Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £18.99

Buy Now for £18.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

For more than two years, BBC Radio 4's The Archers ran a disturbing storyline centred on Helen Tichener's abuse at the hands of her husband Rob. Not the kind of abuse that leaves a bruise, but the sort of coercive control that breaks your spirit and makes it almost impossible to walk away.

As she listened to the unfolding story, Helen Walmsley-Johnson was forced to confront her own agonising past. Helen's first husband controlled her life, from the people she saw to what was in her bank account. He alienated her from friends and family, and even from their three daughters. Eventually, he threw her out and she painfully began to rebuild her life.

Then, divorced and in her early 40s, she met Franc. Kind, charming, considerate Franc. For 10 years she would be in his thrall, even when he too was telling her what to wear, what to eat, even what to think.

Look What You Made Me Do is her candid and utterly gripping memoir of how she was trapped by a smiling abuser, not once but twice. It is a vital guide to recognising, understanding and surviving this sinister form of abuse and its often terrible legacy. It is also an inspirational account of how one woman found the courage to walk away.

Jacket photograph © Reilika Landen / Arcangel

Author photograph © Martin Argles

Design: Ami Smithson, Pan Macmillan Art Department

©2018 Helen Walmsley-Johnson (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

More from the same

What listeners say about Look What You Made Me Do

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    182
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    7
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    155
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    161
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow. This took real bravery and I admire that

I have nothing but admiration for Helen after having read this inspirational and moving account of her life, more specifically the time she spent in an unhealthy and tormenting relationship with someone who used his intelligence and manipulation tin equal measure.

All women who read this book will understand the courage it must have taken the author to not only find the strength to walk away from such a nightmarish existence, but to then go on and write about it in such a moving an deeply personal way. Being a man, I can say this book touched me, but I can only imagine that women who have also suffered the cruelty of psychological and manipulative abuse the world over, would find this book inspirational.

I truly commend and respect you Helen. Your bravery saved not only you, but now has the potential to help women the world over. Perhaps this book may be enough to nudge said women just that bit further into finding strength and finally making the decision to get out, my only hope is that it will.

Narration was monotonous. I didn't want to make a big thing out of it because this audiobook was about a lot more than 'performance' for me.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I was gripped for personal reasons

I thought I had made a mistake with this book as the narration was a bit flat,but I stuck with it and I saw parallels of my own married life in this story, there was a little physical abuse but an awful lot of mental abuse and controlling
behaviour,like Helen I didn’t recognise it at the time i was convinced it was my fault my personality that made him do and say the things he did.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good, important book

This book is well written and informative - both in the wider sense and to have such an honest personal account.

It's always tricky reviewing books that are about difficult subjects because you don't want to use words like 'enjoyed', but I do want to say that I found Helen's narration very good and easy to listen to - I wish she could start a side career as an audiobook narrator! I also want to say that I found her story, though sad, very.. 'gripping'? This is the wrong word, but I disagree with a reviewer who read the paper version on Amazon who felt that there was too much detail and that the story could have been kept shorter. The fact that Helen has so many letters that she can quote word for word, for me really gave an insight into how relationships like these can work, more so than just hearing a summary of someone's story only in their own words.

I bought this book after hearing Helen on the Standard Issue podcast and am glad I did.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful

Engagingly told interweaving of autobiography with wider statistics and data. Very psychologically acute and compelling.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Courageously Candid but Requires Resilience

I thought this book would be more analytical and less personal.
It felt like reading someone's long, sad diary of decline; an exhausting sludge of ever increasing mental, physical and financial abuse, read out in a dispassionate voice.

It was 75% retelling of what happened and 25% analytical about coercive control, within the context of what took place.
The perpetrator was given so much airtime that it felt like the story was about him at times, as opposed to about the Hellen
Hellen's story is interesting and important, but I am not masochistic enough to want to relive her experiences and I nearly gave up reading several times.

Perhaps Helen doesn't yet have enough distance from her abuse, to untangle her self to the degree I hoped for, but I believe she will in the future.

Spoiler:
There's no climatic, happy ending of complete seperation and freedom.
Circumstances and remarkable resilience brings the author back to her self, little by little.
We leave Hellen on the brink of a deeper understanding and recovery from what happened to her (which was a lot more interesting than the dreaded Frank droning on about his needs, in the most cryptic manner, for pages and pages and pages).

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

A Complete Non Story

I kept waiting for this to pick up.. it didn't.
The authors story sure.. but she is NO narrator. Her voice is, boring, flat, no inflection and no emotion. It was simply her reading nauseating love letters from her to her BF. a COMPLETE yawn fest. I was expecting much much more!! I didn't even finish it. I returned it!! Don't waste a credit!! x

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very unsettling

Although I am glad I picked this book and I am also glad I went through it, it was also one of the hardest books to listen to because of the whole story described in it. (I mostly listen to my audiobooks while running and I believe I went for a run less often with this book.)

This book describes, in painful details, how coercive control starts, works and what could be its consequences.
Well, there are actually two toxic relationships in the book for the price of one as part of the book describes Helen being harassed by her boss in her job.

Although the narration is a little bit on the dull side, more than one time I told myself - Ok, it is narrated by the author, so at least Helen survived, so that is ok.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very relevant

A book that had to be written on a subject that is so hard to speak about and misunderstood by many

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The power of the Narcissist

As a therapist who specialises in working with those who are or have been in abusive relationships I cannot recommend this book enough. The author gives a terrifying and visceral account of her experiences of toxic men and workplace bullying. The courage of this woman is astounding.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love to bits❣

Easy to read and grasp topik, I would highly recomendto every woman as an eyes opener.

3 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-07-22

So many relatable thoughts

Helen wrote out so much. Not only the objective facts of her abuse but also the intricate thoughts and feelings behind her situation. The story is a well of validation for not only the victims of physical abuse but the victims of coercive control. I remember thinking, "I wish he'd just hit me so I'd have a real excuse to leave." Physical abuse is not the only kind of domestic abuse.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for esther vincent
  • esther vincent
  • 20-02-22

incredible book. incredible woman. highly recommen

incredible book. incredible woman. highly recommend to anyone, particularly to women so they can know what to look for/avoid in a partner!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-21

Beautiful

Thank you for sharing yourself with us Helen. Beautifully written and beautifully read. Highly recommend