’t an angry book. It’s a book about forgiving the unforgivable. It’s about redemption.
As much as I didn’t want to read this book, there was something about it that kept calling to me. Every lunch break I took, I found myself curiously eager to whip out my Kindle and read more pages. My lunch breaks got longer and longer, which irritated the beagle because it forced her to cover the phones. I can’t explain the power this book had over me.
I finished and knew I had to have it. This book is HUGE and vitally important – especially in light of the fact that the lawyer who successfully prosecuted the orphanage is the very one who is suing the Vatican. Survivors need to know that this horrendous blemish on the Catholic Church isn’t going to go away – no matter how long the Pope dodges issuing a proper apology to those who suffered for so long.
So I did a very uncharacteristic thing. I changed my mind. I called and insisted that the agent was right – this belongs with us.
So, a warm and hearty welcome, Kim. You’re a brave, beautiful, brilliant woman who has one hell of a story. I’m only too honored to be a part of it, and I bow before your amazing life. I know, sounds schlocky, but it’s true. What you’ve been through is the stuff nightmares are made of, yet you punched out on the other side. This is a big inspiration to those who feel they’re still drowning.
I’m honored to be your forever home for your amazing book – which is due out in October.