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While They Slept: An Inquiry into the Murder…
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While They Slept: An Inquiry into the Murder of a Family

by Kathryn Harrison

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1557115,639 (2.82)4

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Though the author explores the psychology and motive of two siblings who survivied the murder of the rest of their family, one of whom executed the slayings, we ultimately learn little about the ostensible subjects, and more about the authors effort to understand her own disturbed past and present. ( )
  blgriffin | Apr 27, 2016 |
I really struggled through this book. I did not like they way the author blended all her past experiences with the Gilley children. When I read a true crime book it is to learn about the facts of the case. This book was more opinions the author held on "why" things happened the way they did. If she was a psychologist or criminal profiler or some such career that would be okay, but she's not. She just based everything off what she had gone through. It was really distasteful to me. It was like she was using someone else's tragedy to get through her own. It just unsettled me. Throughout reading the book I was just uncomfortable and I didn't care for it at all. No recommendation for this one. ( )
  justablondemoment | Jun 4, 2013 |
This book was in the True Crime section, but it reads more like a memoir, a combined memoir of the author’s life, Billy’s life and Jody’s life. With extensive interviews of the children, friends, and others she has brought together Billy’s and Jody’s memories into a cohesive account. She details the years of abuse, the alcoholism of the parents and how Jody rebuilt her life as the only survivor of a murderous rampage.

Being a survivor of incest herself, she is able to bring an understanding to the actions of the children, what they had to do to survive.

I found this to be a well written, readable book. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Apr 5, 2013 |
As with other reviewers, I found the author's need to constantly view this tragedy in light of her own history deeply frustrating. She is not a psychologist, and yet Harrison is forever analyzing the motives, writings, comments of the Gilley children and even their dead parents, who (of course) she never met . When Harrison is direct, providing facts, she is very good. But when she begins her musings on what someone might have been thinking or wanting (which is more often than not) not only does she lose the reader, her writing suffers. ( )
  Eliz12 | Dec 31, 2009 |
Every time I read this author, I'm disappointed. I won't read anything else. She is a good writer but her approach baffles me. In this case she's writing about actual events but really she wants to tell her story again. The one she told in "The Kiss." Anyone who reads her knows that she had an incestuous relationship with her father. I was hoping to gain some knowledge about Billy Gilley and the murder of his parents and sister. But while they are the seeming subject, the book is really Kathryn telling her story again. ENOUGH! ( )
  dablackwood | Dec 29, 2009 |
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At 2:51 on the morning of Friday, April 27, 1984, the communications center for Jackson County, Oregon, took the following emergency call.
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From the bestselling author of The Kiss comes a riveting account of true crime-- the murder of a family in a small Midwestern town-- and the gripping exploration of its haunting aftermath. The Gilley family murders ended a lifetime of physical and mental abuse suffered by Billy and Jody at the hands of their parents. And it required each of the two survivors-- one a convicted murderer, the other suddenly an orphan--to create a new identity, a new life.… (more)

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