"Heartbreaking yet hopeful." -- Samantha Irby, Marie Claire
" Perry] is a wonderful writer...Beauty and tenderness rise up through the darkness... Read more...
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"Heartbreaking yet hopeful." --Samantha Irby, Marie Claire
" Perry] is a wonderful writer...Beauty and tenderness rise up through the darkness... She] succeeds in restoring her mother's humanity, and her own." --Bliss Broyard, The New York Times Book Review
A fierce memoir of a mother's murder, a daughter's coming-of-age in the wake of immense loss, and her mission to know the woman who gave her life.
When Sarah Perry was twelve, she saw a partial eclipse of the sun, an event she took as a sign of good fortune for her and her mother, Crystal. But that brief moment of darkness ultimately foreshadowed a much larger one: two days later, Crystal was murdered in their home in rural Maine, just a few feet from Sarah's bedroom.
The killer escaped unseen; it would take the police twelve years to find him, time in which Sarah grew into adulthood, struggling with abandonment, police interrogations, and the effort of rebuilding her life when so much had been lost. Through it all she would dream of the eventual trial, a conviction--all her questions finally answered. But after the trial, Sarah's questions only grew. She wanted to understand her mother's life, not just her final hours, and so she began a personal investigation, one that drew her back to Maine, taking her deep into the abiding darkness of a small American town.
Told in searing prose, After the Eclipse is a luminous memoir of uncomfortable truth and terrible beauty, an exquisite memorial for a mother stolen from her daughter, and a blazingly successful attempt to cast light on her life once more.
- ISBN-13: 9780544302655
- ISBN-10: 0544302656
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
- Publish Date: September 2017
- Page Count: 368
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.23 pounds
Her darkest hour
Sarah Perry woke up in the middle of one 1994 night, startled by her mother’s screams. What could be a child’s worst nightmare becomes Sarah’s reality: As the 12-year-old listens, helpless in her room, Crystal Perry is being stabbed to death on the other side of the wall.
The murder cleaves Sarah’s childhood into before and after. Before, she and her mother shared the sort of close relationship single mothers and their only children sometimes find. Sarah knew her father, but her parents split when she was young. Sarah was a self-described weird kid, the sort of girl who would lose herself in a book and her own writing.
After her mother’s murder, Sarah finds herself in a near constant battle with rage. The person she loves most gone, and now she is left to wonder whether any of the men in her life is the murderer. Sarah feels lost; she can no longer write, and she can no longer trust the people around her. As police investigate Crystal’s murder, Sarah wonders if she can even trust her own memory of that night.
In After the Eclipse, Sarah recounts her journey to understand her own experience and who her mother was. The book, like her childhood, is split into two parts: her memories, and her efforts to move forward.
After the Eclipse is a thoroughly researched account of Crystal Perry’s death and the efforts to bring her murderer to justice, yet this is so much more than a typical true crime tale. Sarah Perry has created a captivating and emotionally raw account of the event that changed her life and how it shaped her.