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67 days to a family's self-destruction

(63 customer reviews)
Authors: Travis Winks
Family, mental illness
C Format

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Runner Up International Book Awards  2021 – True Crime

“The sad thing about this story is that it is all true. Some would say it’s unbelievable, unfortunately it’s not”- Travis Winks

“Told with brutal honesty, I couldn’t put it down” – Amanda Keller OAM
“Impossible to read without tears and admiration” – Glenn Daniel – Journalist/Broadcaster

Your brother is on life support and might not make it …
Your sister has been arrested …
The police have just shot Dad …

Shattered, is a true story of the devastating impacts of mental illness and domestic violence that saw one family self-destruct in just 67 harrowing days. Told through the eyes of a hurting brother and son, this tragic story follows three family members through a series of decisions that bring the family together, and then tear them apart.

Almost every family has a tumultuous chapter and this story is about the real impact mental illness and domestic violence can have. The consequences are not only catastrophic for sufferers, but also for those who love them.

Travis tells his story with rawness and honesty, but also with hope and humour. His story will help people realise that life has many options, and challenges and problems can be dealt with differently, and hopefully positively.

Travis Winks

Travis Winks

Travis Winks is a radio presenter and broadcast journalist. With a background in sports journalism he has covered some of the biggest events on the planet. What he went through with his family changed him forever. He has written this book to inspire readers to look at their lives differently.

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63 reviews for Shattered

  1. ‘Your life can spin on the head of a pin. That’s what Travis Winks discovered. With brutal honesty, Travis takes us inside the terrible events that caused his family to implode over the course of a few life changing months. I couldn’t put it down.’

  2. ‘Shattered is a raw, true, harrowing story that could have happened to any family, told in all its honesty, pain, grief, and love. News headlines too often oversimplify and distance us from the real people behind a tragedy. Travis Winks’s gripping account of his own family’s heartbreak is a clarion call that any of us could face a cascade of misfortune and overwhelm, that compassion is the first best response, and that looking out for each other is our only way forward. A moving, unforgettable read.’

  3. ‘A stark reminder that when things are bad, they can always get worse, but the love of your family will see you through the toughest of times.’

  4. ‘An extraordinary and compelling read. Travis brings incredible clarity to this true-life tragedy and unbelievable resilience in his response and writing. Impossible to read without tears and admiration.’

  5. ‘Travis Winks’ thoughtfully written heart-rending story centred on his father Russell touched me greatly, occasionally reducing me to tears as I recalled the lost, loveless childhood I had with my dad.
    ‘If only my dad Ron was more like Russ – generous, thoughtful and faithful with unconditional love for his wife
    Joy and the four kids, Travis, Trent, Amy and Emma.
    ‘What drove Russell to choose what he did will sadly never be known and reading Travis’s account of that terrible day in his family’s life it must have been like living some surreal neverending nightmare.’
    ‘More grief than any family should have to endure in a lifetime.’

  6. ‘Shattered is a story of love, loyalty, hope and heartbreak. The hits for this family just kept coming. It will make you think about family and the people you love. I shed tears and laughed as I reflected on my own relationship with my dad and brothers. This story will shake you to the core and remind you that life is
    worth fighting for.’

  7. ‘Achingly raw debut novel from broadcaster Travis Winks. Some families seem to cop more than their fair share of hard knocks. This novel shines a spotlight on some serious issues, domestic violence and mental health. Life can be fragile and sometimes people reach breaking point. Compelling read.

  8. ‘From my own lived experience of type 2 bipolar and creating and managing a company that specialises in workplace mental health I understand the importance of the topic and how it can affect people. I also understand the importance of sharing lived experience and what the power of story can do. This book delivers both in spades. ‘This book is a very powerful read. It is real, raw and confronting. It takes you out of your comfort zone and provides a vivid outline of the reality of mental health struggles, domestic violence and the ripple effect of suicide.
    ‘I know this book will change the individual perception towards the topic of mental health. It will have the reader checking in with their loved ones and being proactive in looking after their own mental health and supporting others look after theirs.
    ‘This book takes you on a journey that is tragic and so very sad, but it will be a game changer in Australia. You will not be the same after reading this book and that is a good thing.’

  9. ‘A harrowing and unforgettable reminder of just how fragile life, love and family can be. Shattered will lead the way in helping society understand the many different shades of mental illness and the toll domestic violence takes not only on the victim but on those that love them.’

  10. I know this family and I know the depths of their pain. I also know their strength, the steady ebb and flow of it until it becomes the norm and puts pain firmly in its place. This story is a one sitting, captivating read.

  11. A fantastic insight into what can happen to any family when the wheels begin to fall off. The Winks family capitulation demonstrates how at any given moment, we’re all just one bad decision away from a potentially life altering event that can set in place a series of consequential unforeseen cataclysmic events.

    Also great to see someone finally putting the spotlight on a rarely covered subject: The fact that someone needs to care for the carers!!

    A gripping read.

  12. I’m not the first person to say that despite its emotionally challenging subject matter, Shattered is almost impossible to put down. This is partly a result of its clever structure – alternating between key developments in the lives of Winks’ brother, sister and father, with each chapter ending at a point of high tension. Even more compelling, though, is Winks’ willingness to share so many intimate and painful experiences so candidly

  13. Winks’ memoir offers no simple answers to the problems it shares, but his extraordinary family’s humour and deep love for each other shine through and offer a sense of hope through unthinkable trauma, and invite us to ask how we can better deal with these issues as a society. Shattered serves as stark encouragement to keep a close eye on loved ones, and not to take the resilience of others as a given, no matter how stoic they appear on the surface. It’s a riveting and extremely important book.

  14. Wave FM presenter and journalist Travis Winks has written his own book, a true story about the mental illness and domestic violence he experienced within his own family

  15. Shattered bought out not only tears for the Winks family, but tears for my own. The raw honesty of what Russell, Trent, Amy and those that loved them endured has parallels to my own family. All so often abusers destroy not only their victims but the children, parents and friends who get caught in the abusers’ crimes. RIP Russell, loved by so many peoples accounts you were not only an incredible father, but man. I hope the surviving members of the Winks family are moving forward with their lives and healing. Hard to relive Travis has written a book that will touch the hearts of many families. Well done Travis for stepping up and supporting those that you love, while suffering your own pain. It is evident that Russell raised an incredible man.

  16. Shattered is a true story of grief. Russell’s grief for his children and grandchildren and their pain leading to his death is heart wrenching. The emotional pain and helplessness that Russell was carrying is testimony to the depth of his love for his family. A truly remarkable man. Love and grief cannot exist without the other and this family had its fair share of both. None of us can escape grief but all of us can love. Thank you for writing this book Travis, it is certainly a wake-up call and support to all who read it. Hopefully a movie will be made so that the story will reach those who are suffering their own pain will know they are not alone.

  17. Shattered is a true story of grief. That one family can endure such heartache and devastation is beyond me. I could NOT put the book down and would love to see book 2.

  18. 3BA Bigshow host PT spoke with Travis about what happened and why he decided to tell the world about his families devastating story.

  19. 2CC Canberra breakfast interview
    Broadcaster Travis Winks has shared the raw and brutally honest story of his own family’s battles with mental illness and domestic violence. He joined Stephen Cenatiempo to discuss his new book, Shattered.

  20. Today we welcome Travis Winks to discuss his new memoir, Shattered: 67 days to a family’s self-destruction.

  21. Shattered is one man’s first-hand experience on how his close knit family was ripped apart & destroyed. The scariest thing? It could just have easily been you & your family. Shattered is compelling reading. – Jade Tonta – Wave FM 96.5 Breakfast Host

  22. You wonder how one family can go through so much misfortune? I started reading this book at 10pm and didn’t go to sleep until I was done. Such a great read. It touches on topics which are too often brushed aside. People deal with grief in so many different ways and clearly this was Travis’s way of dealing with it. It would have taken a lot of courage for him to write your story and share it with others.

  23. “Mental illness and domestic violence, they’re the other pandemic of our time.
    “As a society we have to somehow fight with everything that we’ve got to try and help these people through that darkest of times.”I hope people who read this book just look at their lives and their choices and their relationships a little bit differently. They might avoid complete disaster.”

  24. Triple M Coffs Breakfast
    Travis Winks Shares His Family Story With His Book “SHATTERED 67 Days To A Family’s Self-Destruction”


  26. Unbelievable how so much destruction could happen to one family in such a short space of time, and how the effects of many years of mental abuse endured by Amy and Russell in this story could all come to a head in such tragic circumstances. This was a heart shattering read, I know Travis Winks and worked with him for 6 years, it is amazing that he is still standing to tell this story, a lesser man would be a screaming mess living in a mad house. This is a very confronting, very sad story that makes you question life and the real value of family and friends and love and support and I could not put it down until I finished it. A gut wrenching story from a very brave man and told with honesty – a definite five star read. And go on the publishers for seeing the value in telling such story.

  27. I couldn’t put it down. How can any family cope with so many tragedies at once? Travis shows so much strength and love for his family in this well written account of their lives. I hope you are all doing ok. Losing a father is heartbreaking but losing a father so tragically is incomprehensible. Sending love to you all. A must read for any family struggling with depression, domestic violence and grief.

  28. “This is one of those stories that if it wasn’t true it would be to incredible to believe, it made me pick up the phone to all of my family members and talk to them about what was going on in their life! This time I really listened!” Paul ‘Campo’ Campion – River 949 Breakfast Host

  29. Travis is one of the “nice guys“ in this crazy world of showbiz we work in and is testament to the fact that you never know what’s going on behind the scenes of the smiling funny guy at work.
    In this book he pulls back the curtain of an incredible story of family trauma (so many of us can relate!?) but also, it’s a raw story of hope and don’t we all need that….
    Stories like Travis’ are so important to be told because they make room for dialogue collectively about a taboo topic that affects so many Australians…. all of us need to know we are not alone when it comes to issues like this within our families…
    Bianca Dye – Broadcaster, TV Host and Author

  30. “Isn’t it incredible what “life” can throw at you? I know what a good man Travis is and I feel so much for what he and his family have endured. His book is riveting and will really touch your soul. Get yourself a copy, find a quite place, grab a cuppa and read it” – Kimmi Saker Radio Announcer.

  31. ‘A cocktail that destroyed us’: Family shattered by depression, violence and prescription drugs

  32. Back in 2016 over a period of 67 Trav and his family went through a horrendous time with a series of terrible events. This book is well worth a read – you won’t be able to put it down.


  33. This book arrived at 5pm and I finished it the same night. I was not able to put it down. It felt like I was living this harrowing nightmare along with the family. I felt like I knew them. So much resonated personally. Please read this. Its so well written and easy to read….although the content is anything but easy. That said, it is so important. To see how people, just like you and me, can have their worlds flipped upside down in a heartbeat. Cannot recommend highly enough. Well done Travis, and thankyou so much for sharing

  34. You wonder how one family can go through so much misfortune? I started reading this book at 10pm and didn’t go to sleep until I was done. Such a great read. It touches on topics which are too often brushed aside. People deal with grief in so many different ways and clearly this was Travis’s way of dealing with it. It would have taken a lot of courage for him to write your story and share it with others.

  35. Travis’ writing perfectly sets the scene and mind’s eye for what is ultimately a tragic family story.
    While I was caught up in the addictive pace and narrative, I kept the thought in the back of my head that this is a true story that actually happened to a good man… a good family.

    Read it, I urge you. It will change the way you think about your family, in so much as you will never again want to go long without seeing or speaking to them.

  36. A brilliantly written, emotive and powerful insight into the horrifying impact that domestic violence and mental illness can have. Travis turns the spotlight on an issue all too often swept under the carpet.
    An absolute must read, I challenge anyone who reads this not to be moved to tears.

  37. Such a heart breaking set of circumstances. This read absolutely outlines the affects of mental well-being and it’s importance. This could happen to any family. Strength to those who are left behind

  38. I couldn’t put this book down. I was amazed that all this pain was happening to one family in such a short amount of time. Travis really wrote the story well under such horrific circumstances. I wish travis and his family all the best for the future and hope that things start to look up for him.
    Definitely grab a copy and a box of tissues.

  39. A well written heartbreaking story that will touch your heart. A must read from a very brave author.

  40. A raw emotional filled dialogue that gives a glimpse into the lives of a family depicting hard and real life events… I read it non stop till the end.

  41. This touching story about a normal family who underwent catastrophic events is an excellent read. Very sad at times but well written by Travis. I recommend others read this book and everyone appreciate the family they have and support each other in difficult times.

  42. This book is such a great read as soon as i started i could not put it down how a family can go through such pain & sorrow in such a short time is unbelievable thank you so much Travis winks for sharing a very personal & so so sad story well done i will recommend this book to my family & friends. Thank you again .

  43. “An insight into the fragility and strength of the human spirit when the normal becomes the absurd. Travis bravely recalls 67 days in his young life, best forgotten but too important to forget. Layer upon layer the tension mounts as this unbelievable true story is vividly retold with an unflinching honesty, bewilderment and tenderness that takes the reader to unfathomable depths of loss and despair. Grab a “Do Not Disturb” sign, man-sized hankie and settle in for the long haul – I couldn’t put this book down until finished”.

  44. A very compelling story which keeps you captivated throughout.

  45. Told with raw and brutal honesty. With courage, the author has told of his deeply personal struggle of how quickly a loving family can unravel under the torment of mental illness and domestic violence, with the most devastating of outcomes. This is a heartbreaking story that hopefully can change lives for the better.

  46. What a read, an amazing story that was written so well I felt like I was part of the family. I’m not a big reader but I was told about this book from a friend and I read it in one sitting, just over 5 hours straight. I couldn’t stop until I finished it. The author must be praised for his honesty and ability to tell such a tragic true story. It is brilliant.

  47. WOW. Opened 1st page and never put it down till the last. The most amazing, touching, thought provoking, confronting and EMOTIONAL book. A BRILLIANT read. The choices made by the family members, and the people that were intertwined into their lives is so confronting. This book will make any reader think of the heartbreak of the Winks clan, and then reflect on someone within their own family or someone they know, and get minds thinking of helping others close to them. Makes you think of what you say, what you do-as it affects others around you. Love your Family endlessly and tell them so, as you just never know how things can change. What an amazing read, from an amazing man Travis has to be. A MUST read this book is!

  48. This book was awesome I could not put it down I read from cover to cover in one day I cried and laughed I admire Travis for putting it out there look forward to another book.

  49. Couldn’t put this book down. Felt so devastated that one family could go through so much in such a short time. However I felt inspired at the same time, the incredibly strong bond this family had through it all & the love of the parents & siblings, who would do anything to protect those they love. The importance of mental health, not putting up with emotional & physical abuse, as the longtime effect can be so detrimental, when you snap & can’t take it anymore. Thank you for sharing your story.

  50. I am not a quick reader but this book kept me going and I found it hard to put down . Hard to imagine this all happening to one family, makes you take stock and realise to appreciate what you have and never take family for granted.

  51. An incredible read that is written like you are there with the author. I couldn’t stop until I finished. Captivating and heart-breaking. This story offers hope and leaves you wanting more. There has to be a sequel or a movie. It is so sad that this family went through all of this and so brave of the author to share with the world. This book must win awards, it’s one of the most compelling stories I have ever read.

  52. What a story! and it’s true. So honest and compelling. I read it non-stop in one sitting and even though this story is sad it left me wanting to know how the family is doing today. I hope there is a second book with lots of positives. It has movie written all over it! I cried, laughed and thought about a lot of people I know. Whilst the language and topics are very heavy I think every year 12 student in Australia should be made to study this book. It is a must read!

  53. A captivating and compelling story that I couldn’t stop reading until I finished it. The author’s unique writing style made me feel like I was part of his journey. He should be commended for his bravery and willingness to share such heartbreaking and emotional details. I hope a follow up book is released. I don’t think it will be long before Shattered is turned into a movie. A brilliant read that must have been very tough to write.

  54. A brilliantly written brave story that I couldn’t stop reading. I don’t usually write reviews but had to for this book. It is incredible. The author deserves nothing but admiration for sharing such intimate and emotional detail about subjects that are destroying lives. This book will change the way people look at life.

  55. Shattered is a devastating true story that touches your heart, making you want to hug your family just that little bit tighter.

    Wave FM’s Travis Winks writes about his families Destruction as away of helping him greave and cope with the mental health and domestic violence incidents that happen over 67 heartbreaking days.

    It was a hard book to put down from the moment you started reading it, even when the story ended it made you want to more. Definitely on my list of recommendations.
    Thanks for sharing Travis

  56. Radio Interview with Chris Ilsley – Perth Tonight – Radio 6PR
    Author Travis Winks’ brings us the worst 67 days of his life in his new book

  57. Shattered is a compelling, striking and unbelievable compassionate story told straight from the soul.
    When family is all that matters and suffering, destruction and tragedy occurs due to the painful and sometimes unavoidable stresses of life and circumstances, families are truly tested.
    Written from the heart, a truly poignant reminder of lifes frailty and the tragic effects of domestic violence and mental health.
    Travis and his immediate and extended family have truly suffered, however their strength, determination and love for each other ensured the family remained united in their anguish.
    Written with heartfelt humility, Travis ‘bares all’ with such heartache, truth and tendernesss that a whole box of tissues was used as I couldn’t put it down.

  58. After eagerly waiting weeks for this amazing book to arrive – It certainly did not disappoint!
    From the moment I started the first sentence, I could not put this fantastic book down. Travis tells the tragic, gut wrenching, raw and honest take on his family’s 67 days of self-destruction. To have gone through so many heartaches and set backs all being from sequences of events and coping with the struggles of mental illness and domestic violence. It makes you really appreciate and admire such a courageous man for opening his heart and soul and sharing his story. It certianly makes you want to give those nearest and dearest the biggest hug and not let go. Grab a box of tissues and brace yourself!! Looking forward to the sequel

  59. Thank you Trav for sharing your family story. So easy to read and emotional too. Would thoroughly recommend your book, hopefully it raises more awareness for Domestic Violence and helps others to get out of toxic relationships. It brought back memories for me as I am a survivor of this. With regards to mental health even that strong person you think can cope but needs support too. DV has a ripple effect on families and friends. Life certainly throws curve balls and thank goodness you have a supportive partner Trav. Waiting to read the next book!

  60. What a read! Could not put this book down, I was angry, I was shocked, I had tears streaming down my face but still felt such moments of happiness. A real life story that made me stop, think and become completely involved. Travis’s writing is real and raw.

  61. Absolutely phenomenal book that was hard to put down. Reading it gave me so much more insight to the world of mental health and the struggles people go through without even realising. Would definitely recommend and will read again.

  62. Truely heartbreaking how one family can go through so much. I couldn’t put this book down once I started, really well written

  63. The writing is raw and full of emotion. Readers will find themselves gripped by the story, and unable to set it down. It is hard to imagine a more horrific sequence of events. But in sharing his story Winks shines a light on issues of depression, domestic violence, and mental breakdown, and the failure of our society to provide the care and support that is needed. Unfortunately these issues are of ongoing concern.

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