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It's a VERY dark piece of literature and not for the light-hearted. I love it and highly recommend it, but keep in mind that it's not a hopeful or positive book.
I saw the ID Channel show "A Crime to Remember" (fantastic show if you like vintage true crime) about this case, sparking my interest in the book. I found the story to hit two of my hot buttons: life in the 60s and the psychology behind human behavior.
The lead character, Theresa, is fascinating. Drawn to a man who doesn't treat her well (calling her "c u n t", insulting her frequently), refusing a man who does, she seems to be the poster child for low self-esteem. But it could just be a peculiar sex drive. We don't know. If she does have low self-esteem, it does not seem attributable to her fairly normal upbringing. She seems to deal with the common issues that a middle sister would. Though the author details a few specific childhood phenomena that apparently affected her -- including jealousy towards both sisters and a significant back operation -- those phenomena reveal Theresa's character rather than define it. But then, that's my general belief on nature versus nurture. People react to similar circumstances differently.
The story is the journey of Theresa into her mid-20s leading to her peculiar and untimely demise. You will find interesting discourse on issues of the day: women's lib, the blossoming drug culture, and free sex, among others; interestingly, not the war. You will wonder why Theresa was so reckless regarding bringing strange men to her apartment. And ultimately, you will not be shocked at the result of her lifestyle. It is a bit of a cautionary tale, though even in the 60s, Theresas of the world knew better.
The writing is crisp and compelling, humorous at times, edgy at others. Blunt, direct, open. Using sexual words, phrases and descriptions that I suspect were fairly forward for 1975.