• Never Broken

  • Songs Are Only Half the Story
  • By: Jewel
  • Narrated by: Jewel
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (4,402 ratings)

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Never Broken  By  cover art

Never Broken

By: Jewel
Narrated by: Jewel
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling poet and multiplatinum singer-songwriter Jewel explores her unconventional upbringing and extraordinary life in an inspirational memoir that covers her childhood, rise to fame, marriage, and motherhood.

When Jewel's first album, Pieces of You, topped the charts in 1995, her emotional voice and vulnerable performance were groundbreaking. In the tradition of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell (she has been compared to both), a singer-songwriter of her kind had not emerged in decades. Now, with over 30 million albums sold worldwide, Jewel tells the story of her life and the lessons learned from her experience and her music.

Living on a homestead in Alaska, Jewel learned to yodel at age three and joined her parents' act, working in hotels, honky-tonks, and biker bars. Behind a strong-willed and independent family life, with an emphasis on music and artistic talent, was also instability, abuse, and trauma.

At age 15 Jewel was accepted into the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she began writing her own songs as a means of expression. She was 18, homeless, and living out of her car in San Diego when a radio DJ aired a bootleg version of one of her songs. It was requested in the top-10 countdown, something unheard of for an unsigned artist. By age 21, her debut album went multiplatinum.

There is so much more to Jewel's story, one complicated by family and financial woes, by crippling fear and insecurity, by parents who forced a child to grow up far too quickly, and by the extraordinary circumstances in which she became a world-famous singer and songwriter. Here Jewel reflects on how she survived and how writing songs, poetry, and prose have saved her life many times over. She writes beautifully about the natural wonders of Alaska, about pain and childhood trauma, and about discovering her own identity years after the entire world had discovered the beauty of her songs.

©2015 Jewel (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Never Broken

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I am never broken.

When a book makes you laugh out loud, cry, curse in frustration, or lay awake in bed thinking about your own life, it is a special book indeed. Never before have I been so emotionally tied to a story. Never Broken is the embodiment of a self help novel. If any of Jewel's songs have spoken to your heart, you will certainly find this book fascinating, heartwarming and helpful.

In this audio recording we get to hear Jewel's entire story unabridged and in her own words. I think hearing her tell her own story makes it more authentic. Another bonus to this recording is that when she references a song, not only does she read the lyrics, she sings a beautiful a cappella version as well.

79 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I did not expect to like this book

Jewel has always struck me as having the ability to say such profound things in one moment, and bizarrely silly things in the next. I expected this book to mostly be the silly, rambling, sappy brand of memoir. But I was blown away with how intense, thoughtful, and inspiring this book was. And her delivery of her work is amazing.

56 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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This is a Self-Help Book Cloaked in a Biography

...and that is fine, if that is what you're after. I'm not criticizing Jewel for wanting to share the hard-taught lessons she's learned, to help others. That is, on its face, a good thing. But, when I buy a biography, I'm expecting a complete, truthful account of someone's life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book until about halfway in, which is when it became and stayed a new-agey how-to-fix-yourself guide, complete with references to materials and other authors to help you on your journey. The hard truths and wrinkles in her life were smoothed out and made almost pretty. She sings a cappella...A LOT...and that was another feature I didn't care for (I'm sure there are plenty of Jewel fans who will disagree). At the end, I felt mislead.

There is no doubt Jewel is a scrappy, get-it-done woman, who overcame adversities and obstacles most cannot comprehend. In fact, I'd want her on my team in a fight. She brought herself up and had to rely on luck to find the people who would help her on her journey, rather than her kin. She acted fearlessly and courageously (even though she didn't feel she was either) and wielding those tools is what brought her success, repeatedly, and in spite of a family who seemed determined to stunt her.

My favorite of her many life's mottos is "Hardwood Grows Slowly", as acting impulsively is dangerous to body, mind and soul. I just wasn't prepared, nor did I intend to purchase, a book about how to learn from mistakes and be a better person.

Her voice is heavenly, so I forgive her.

36 people found this helpful

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This will help me with my anxiety and more.

This book has brought light into my life that I can make it without drugs.

25 people found this helpful

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Like taking a drink of water from a firehose

Jewel is authentic and has lived an incredible life. No child should have ever suffered what she did. I could relate to so much of her story. I will certainly be listening to this again as it is chock full of help overcoming a brutal past and surviving with a kind, loving heart and soul.

25 people found this helpful

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A Fascinating, Intimate Self-Help Memoir

This memoir has to be one of the most interesting reads of 2015. This book is destined to be Jewel's legacy and opus, and it is a story that deserves to be told. I've been a big Jewel fan since 'Pieces of You,' but you needn't listen to her music to appreciate her life.

In short: Jewel suffered more hardship in the first 15 years of her life than most of us will ever see in our entire lives (her adult life hasn't been a picnic, either). She saw her way through with nothing more than optimism, an unwavering belief in herself, and--when necessary--a hunting knife tucked in her sock. Jewel takes the reader through all the events and relationships in her life--from biker bars in frontier Alaska to homelessness in San Diego to sharing a microphone with Bob Dylan--with penetrating honesty. Her ability to craft maxims from life's challenges is nothing short of high art:

- "Informed optimism," her ability to respect and grow from pain
- Never assume anyone knows more about your dreams than you
- Fame and power do not change you, they amplify you
- Take no pride in how much "can I handle;" rather ask how much "should I handle?"
- Finding reality unfiltered by our past experiences
- Innocence traded for wisdom
- Hard wood grows slowly
- Children need to be told they are special
- Children need to be taught that they can do anything they set your mind out to do
- and more

Jewel is as advanced of a human being as they come. Her prose "The Infinite Ache" is worth the price of the book alone. She finds it odd that anyone would think of an action or thought as stereotypically male or female. At the height of her anxiety when most teenagers would turn to drugs, sex or self-abuse, she chose to write "Angel Standing By" as a lullabye to herself. (Read that last sentence again.) She finds the high price of mental health shameful--no doubt she wrote this book as a means of reaching out to anyone suffering in life.

Five stars doesn't even come close to what this title deserves. I want my daughters to read this book when they come of age. Never, ever stop believing in yourself.

22 people found this helpful

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Full meal

Reading good book written "down to the bones" is like eating a good meal and reflecting on it days later. This is that rare book you will want to read or listen to again and again. And it is filled with jewels of wisdom. Simply amazing how her wisdom wakes up your knowing within. We all know this on another level. It's a beautiful reminder of who we really are.

19 people found this helpful

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Self-help; not a biography

Jewel's ability to thrive despite adversity is admirable. Having said that, the book is more like reading a teenager's diary than a story. I made it through most of the book but finally abandoned all hopes that it would stop being a self-indulgent pseudo therapy book with about 45 minutes left. It's really too bad, because the superficial glimpses of her life certainly hint at a compelling story. It just never showed up in this book. Bad use of a credit.

17 people found this helpful

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Behind the Songs

Jewel is a poet, a songwriter, but above all a storyteller. In her terrific autobiography, she describes her family's history, her growing up, her mistakes, successes, and lessons learned along the way.
I loved that this was about Jewel, the woman, and less about Jewel, the singer/songwriter. You can't have one without the other, but as the biography says, songs are only half the story.

Well-written, well-performed, raw and honest. Great work!

15 people found this helpful

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Bautiful, poetic and honest

This exceeded all expectations. I've been a long time fan of Jewels, but I've never read any of her other books of poetry, and bought this on a whim. This book reignited me as a Jewel fan.

Though it's helpful to take this memoire in pieces as times (it can be a lot to take in), it's beautifully written, spoken and wise. Listening to Jewel tell it is an added benefit. Songs imparted during the story, help bring the poetry and memoire to life. But i's not just a story, it's a heartfelt journey of the self for the writer and the reader. Not to mention, Jewel's life is incredibly interesting and unique.

I'm a creative whose been struggling to be at peace and find happiness for some time. This book could not have come at a more opportune moment. Thank you, Jewel for your bravery in writing it!

Bottom line, buy this book!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Looshbaby
  • 11-03-18

Massive Contradictions

Jewel is caught in the middle of the ideal self and the real self. New Age guidelines not matched by her decisions.