May 18, 2013

Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox

Description: In the fall of 2007, twenty-year old college coed Amanda Knox left Seattle to study abroad in Perugia, Italy for one year. But that November 1, her life was shattered when her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, was murdered in their apartment. Five days later, Amanda was taken into custody and charged by the Italian police; her arrest and the subsequent investigation ignited an international media firestorm. Overnight, this ordinary young American student became the subject of intense scrutiny, forced to endure a barrage of innuendo and speculation. Two years later, after an extremely controversial trial, Amanda was convicted and imprisoned. But in 2011 an appeals court overturned her conviction and vacated the charges. Free at last, she immediately returned home to the U.S., where she has remained silent, until now.

My Review: I'm only a few years older than Amanda Knox, and I also spent time studying abroad in Europe and South America during my undergraduate years. Knox's story caught my interest, and I watched a lot of the media coverage of her trial and acquittal. Recently,  she has been giving interviews for the first time since being freed. She has also been back in the news after the Italian court called for a retrial. Knox is a very polarizing figure--almost everyone has a strong opinion on whether or not they believe she is guilty. I wanted to read her book to hear version of the events and learn about the actual evidence presented in the case rather than what the media was reporting. Knox tells her story in vivid detail and opens up to describe how this ordeal has affected her emotionally. She also discusses the effect it has had on her family and others close to her.

While the writing is not exceptional, it was better than I expected. I kept reading because the story was compelling and the events unfolded in an increasingly dramatic way. I read it quickly, even though it's nearly 500 pages long. Several color photographs are included to complement the writing. I recommend this for fans of true crime and for those who have followed the trial and would like to hear Amanda's story in her own words.

I also recently read a really interesting Kindle Single, Trial by Fury: Internet Savagery and the Amanda Knox Case by Douglas Preston. It's only 99 cents, and it's a quick read. 


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