It’s about halfway through February and I finished another book. I was on a bit of a lag coming out of January but I’m hoping I’ll pick back up. After The Eclipse was my Book of the Month choice for October of 2017. The reason why I hadn’t read it yet was not because of how behind I am on my TBR list (for once), it’s because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to read it yet. This story is a memoir written by a woman whose mother was murdered when she was twelve years old and the following years of finding justice and peace with herself. I was very intrigued by this book but the firsthand account of a daughter losing her mother suddenly hit very close to home for me.
I finally decided to read this book and from page one, I was captivated. Perry wastes no time describing the night that her mother was stabbed to death while she was just a couple feet away, in her own room. It is heart wrenching, raw, and brutal – but above all else, it feels so real. Not only does your heart break for Sarah but you literally feel like you are sitting on the bed next to her listening to the screams.
This memoir jumps back before Crystal Perry was killed and jumps forward to the hours, days, weeks, months and years after the murder. Sarah shares a special bond with her young, beautiful, and single mother. As an adult she can see the strengths and faults that her mother possessed and it is so refreshing to see such a complete portrait of a strong but also damaged human.
The plot loosely surrounds the search for Crystal Perry’s murderer. It takes over 10 years to catch the man that stabbed Crystal Perry more than 50 times. We see Sarah grow up and grapple with abandonment from her remaining family and reckon with the guilt she feels from the that night and finally achieve justice.
Despite the mystery of who killed Crystal Perry – I think the real heart of this memoir is the grief and guilt that Sarah had to spend the rest of her life working through. She exhibited such strength and resilience through the toughest situation imaginable and she did it alone, she didn’t have the love and support she needed to get through such a traumatic experience. My heart broke for her but at the same time I was in awe of her strength and commitment to finding justice for her mother.
This is probably the best memoir that I have ever read. Perry has a beautiful narrative style and captivates the reader from the first page to the last. While the subject matter is sad, it also provides hope that out of the worst possible situations – not all is lost.