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The Breakable Vow


The Breakable Vow

Domestic violence is an issue that, in recent years, has become
increasingly discussed and examined by various media forms. Kathryn
Ann Clarke's contemporary novel THE BREAKABLE VOW realistically and
chillingly looks at domestic violence.

Kevin is a high school student who comes from an affluent family.
He is a star athlete and is very popular --- but he is also a
monster. He and his girlfriend Annie were a nice couple, but his
insane jealousy of her begins to turn violent. Despite the physical
and verbal abuse he inflicts on her, Annie does not want to leave

Readers get a first glimpse of Kevin's dark side when Annie goes on
a camping trip with one of her girlfriends, and Harold, a nearby
teenaged camper, befriends the girls. Kevin follows them to the
campsite, convinced that Annie has cheated on him with Harold. He
starts screaming at the boy, and Annie tries to placate Kevin
before a fistfight ensues. When the camping trip is over, Kevin
physically abuses Annie on the car ride home and calls her nasty
names for her supposed tryst with Harold.

Annie soon finds out that she is pregnant. She's ashamed to tell
her family of Kevin's violent actions, but informs her sisters
(sort of) about how he is. Eventually, Kevin promises never to hurt
her again, and he and Annie reconcile and wed. Kevin is awarded a
football scholarship to a college in Texas, so he, Annie and the
baby leave their families for the Lone Star state. Unfortunately,
Kevin breaks his vow --- he takes away her mailbox key, withholds
letters from her that her family has written and doesn't allow her
to get a job.

The worst part is the physical abuse, for which Annie blames
herself. Kevin beats her so severely that she must be hospitalized,
and the police become involved. She begins a legal battle to retain
custody of her daughter and divorce Kevin, who threatens to kill
the baby, Annie and himself before he lets any separation

This is one of the most powerful novels I have read in a long time.
Readers will find themselves rooting desperately for Annie to get
away from this psycho. THE BREAKABLE VOW is a must-read for any
woman, young or old, who has been in an abusive relationship.


Reviewed by Melissa A. Martin on October 18, 2011

The Breakable Vow
by Kathryn Ann Clarke

  • Publication Date: January 6, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0060518219
  • ISBN-13: 9780060518219