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Unravelled: The inspirational true story of a journey out of darkness [Kindle Edition]

Vikie Shanks , Lynne Barrett-Lee
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“September 15th 2007 is a date that will stay with me always. For it’s the day that Paul, my late husband and father to my seven children, decided he’d had enough of the life he had created for us all, and took himself off to the woods on the edge of our property, and fatally slashed his neck and arms.”

When Vikie Shanks met Paul, he seemed to be everything a girl could ever want. Handsome, attentive, caring and musically gifted, he felt like the antidote to all the bad things that had happened in her life. Vikie had had a deeply unhappy childhood, and it had scarred her. Sexually abused by her eldest brother and dominated by a violent father, her childhood ended with the death of her mother when she was just sixteen.

Unravelled is the story of Vikie’s life with Paul. Of the years in which his behaviour and mental state became ever more erratic. Of his casual cruelty, his spying, his inexplicable and sudden rages. Of his growing obsession with having more and more children, and of naming them according to a precise set of rules. How, over a period of years, he all but gutted their family home, tearing down most of the internal walls and removing almost everything but basic furniture, while simultaneously creating a secret home for himself, made out of plywood, in what used to be a shed. Of his secret diaries – the tens of thousands of entries he made, documenting every minute of every day. After his death, it would be these writings that would provide such compelling evidence of what further tragedy might have happened had he not made the decision that he did that fateful morning. Because whatever was wrong with him was like a ticking bomb that even Vikie hadn’t properly heard; it seemed he’d spent time planning to kill the whole family.

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Product Description

About the Author

Vikie Shanks was born in 1958 in Aden ( now South Yemen ), where her father was stationed in the RAF, the youngest of three children, and lived from the age of five in Waterbeach near Cambridge.

At the age of seventeen she left home and moved to London to start work as a trainee buyer in Harrods but left after a year and became a croupier. After two years working in London and a further year in Spain she became a full time model back in the UK.

Aged twenty five she met Paul Shanks, who was to become her husband and father to her seven children, whom it transpired was mentally very ill and he committed suicide aged 51.

Since 2007 she has been a single mother to her seven autistic children - the two youngest also have Cerebral Palsy. She continues to run the Corporate Entertainment business that Paul and she ran together when he was alive.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2159 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Thistle Publishing (15 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L1ENC0O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99,592 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, rather poor book production. 26 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great story, very lucidly told. But what is going on with the editing? Typos, missed words, missed punctuation... It worsened as the book progressed and did spoil the experience. Splash out on a copy edit, Thistle Publishing! The book merits the effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an incredible story. Throughout the story I genuinely had to keep stopping to take it in and question whether this was actually a true story. For one person to have gone through so much and come out the other end is quite phenomenal. Vikie takes you on a journey of her life which is so unbearably sad at times I just wanted to reach into the pages and do something to help. On so many occasions I found myself actually sharply intaking my breath as I couldn't quite believe what I reading. With no yardstick from her own fractured childhood to pull on she had no idea what 'normal' was. I believe she did know (deep down) right from the start what was and wasn't normal but, due to her own childhood, she just wasn't confident enough to put enough stall in her own convictions. It read as though she almost felt like she didn't deserve to lead a good life. It is deftly told and you quickly get to know and understand Vikie and really go on this journey with her. I wont ruin the story because this is a book that deserves to be picked up and a story that deserves to be read. I am in awe of Vikie and her family for all they have achieved in the face of such heartbreaking adversity. If you want to read a story which really will put your own problems into some kind of perspective it is this one. I read it in two sittings as I couldn't put it down. Finally...if you want a book which will really show you it IS possible to achieve anything despite what life throws at you then buy this book. You won't regret it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shockingly truthful 18 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow, downloaded earlier today , couldn't stop reading it, roller coaster if emotions reading it from the pit of my stomach , sadness, fear , anger to then fill my heart with empathy, understanding , compassion, & love a Mother Love , would definitely recommend reading, out of something so horrific, has & will continue to be something so positive, you were chosen to be the wonderful mother you are & will continue doing so, thank you so much for sharing this with you, can't imagine how difficult it was for you writing & reliving it all, but hope it has been a healing process for you & your wonderful & beautiful children, bless you all xx
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The true story of Unravelled is heartfelt and heartbreaking. It is beautifully written and an incredible story of strength, courage and love. I personally love stories of people who sacrifice everything for love even if it means they suffer as a result.
The message behind this story is of love defeating pain and coming out on the other side stronger.
I recommend this book because it is an inspirational true story of a journey out of darkness and will stay with you as a reminder that no matter how trapped you feel, you can get through anything.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Vikie Shanks is the ultimate single parent, caring for seven children in the wake of her husband's death. In this powerful true tale, she describes in often painful detail the trials that have beset her, whilst also showing her incredible determination to beat them all. I found it utterly compelling and would recommend it without hesitation. A remarkable lesson in how to survive, no matter how rocky the road becomes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By ec52
Format:Paperback
I was deeply moved by this book.
I was left in awe and admiration of Vikie and her children and the strength through which they saw through one of the most difficult times of their lives. I read this book in little under two days as I just couldn't put the book down!
Truly an inspirational story and I couldn't recommend it more.
I wish this family all the happiness in the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly inspirational lady 28 Feb. 2015
By Chrissy
Format:Kindle Edition
It just makes you think again when you are moaning about the small things that go wrong in your life, that really you have nothing to moan about. What a truly inspirational and wonderful mother Vickie Shanks is. God bless you and all your beautiful children. I would recommend this book it has been well written and is really worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very interesting story but ended abruptly. The general grammar and punctuation could have been much better.
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a junrney out of darkness 0 20 Jun 2014
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