By: Gregg Olsen
This is definitely not my typical read, but a friend recommended it to me, so I said, “what the hell.” And let me tell you.
This is a true story, so it does not come with the same “lightness” that would accompany a fictitious murder mystery. There is no mystery. This woman is out of control. And yes, she is in jail now, but it is the first time in my entire life that I understood the purpose of prisons. (well, after reconsidering, I actually still don’t understand why prisons exist they way that they do in the United States, but that’ll be another topic for another day).
The story runs through the trauma that three sisters experienced through the physical and mental abuse of their parents – particularly their mother, but their father often participated, and never objected. On top of the abuse of her children, she collected friends who were vulnerable and down on their luck, and then through her control tactics, she murdered them. I honestly don’t even think she meant for them to die, but they sure did die.
I struggle with this because I feel like it sensationalizes other people’s very real trauma. But I think a reason the sister’s wanted to tell the story was to empower other children to come forward about their abuse. I don’t think I’d recommend this one, but if someone told me they were reading it, I’d say, “oh, yeah, I read that one. That woman is out of control, and how will those kids ever escape that trauma??”