At two of the three annual conferences of the American Society of Journalists and Authors that I’ve attended, I’ve met up with a writer named Janine Latus. At the first one, she was the winner of one of the association’s top awards for an article she had written about her sister, who was murdered by a boyfriend. Now Janine has written a book about domestic abuse that draws on her own and her sister’s experiences.
When I got home from the conference, I ordered a copy of If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation from our local independent bookstore.
I knew I couldn’t read this book in my usual fifteen to thirty minutes before bed. That was the wrong time for the subject and the wrong approach for this book.
So yesterday when I had a span of potentially uninterrupted time (a rarity), I sat down on the couch—despite all the other things, like paying the bills, that needed to get done—and began to read.
Four and a half hours later, I closed the book and stood up to go to an event for which I was half an hour late.
I highly recommend this book. It’s beautifully written, with the right details and observations in the right places. Despite the topic, it is a wake-up call, not a downer. Janine Latus is a brave person and a fine writer.
Janine has taped a segment for the Oprah Winfrey show that has been rescheduled a couple of times but may be happening this week. The topics have not been posted yet, but I’ll be attempting to see the show despite a lack of cable. . . .
And I’m now turning back to Eric Maisel’s Ten Zen Seconds, which does fit neatly into my normal reading spaces and teaches a process that could, if put in place early, help people like Amy Lynne Latus, Janine’s sister, either avoid or recognize and move out of situations like the one that took her life.
I’ll end today’s post with the two inscriptions Janine chose to place at the opening of her book:
Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.
An inscription at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
(Soon: A quick post on knitting progress.)