“But a violent act is an epicenter; it shakes everyone within reach and creates other stories, cracks open the earth and reveals buried secrets.”
Whenever I read memoirs such as this one, I’m always struck by the human spirit’s will to survive. Unthinkable tragedies occur every day around the world, and when the phoenix rises from the ashes, I’m in awe of their determination. Sarah Perry is no exception to the rule: she was the only witness to the brutal murder of her mother, and with that role, came the heavy burden to avenge her mother’s death. Over the course of several years, Perry researched, interviewed, and relived that one horrible night that changed the course of her life forever.
“This was when I first learned that pain could yield beauty.”
Raw, intense, and honest, Perry writes a beautiful tribute to her mother, Crystal. While Crystal struggled to find a true and lasting love for herself, she never failed to provide a loving and devoted atmosphere for her daughter. This love would come to serve her well as Perry faced challenges of her own after her mother’s death. Shuffled from place to place, never again feeling like she had a place to belong, Perry fought for the truth of what happened that night – not only for her mother – but for herself as well.
“In the years after Mom died, so many things made me think of her; every detail in the world seemed to be associated with her. […] it is mostly gratitude I feel for the shadow of her presence.”
This book reminds me that there’s nothing quite like a mother’s love. It runs deep and permeates one’s entire being. Regardless of whether a mother is still alive or not, children inevitably feel their mother’s pulse running through every fiber of their being. It’s a bond that’s unbreakable – a bond that lends strength to her children and gives them the hope and determination they need to overcome the challenges they face.