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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 17 November 2017
I recall Jelena DoKic from 17 years ago as, a young (at 17 years of age), talented and superb tennis player, who ferociously struck the ball with a ruthless demeanor - a giant killer with a promising future. Shenanigans that were to follow - accusations of unfair treatment by Tennis Australia, and subsequent relocation to Yugoslavia - were the result of - in my mind - the abhorrent behavior of her father, There was no doubt whatsoever, that Jelena, had no say in the events that followed, and that she was under the dictates of her rude and controlling father..The book confirms my aforementioned point of view, but additionally, in graphic detail, reveals how Jelena's father constantly assaulted and abused the poor girl. Despite her successes on the tennis court, and there were many, she could never please him. She was, for him, simply a conduit for earning, and handing over to him, money - her money. Simple as that. As the book unfolds, my emotions surfaced, so much so that I really wanted to put my arm around the poor girl, in a fatherly way of course, and comfort her - perhaps even adopt her into my family, and show her what a normal, loving family is, and ought to be, for any child. Her mother, not married to Jelena'sr father, is also portrayed as cold and distant to Jelena, fearful of displeasing Jelena's father. She,too, failed, miserably so, in her duty of care, to Jelena. Poor, sweet, innocent, Jelena. What a terrible upbringing!
Jess Halloran has superbly written this entertaining and absorbing story of one of Australia's most promising female tennis players. I enjoyed the book immensely. There was one troubling omission, however, that should have been addressed.The book mentions that Jelena had a tax liability of some $2m. I was left wondering to what tax jurisdiction/s was this money owed, was it paid, and how was it paid ? No mention.It also begs the question, has jelena, now at age 34, been left with anything - financially, or have all her earnings - some $6m Aust.- been paid over to her uncaring father? Jelena mentions how much she and her partner would like to start a family. At age 34,Jelena's biological clock is ticking, so one presumes Jelena and her partner are awaiting finances before having children,and so the surmise is, that Jelena has nothing to show for her earlier substantial earnings. A Great book and a great read!
6 people found this helpful
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If you were around when Jelena started out in the 90's you may remember how exciting her future looked. I bought this book because I wanted to find out what really happened, and this book delivers the answers. Poor Jelena, I really don't know how she didn't completely fall to pieces for all time, rather than just a couple of years. What a shocking upbringing. I'm so glad she wrote this book and has been able to let some people know the truth. It's also very readable and well written.
4 people found this helpful
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on 16 February 2018
So sad to find out Jelena's childhood was so much worse than the public knew. Her demoniacal father should be retrospectively tried for abuse. It was also written in a way which showed the hard work, disruptive travel, problems with coaches, that face elite tennis players. Sadly, it reveals that racism and exclusion can be used by children, no doubt encouraged by adults. I would recommend the book. It's easy to read, not too technical, and eventually, uplifting, after a depressing, isolated early life.
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on 8 August 2018
What a journey, this young woman has been on , with so many ups and downs.
I remember watching her rise in the tennis world and loved to watch her play, her steal like determination and focus was incredible. But like so many other people i had no idea what she was really enduring in her private life..
I am in awe of her sheer strength, mentally, emotionally and physically, also her brutal honesty in the telling of her story.
I would recommend this book to anyone.
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on 25 November 2017
After finishing this book, I was overwhelmed by a feeling that Australia owes Jelena an apology. This country failed her. Nobody bothered to ask the hard questions and help Jelena, instead we used her father for our own amusement. Then we turned our backs on her. But what is so amazing is Jelena's strength and positive spirit. She has overcome more obstacles than anyone should ever face, but still counts herself as lucky. Jelena is truly inspirational. Despite the fact that she has been in the public eye for 20 years, this book feels like an introduction to the real Jelena. This book is an honest and raw account of triumph in the most adverse of circumstances. Jelena really is "unbreakable".
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on 14 February 2018
Heart rending account of a trusting daughter and an abusive father.I am so glad that you are now moving on and living a healthy life.I really loved that she tried to explain her feeling of powerlessness and admitted going along with her fathers instructions to the press.She leaves nothing to speculate about.I am so glad to have read this.
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on 5 December 2017
Once I started reading this book I had trouble putting it down. I watched her play many tennis matches, but like most, had no idea what was happening beyond the game. It shows the courage and spirit of someone too young to be burdened by the bullying and physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her father. An extremely sad story, but I would recommend this book highly to everyone. I hope Jelena has an amazing future ... she certainly deserves it.
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on 11 March 2018
You really feel for her. Honest and raw., just like her tennis. One end up wishing she had the chance to play longer. She was world junior Champion with Federer and Federer is still around, so one wonders if things would have been different, she may still be around. Hope life brings her joy and that she gets to know and enjoy life outside tennis
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on 1 July 2018
Loved this book, I have nothing but admiration for Jelena... How she managed to get as far as she did under the domination of such a horrid man..It is amazing what some people go through and still come out the other side.
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on 13 February 2018
An amazing insight into what sort of a life Jelena actually led, and how she covered it up from the public to deal with it by herself. She truly is 'unbreakable' and should be an inspiration to all young people out there in relation to overcoming difficult hurdles to achieve their dream.
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