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The Rising: Murder, Heartbreak, and the Power of Human Resilience in an…

by Ryan D'Agostino

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Well written, engaging account of one man's tragedy and his strength to carry on. Good read if you like non-fiction. It was interesting to read as written from the eyes of those who knew Bill Petit but I prefer 1st person narration of true stories. ( )
  Jenxy21 | Jun 19, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Dr. William Petit suffered an unspeakable crime on July 23, 2007 – armed strangers broke into his home and bludgeoned him, then raped, tortured and murdered his wife and two daughters before setting their house on fire. Journalist d’Agostino takes readers into Bill Petit’s life to bring us face to face with loss, grief, faith and recovery. The power of the human spirit to survive horror and then elevate beyond it is a compelling story. ( )
  writestuff | Dec 27, 2015 |
I expected so much more from this book. I expected it to provide a true accounting of what happened to Dr. William Petit and his family when two armed men broke into his home and killed his family in a gruesome manner while injuring Petit. However, most of the book was devoted to fawning over Petit himself. There was very little factual information about the criminals, the investigation into what happened, the actual trials themselves that lasted months and the facts of the case. Instead we are treated to an extensive litany of why Petit is such a wonderful man, beloved by all, who no longer practices medicine but is devoted to the foundation started in his family’s memory. Since he does not work, I can only guess that he is paid from the foundation but there is no discussion of that. Nor is there any discussion as to why this foundation needs two other employees, who happen to be a relative and friend of the family, and what their role is in the foundation. Petit has rebounded quite well, marrying a woman much younger than he by approximately 20 years, and having a new baby with her. However, it is stressed how difficult dating and marriage was for him, as he still felt obligated toward his deceased family. Fortunately for him, his new wife was persistent and everything fell into place. While there is some interesting information in this book, most of it is pure drivel. I understood why that is when I read the author’s note at the end and he explained how difficult it was to get an interview with Petit. When he finally did, I can only guess at the amount of control Petit wished to exert over the final product. I fear that Petit had too much control as evidenced by the number of insights provided as to how Petit felt in every moment that was included. While it is a small error, on page 97 the author provided a quote about the youngest daughter cooking in which she would use “flower” to make pasta from scratch. While I know some chefs use edible flowers in recipes, a child would most likely use flour in cooking. Such a basic mistake made me question the competence of this author to provide an accurate accounting of this tragedy. I can only say it was a complete disappointment. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Nov 25, 2015 |
This is the true crime story of horrific death, torture and destruction committed against the daughters and wife of Dr. William Petit. Residing in a small town Conneticut suburb, two low-life criminals broke into his house in the middle of night. Typing Petit's hands, and severely bashing his head with a baseball bat, rendering him unconscious during some of the terrible acts of terror inflicted on his family, the criminals raped Petit's eleven year old daughter and his wife. His oldest daughter, slated for college, was, as her sister and mother, heavily doused with gasoline and then set on fire.

Petit was the only survivor. Miraculously freeing himself, with severe loss of blood, he was able to crawl to his neighbor's house and ask for help.

One of the criminals forced Petit's wife to go to the bank and withdrawal $15,000. She was able to alert the teller inside the bank, who then alerted police. Returning to the house because she wanted to be with her daughters, the police were too late in saving the family.

Sitting through the trials of both murderers was most difficult. Emotionally and physically unable to return to his practice, it was a struggle for Dr. Petit to put one foot in front of the other and go on with life.

This is a redemptive story of the power to survive unimaginable events. Thanks to a strong community and a will to try to make sense of the loss, while Petit has managed to move forward, he lives with the nightmare of what if...what if he did not fall asleep in the basement...what if the police could have stopped the criminals before the fire started...what if he could have freed himself earlier... ( )
  Whisper1 | Nov 20, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

-1 Peter 5:8

“Bill is trying every day to claw his way back into a world he's not even sure he wants to live in. The end of the world visited a loving family in a small Connecticut town one night, and he alone survived it. Damaged almost beyond repair, but alive.”

In July of 2007, armed intruders, broke into a suburban Connecticut home, bludgeoned Dr. Bill Petit, while he slept and then tortured and killed his wife and daughters. They finished it off, by setting the house aflame. Bill managed to escape, through a basement door, badly injured and completely unaware, of what had happened to his family.
Obviously, this is a horrific scenario, something beyond our worst imagining, but the author does not sensationalize. He turns this dark story into a survivor's tale. It takes a few years, but Bill begins to build a new life.

It is well-researched and well-written. I know this will spook many readers but if you can handle the real-life horror, give this one a try.

“...he has decided to live, because life abides.” ( )
1 vote msf59 | Nov 11, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804140162, Hardcover)

The astonishing story of one man’s recovery in the face of traumatic loss—and a powerful meditation on the resilience of the soul
 
On July 23, 2007, Dr. William Petit suffered an unimaginable horror: Armed strangers broke into his suburban Connecticut home in the middle of the night, bludgeoned him nearly to death, tortured and killed his wife and two daughters, and set their house on fire. He miraculously survived, and yet living through those horrific hours was only the beginning of his ordeal. Broken and defeated, Bill was forced to confront a question of ultimate consequence: How does a person find the strength to start over and live again after confronting the darkest of nightmares?
 
In The Rising, acclaimed journalist Ryan D’Agostino takes us into Bill Petit’s world, using unprecedented access to Bill and his family and friends to craft a startling, inspiring portrait of human strength and endurance. To understand what produces a man capable of surviving the worst, D’Agostino digs deep into Bill’s all-American upbringing, and in the process tells a remarkable story of not just a man’s life, but of a community’s power to shape that life through its embrace of loyalty and self-sacrifice as its most important values. Following Bill through the hardest days—through the desperate times in the aftermath of the attack and the harrowing trials of the two men responsible for it—The Rising offers hope that we can find a way back to ourselves, even when all seems lost.
 
Today, Bill Petit has remarried. He and his wife have a baby boy. The very existence of this new family defies rational expectation, and yet it confirms our persistent, if often unspoken, belief that we are greater than what befalls us, and that if we know where to look for strength in trying times, we will always find it. Bill’s story, told as never before in The Rising, is by turns compelling and uplifting, an affirmation of the inexhaustible power of the human spirit.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:52:23 -0400)

"The astonishing story of one man's recovery in the face of traumatic loss--and a powerful meditation on the resilience of the soul On July 23, 2007, Dr. William Petit suffered an unimaginable horror: Armed strangers broke into his suburban Connecticut home in the middle of the night, bludgeoned him nearly to death, tortured and killed his wife and two daughters, and set their house on fire. He miraculously survived, and yet living through those horrific hours was only the beginning of his ordeal. Broken and defeated, Bill was forced to confront a question of ultimate consequence: How does a person find the strength to start over and live again after confronting the darkest of nightmares? In The Rising, acclaimed journalist Ryan D'Agostino takes us into Bill Petit's world, using unprecedented access to Bill and his family and friends to craft a startling, inspiring portrait of human strength and endurance. To understand what produces a man capable of surviving the worst, D'Agostino digs deep into Bill's all-American upbringing, and in the process tells a remarkable story of not just a man's life, but of a community's power to shape that life through its embrace of loyalty and self-sacrifice as its most important values. Following Bill through the hardest days--through the desperate times in the aftermath of the attack and the harrowing trials of the two men responsible for it--The Rising offers hope that we can find a way back to ourselves, even when all seems lost. Today, Bill Petit has remarried. He and his wife have an infant son. The very existence of this new family defies rational expectation, and yet it confirms our persistent, if oft unspoken, belief that we are greater than what befalls us, and that the wells we draw on in trying times can sate almost bottomless need. Bill's story, told as never before in The Rising, is by turns compelling and uplifting, an affirmation of the inexhaustible power of the human spirit"-- "The story of Bill Petit, the Connecticut man whose family was killed in a home invasion, and his remarkable recovery from that trauma"--… (more)

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