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Reviewed by Michael Gardner for Readers' Favorite
Although the introduction and opening to Emotionally Broken telegraph the plot, the story paints an effective picture of what it’s like to enter into a romantic relationship with a narcissist. While some readers may find Jonathan to be an extreme character, if you’ve ever known one, you’ll know this is an accurate portrayal of what narcissists are like, how they seduce their victims, and the way they subsequently behave once they’ve got what they wanted. Isabel Wells writes both the principal characters well, with convincing development as the relationship progresses. Emotional abuse is a tough subject to execute well and I think Isabel Wells strikes the right balance in this book between telling a story and making a statement.
What the story also portrays so well is the nature of the victims of narcissists, who are typically people with low self-esteem. Kate comes across as having this more through her personal circumstances, being a single mother, lacking higher education, and working long hours to make ends meet. Isabel Wells hasn’t written a black and white story about good (an innocent victim) and evil (an abuser) but shows us a woman looking for her Mr. Right and finding a Mr. Always Right. I wouldn’t describe Emotionally Broken as an enjoyable read due to its subject, but it is a compelling read. My feelings are that readers who are in such a relationship will find Emotionally Broken confrontational and challenging. Those who have been through the ordeal and survived will likely find it cathartic. For everyone else, it’s a solidly written, psychological thriller that may make you look at certain people in a new light.