Reviews

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

danibeliveau's review against another edition

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4.0

A story of two families rooted in separate experiences of child abuse. It takes almost half the book to link these two seemingly unconnected narratives, coming to that point where the author’s and Ricky’s lives intertwine. If you’re like me, the back-and-forth between these two stories might get confusing and a little frustrating because they seem so completely apart from each other; I almost put the book down out of impatience, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m glad I didn’t. The stories do come together in a way that is, surprisingly, very elegantly structured despite the deeply troubling content. Now, having reached the end, I fully appreciate the scope of the book’s title and subtitle.

onlymechloe's review

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4.0

This book was a pure tragedy with very little cold hard fact for relief. It was a very hard but I feel a necessary read for any of us with a sick fascination for the inner workings of killers. This book should definitely be flagged for trigger warnings of sexual abuse and incest. It was a very emotional read but eye-opening as well. The memoir/true crime combined style is a new favorite for me but this one sometimes seemed like a perverted peek into the author’s deepest, darkest diary entries. It was written with such aching honesty that the story will surely stay with me for a long while.

junior051416's review

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challenging dark emotional sad slow-paced

4.0

belladonna624's review against another edition

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4.0

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my thoughts in any way.
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, is a difficult book to review. I thought it was well researched and well written. The author who narrates it has a very pleasant voice to listen to. The murder portion of the story is about a man named Ricky Langley who murders a child named Jeremy Guillory. The memoir is about the author and the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. The author draws comparisons from her situation to the case of Jeremy and Ricky. This book has victims and villains and sometimes they are one in the same. I’m glad I read this book but I will probably not want to read it again. 3 ½ stars.

jennamonaco's review

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5.0

I am so blown away by the strength Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich has a. To approach this subject b. To endure this subject through all the research, trials and reliving her own memories c. To write this story d. To share this story. I'm seriously at a loss for words. This was a heartbreaking, gripping and insightful story packed with gorgeous writing and vivid imagery. Amazing.

audaciaray's review

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5.0

This book is really stunning and really intense - not a summer beach read but exactly my kind of memoir. The central conceit is that the author confronts the limits of her opposition to the death penalty as she trains as a lawyer. The book is mostly focused on the story of the author surviving childhood sexual abuse wound together with the story of a pedophile who murders a child in Louisiana. Their stories cross when the author interns for the murderer's defense lawyer and she questions whether she can really stand up against the death penalty in this case. There's a lot of upsetting detail throughout the book, so def not for everyone. She really knows how to write scenes, and there are plenty of interesting conversations to have around how the author utilizes source material in creating scenes that she wasn't in the room for. But aside from the compelling writing, the moral complexity around justice and forgiveness is really thought provoking.

kbhenrickson's review

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4.0

Honest, well written, and hard to read due to the difficult subject.

ajpurcell97's review against another edition

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3.0

I felt a little as if the story went around in circles, but every few pages or so there would be some really touching moments.

katiereads13's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional informative sad

2.0

ashleymontulli1970's review

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5.0

In this memoir a judge speaks about causal chain, a path of influence starting with a root and branching out to the symptoms. Once you decide that, he explains, the point of cause, you've decided everything. That becomes the story.

But how then can we call that truth? To determine a beginning and call that The Story which then becomes the truth?

Alexandria blew my mind with her compassion and inner conflict. This is a raw and sometimes difficult read emotionally so I can't begin to understand how it must have been for the author to live this.

There are two stories here, the author's and Ricky Langley's. The way the two stories are woven together is deft and delicate.

This left me rethinking everything from the death penalty to forgiveness.