New York Times bestselling poet and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jewel explores her unconventional upbringing and extraordinary life in an inspirational memoir that covers her childhood 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. Drawing comparisons to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, a singer-songwriter of her kind had not emerged in decades. Now, with more than thirty 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 five, and joined her parents’ entertainment act, working in hotels, honky-tonks, and biker bars. Behind a strong-willed family life with an emphasis on music and artistic talent, however, there was also instability, abuse, and trauma. At age fifteen, she moved out and tasked herself with a mission: to see if she could avoid being the kind of statistic that her past indicated for her future. Soon after, she was accepted to the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and there she began writing her own songs as a means of expressing herself and documenting her journey to find happiness. Jewel was eighteen and homeless in San Diego when a radio DJ aired a bootleg version of one of her songs and it was requested into the top-ten countdown, something unheard-of for an unsigned artist. By the time she was twenty-one, her debut had gone multiplatinum.
There is much more to Jewel’s story, though, one complicated by family legacies, by crippling fear and insecurity, and by the extraordinary circumstances in which she managed to flourish and find happiness despite these obstacles. Along her road of self-discovery, learning to redirect her fate, Jewel has become an iconic singer and songwriter. In Never Broken she reflects on how she survived, and how writing songs, poetry, and prose has saved her life many times over. She writes lyrically about the natural wonders of Alaska, about pain and loss, about the healing power of motherhood, and about discovering her own identity years after the entire world had discovered the beauty of her songs.
Jewel's evocative and captivating how-to for living a full and creative life is her second nonfiction book (after 2000's Chasing Down the Dawn). She aims to help others by honestly sharing her painful journey. Her history includes surviving abuse while growing up in Alaska, being on her own at 15, and supporting herself through theft on her way to "keeping the good while being willing to see and let go of the bad." The subtitle of her memoir is that "songs are only half the story" of the singer-songwriter whose 1995 debut album topped the charts. The other half is more than autobiography. Jewel's writing is conversational poetry, filled with rich details, as she explores her heritage or explains what she taught herself about music, art, and the music business. She sleeps rough, hitchhikes, and survives by busking or living in her car, by turns experiencing money, fame and loneliness, betrayal by her mother, marriage, divorce, and the birth of a much-loved baby. Her book will delight her fans, but can also reach beyond that base to those intrigued by what it takes to be successful after years of plugging away. Jewel's lyrics, generously included throughout, reflect her authenticity and generosity. This is a solidly good read.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A truly beautiful and inspiring read. I loved every minute.
Jewel is an inspiring, veracious storyteller. She's ever-bending and authentic. What a treat this was. I'm now a big fan of this survivor who challenges herself to keep growing - for herself and her son.
Inspiring and Never Broken EDA
I just finished reading Never Broken and Wow!!! Powerful, inspirational and one of the best memoirs I have ever read!! I think what makes it so good is its relatable for one and two she shows strength in everything . I felt like I was with her on this powerful journey. I felt at times she was talking to me and encouraging me to pick up the pieces and find my strength. Jewel is a beautiful, strong woman and she is so very inspiring. Her ability to write songs and poetry is amazing but her ability to tell her story was beyond anything I have ever read and I love to read and I read a lot! I can be very critical and honest when I can't get into a story. I was drawn in by the first sentence and for two days I read and slept. That's how good it was!! I hope to get the chance to meet her one day, shake her hand and say thank you for feeling like a friend for 20 plus years! Thank you for being real, honest and vulnerable, most of all human!! highly recommend this book to everyone even if you have never heard of jewel or listened to her music, go get this book and read it!