2007: 64. If I Am Missing Or Dead

“Two months ago I left my husband, and now, for the first time in years, I am neither scared nor angry.  My heart is light.”

If I Am Missing Or Dead - Janine Latus

This is an extraordinarily sad book - or, even sadder, an all to ordinarily sad book, the story of a woman who just escapes the domestic violence of her husband and two months later finds out that her sister has been murdered by her abusive boyfriend.  It is a sad story of women being treated badly by men, and it is heartbreaking.  I burst into tears at the end (not helped by the fact that I had just finished The Lost before I started this - my list is a little bit out of chronological order).

This is not a great book.  The writing is evocative, but the pace is off - we hear so much detail about Latus’ terrible history with men that her sister’s murder almost seems like an afterthought to her own story of domestic violence.  In that sense the book seems to do too much in too little pages.  On the other hand, there is so much here - so many men treating her awfully, and then her husband abusing her mentally and physically for so long.  It is both too much and not enough.

Not a great work of nonfiction, but a good book to read, to remember that so many women (and men too) are suffering and being treated badly, and how little idea we have of what the people we know go through.  

Recommended for:  Women and especially girls - to help teach them that they don’t deserve to be treated like that, and to take care of themselves; men, even the good ones, to understand why women fear them even if it isn’t fair.


Date/Place Completed: 5/6/07; D.C.

Categories:  Non-Fiction; Library


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017