Broken Water: An Extraordinary True Story

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A distinctive, haunting tale of family, loss, and hope.- Kirkus Review
This book was impossible to put down until I finished reading every word.
Judge, 31st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
Not even a mafia grunt could keep Barbara from relocating her lost sisters!
“Broken Water: An Extraordinary True Story,” recounts the incredible journey of 11 sisters who navigated through a childhood filled with abuse, neglect, and separation in the foster care system. It is a raw and honest portrayal of their eventual reconnection and healing as they bravely share their individual tales of resilience and survival. The primary objective of this book is to provide readers with a deep understanding of the lasting effects of childhood trauma, as well as the unbreakable bond between siblings and the enduring capacity of the human spirit to heal and find hope. Through these pages, readers will gain insight into the psychological and emotional toll of child abuse and foster care, while also witnessing the transformative power of connection and support in overcoming life’s greatest obstacles.
The core lesson of this story is one of hope and love conquering all obstacles. Despite their traumatic past, the sisters find solace in each other’s company and sharing their struggles. The book ends with a powerful message of inner strength, a new perspective on grace, and a renewed belief in the possibility of healing and redemption. It also serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to understand the complex dynamics of abuse and recovery, making it particularly relevant for professionals and students in fields such as psychology, social work, and counseling.
This book is appropriate for use by professors in academic settings such as social work, counseling, human development, family psychology, mental health, pastoral counseling, and crisis intervention. The companion healing guide “What Your Inner Child Know: 9 Steps to Rescue Your Abused Inner Child,” will be released January 2, 2024.
**This book contains content that might be troubling to some readers including, but not limited to, depictions of and references to child abuse, childhood trauma, neglect, and death. Please be mindful of these and other possible triggers and seek assistance, if needed, from a mental health professional.**

From the Publisher

Logo for Barbara Lane, Author and WriterLogo for Barbara Lane, Author and Writer

Broken Water Book Cover, Author Barbara Lane, and Kirkus ReviewBroken Water Book Cover, Author Barbara Lane, and Kirkus Review

“Broken Water” is a Healing Ointment For Child Abuse Survivors

It took 15 years to gather my sister’s stories, all 11 of them, but it was time well spent. It allowed me an opportunity to really get to know the sisters I had been separated from for so many years. When I came to understand that we were all abused in our childhoods, that not one of us escaped sexual abuse, I knew we were becoming a force to be reckoned with. Our stories provide a powerful avenue toward healing as well as shining a light on issues of child abuse. We are a testament to the fact that no matter what you have been through, you can overcome childhood trauma. Full of faith, hope, and a sisterly love bar none, “Broken Water” reaches out to the spirit of all who read its pages, fills them with hope, and lifts their souls in a timeless way. If this message resonates with you, have faith. You can heal from child abuse and we invite you to join our journey.

Finding Healing and Joy in Our Sisterhood





I searched for my sisters from the time I was three until we reunited 43 years later. This is a picture of us at our first reunion. We are 11 sisters, abandoned and abused, separated due to foster care and adoptions. We share our stories in “Broken Water.”

Excerpt “Broken Water”

(At the burial of my foster mother)

The sleet was still stinging my face. My body was shaking from the cold. It was such a dismal scene, yet deep within I could feel something stirring–something unrecognizable. As I walked back through the sleet to the black limousine, that vague feeling was becoming a thought; that thought was clear. I was going to find my sisters. I was going to gather any semblance of strength I had and open my own private Pandora’s box. Was that wise? Perhaps not. What would I find inside? Still, at the very bottom of the box, after every form of evil escaped, Pandora found the thing I searching for but lacked my entire life–hope.


Sisterhood is a strong bond, and ours is one that withstood the test of time. Though separated, abandoned and abuse, we reunited with a force of love and a feminine energy so strong that anyone who reads our stories will be inspired to begin or continue on their path to healing. The pages in this book will lead you to a power greater than yourself and a faith in God’s ability to work miracles in your life.

“Broken Water” inspires you to realize that you are not the abuse you experienced. It inspires you to journey to heal from childhood trauma and live a life full of grace, hope, and love.

Excerpt “Broken Water”

(At our first reunion)

Tears were falling down my face, washing away years of sadness. They felt different, no longer wasted as those I had shed for most of my life. They were healing and renewing–a font of life.


The journey I took to write “Broken Water” was extremely emotional for me. I not only had to face my own past of abuse, over and over again, I also felt as if I was living through my sisters’ childhood traumas right along with them as they shared their stories. Each of my sisters is so endearing to me, that hearing of their pains, losses, and traumas pierced my heart. I don’t think I could have completed the journey, gathered their stories, and completed the book without my faith. I knew that God was directing me every step of the way and that the goal was to share the sorrows and the joys so that other survivors can gather hope to heal.

Excerpt from “Broken Water”


You will feel this book. That is one of its goals. When something is felt, it is more likely to prompt change. This book seeks to contribute to the growing literature surrounding issues of child abuse: its prevention by way of awareness and the verity that trauma can be healed. To that end, I offer our stories.

Author Barbara Lane, Book Cover Broken WaterAuthor Barbara Lane, Book Cover Broken Water

Words From Terrence J. Giroux, Executive Director, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americas

“Journeying through these heartening stories, I began to look upon these sisters as heroines, each sharing their histories at great personal cost. They gift the world with their stories, spreading hope through an intimate glimpse into the resilience of the human spirit. Such truth telling honors a higher purpose, informing young girls how to protect themselves, while growing from child victims into empowered and resilient women.”

Terrence J. Giroux

–Excerpt from Foreword of “Broken Water”

Barbara Lane - Book on Child AbuseBarbara Lane - Book on Child Abuse

Writer’s Digest Competition

Lane is to be highly commended for her perseverance in pursuing each sister’s individual story. Her writing pulls the reader into the emotions and depth of the trauma each sister experienced at such young ages from their parent’s behavior and their foster care. Her sharing of the “knowingness” and the psychic tendencies that ran through the family including her father, is also important to their connection to each other and to the story. The research, travel involved, recording of each sister’s words, including the author’s personal story are riveting. Details and descriptions create excellent images for the reader. Photos of the sisters express a joy finally achieved. Broken Water is a powerful, compelling story that reveals the failure of orphanages and foster care of years past. It reinforces the need for close inspections of children who live in foster care or boarding schools today. This book was impossible to put down until I finished reading every word

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Barbara Lane, LLC (May 9, 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 282 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8218104078
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.6 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.71 x 8.5 inches

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