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Review - Broken Things by A.L. Garcia

"I tell him to leave the teddy in his locker, and I’ll get him some other time. I never get him."

The above quote is one of the most striking in A. L. Garcia's book about the abuse Alma endures whilst she grows up. In that scene, a boy she likes has just given her a romantic present. She loves it, but romance and gifts and love are things she has no concept of yet. It's a sad and simple but incredibly powerful moment in a relatively short book that leaves a real impact on the reader.

Sparingly, even dispassionately told, the writing style does more to highlight the horror of Alma's situation than florid prose would, and makes it far more compelling. This is a beautifully written book with a message of hope for the future. It is about one brave little girl who becomes a tough and resourceful young woman who is able to break free of the vicious cycle of abuse and violence wrought upon her by her father. It is the story of survival and the resilience of the human spirit. A gruelling but ultimately fulfilling read.


Broken Things is an inspirational narrative of a young girl’s survival during years of routine sexual abuse. Alma spent her childhood living in a home environment rife with poverty, neglect, and unrelenting physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by a domineering father. Love for her siblings kept her going during that harrowing day-to-day existence until she came of age and made her escape. Based on true events, Alma’s story rips away the veil of family secrets that so often surrounds and protects abusers. It exposes difficult truths by detailing the jarring abuse she endured, as well as the resiliency, love, and resourcefulness it took to leave it behind.


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