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A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder Hardcover – April 1, 2012
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Beautifully written by a very talented investigative journalist. Karen has given us Karly's legacy, that of a small, bright spirit who loved and was loved. And yet destroyed by heedless caretakers. A must read. Compelling and heartbreaking.
ANN RULE/ New York Times bestselling author of Don't Look Behind You and In the Still of the Night
The art with which Zacharias carefully reconstructs events leading up to a senseless, painful tragedy is reminiscent of In Cold Blood in its power. Zacharias employs a sure sense of pace and description that enables this heartbreaking, never-salacious memoir to read like a thriller.
Zacharias is at her best as a seasoned investigative reporter. With a deft touch and vivid details she sheds light on a problem that can no longer be ignored in the wake of the Casey Anthony trial. It will fill your eyes with tears, make you mad, and hopefully make you act.
- New York Times Bestselling author Robert Dugoni/Bodily Harm
"A must read. Compelling and heartbreaking."
From the Author
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I wasn't expecting great "Big Literature", and was okay with the writing. What stuck for me was, as other reviewers mention, the author's own emotions. While she, on one hand, concedes her own guilt, she makes sure we understand everyone around shares that guilt. She mentions how she lost contact with Sarah and how bad she felt about that, that she abandoned Sarah. But then she promptly reads a sentimental Hallmark card she got from Sarah, and how much Sarah loved her.
The whole thing felt like a self-justification of the author's role in the tragedy, under the guise of some kind of confession. And, through it all, I couldn't understand why Zacharias was constantly inserting herself and her family into Sarah's life. Was it some kind of backfired Christian thing where everyone, with best "do-gooder" intentions, meddles with everyone else? That, at least would be interesting but there was no honesty there. It was all very incestuous and tiresome, sprinkled with some prayers and other religious references that, I guess, are supposed to assure us all as to the author's goodliness.
I do think the author had the intention of writing a frank story about how she and everyone else failed Karly, but instead, Karly was buried under the author's self-indulgence. Someone completely out of the emotional loop should have written the story. Or it least someone with some honesty.
company building equipment for HP. It's hard to be just a business
acquaintance with David and much easier to be a friend. We worked together
off and on until I left the company in March 2004.
An associate and I traveled to Corvallis OR sometime in early 2005
to meet with an automation company for a potential project. We planned
to meet David in Corvallis prior to the meeting.
We met David for breakfast and he brought Karly along. In times past I had
seen the light in David's eyes when he talked about Karly, completely
understandable after meeting her. But that morning he had a worried look as
he explained the issues he had been going through with Sarah and the emotional
well being of Karly. He was very distraught about her hair falling out and seemed
to be at his wits' end. I was shocked upon receiving news of Karly's death.
Anyone having been around David for a short period of time would never question
his love and devotion to Karly. After completing the book, I look back at that
meeting with much sorrow in my heart. It hurts to think of what Karly and
David had to endure. They both were, and are, so very brave and strong.
Karen Spears Zacharias has taken what must be a very personal tragedy,
and so very accurately, and eloquently delivered it to the world. This book
will move you.
Please share Karly's story with all.
Karen is an excellent writer and describes the people in this story very well.
The subject matter in this book is electric, and the story carries the book. The author merely intrudes from time to time with anecdotes that often distract rather than embellish the text. There are multiple instances where the author had clear opportunities to add content and depth to the story and instead opted for a cliché or trite sentence that was supposed to serve as a link or incentive to continue reading. This story needed no such incentives.
I believe many people like this book, not because of the writing, but in spite of it. The author would have been better served to tell the story without inserting herself at awkward moments. Her passion and emotions did not translate into a better-told story.
One other note: The title of this book is very awkward. I have a feeling that many people surfing for books to read will think the title is a ploy to capture readers by juxtaposing “The Silence of the Lambs” with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Perhaps this was intentional, but it did not work for me; there is enough “title tweaking” in the industry already.