After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, A Daughter’s Search (2017)
In May 1994, Crystal Perry was brutally raped and murdered in the dead of night in her home in Bridgton, Maine. Sarah Perry, her only child, was twelve years old and in the house at the time. After the Eclipse is Sarah’s amazing, heart-breaking memoir, a thoroughly researched, brutally honest account of her mother’s murder and her own search for truth and identity.
The book moves among narratives about Perry’s life before and after the event, her mother’s colorful family history, and the facts and fiction surrounding the case. It took 12 years to find the murderer, and during that time Sarah bounced from home to home in Maine and Texas, finally graduating from Dirigo High School, attending Davidson College, and earning an MFA from Columbia.
This book is the ultimate proof that Perry is a true survivor. It is not a “ripped from the headlines” true crime account. It is a well-written examination of both her mother’s story and her own journey — from beyond the horror of her mother’s death, through the fear, loneliness, and confusion of her own adolescence, to a place somewhere between acceptance and the resolve to move on.
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Review by Roberta Jordan, Outreach and Instruction Librarian