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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder

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A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder Cover

ISBN13: 9781596923751
ISBN10: 159692375x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Investigative journalist and author Karen Spears Zacharias never anticipated that she would become one of the characters involved in a high-profile murder. But when she reconnects with a young woman named Sarah, who lived in the Zacharias home at one time and was treated like family, Karen discovers that something unspeakable has happened to Sarah's daughter, Karly. Compelled to consider her own culpability in this tragic case, Karen pieces together what happened to Karly through court documents, investigators' interviews, and interviews with friends, family, law enforcement officials, and key witnesses. As the terrible story unfolds, the hard question emerges for everyone involved, indeed all of us: Why was no cry raised to protect Karly? This is also the story of a father's unrelenting love for his daughter, an immigrant's tragic struggle for redemption, and a journalist's urgent call for change.

Review:

"On June 3, 2005, three-year-old Karly Sheehan, daughter of divorced parents Sarah and David Sheehan, was beaten to death. Convicted in the case was Sarah's boyfriend, Shawn Field. Although Karly showed signs of abuse shortly after Sarah met Shawn, and a concerned daycare worker reported as much to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 'a continuum of failure' caused the case to fall through the cracks. The author (also a journalist) knew Sarah when Sarah was a student at the school where Zacharias was a substitute teacher, and for a short time Sarah lived with the Zacharias family. Yet the author lost track of Sarah, and Karly had been dead for two years before Zacharias learned of the murder. Though pitched as a memoir, Zacharias never recounts meeting Karly, and much of the material comes from interviews, though not with Sarah or Shawn. Chronologically unclear, melodramatic (e.g., When the author hears of the tragedy, she exclaims, 'Oh, dear God. Dearest. God.'), and repetitive, Zacharias's telling of Karly's truly tragic story seems exploitative and sensationalist. Nevertheless, the author poignantly highlights the problem of underreported child abuse, and points to the Oregon State Legislature's unanimous passing of Karly's Law — which made it mandatory for caseworkers and law enforcement officers to notify authorities of suspected victims of abuse — as an example for the rest of the nation. (Apr. 1)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Author Karen Spears Zacharias has been featured on Huffington Post, Good Morning America, & CNN. Her commentary has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and on NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." Karen blogs at Patheos.com and teaches journalism at Central Washington University. Karen wrote this book while serving as writer-in-residence at the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts, Fairhope, AL. She divides her time between the Deschutes River in Oregon and Mobile Bay in Alabama.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Kaye, November 10, 2012 (view all comments by Kaye)
This book is about child abuse. This book is so much more. Karen Spears Zacharias, investigative reporter and teacher, never thought she would write a book like this where she knew most of the people involved. Sarah had once lived in Zacharias' house. She knew David Sheehan, the father of Karly Sheehan, who was murdered at age three by Sarahs boyfriend Shawn Field. She went through court documents, did interviews, and has put together a book that told the story of this unspeakable crime. Karly seemed to have fallen through the cracks, there were reports to the authorities, but due to unknown reasons, protocol was not followed and there was never an in-depth investigation.

This book was disturbing in so many ways. The fact that Sarah had been not just an at-risk teenager but a relatively uninvolved mother. David was a doting father who loved his daughter unconditionally, but the finger was pointed at him without fully investigating. Karly was a beautiful, engaging, child whose life was terminated. This must have been the hardest book Karen Spears Zacharias has written. She is a voice for all of the abused children and asks that people get involved when they see something wrong instead of turning away.

I had trouble putting the book down, it is well-written and tells an incredible story of Karly's short life.
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ddjrfd, March 31, 2012 (view all comments by ddjrfd)
This book, I can't begin to describe the effect it had on me. I can't imagine how hard this must have been for Ms. Karen to put these words on paper. I highly recommend it, it deserves 10 stars...
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781596923751
Author:
Zacharias, Karen S.
Publisher:
MacAdam/Cage Publishing
Author:
Zacharias, Karen Spears
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder Used Hardcover
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Product details pages MacAdam/Cage Publishing - English 9781596923751 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "On June 3, 2005, three-year-old Karly Sheehan, daughter of divorced parents Sarah and David Sheehan, was beaten to death. Convicted in the case was Sarah's boyfriend, Shawn Field. Although Karly showed signs of abuse shortly after Sarah met Shawn, and a concerned daycare worker reported as much to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 'a continuum of failure' caused the case to fall through the cracks. The author (also a journalist) knew Sarah when Sarah was a student at the school where Zacharias was a substitute teacher, and for a short time Sarah lived with the Zacharias family. Yet the author lost track of Sarah, and Karly had been dead for two years before Zacharias learned of the murder. Though pitched as a memoir, Zacharias never recounts meeting Karly, and much of the material comes from interviews, though not with Sarah or Shawn. Chronologically unclear, melodramatic (e.g., When the author hears of the tragedy, she exclaims, 'Oh, dear God. Dearest. God.'), and repetitive, Zacharias's telling of Karly's truly tragic story seems exploitative and sensationalist. Nevertheless, the author poignantly highlights the problem of underreported child abuse, and points to the Oregon State Legislature's unanimous passing of Karly's Law — which made it mandatory for caseworkers and law enforcement officers to notify authorities of suspected victims of abuse — as an example for the rest of the nation. (Apr. 1)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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