Welcome back to NYLON Book Club! Our October selection is Sarah Perry's gripping memoir After the Eclipse.
Prepare to go on an intense journey from page one of this beautifully written, utterly heart-rending book, in which Perry details her experience as a 12-year-old witness to her mother, Crystal's, assault and murder, the long aftermath of this brutal crime, and—most significantly—the shining, multifaceted life her mother lived prior to her death. As Perry told me in an interview, “I always try to say the book is about my mother who was murdered, not about the murder of my mother."
In that, she succeeds, because After the Eclipse reads less like a true crime thriller (though there is that element; the killer was unknown for a dozen years before he was finally identified through a DNA match), and more as a portrait of small-town America, with all its attendant class and gender issues. Perry does an excellent job exploring why our society so often blames women for the crimes committed against them. And, whereas a writer without the personal connection to this crime might have only used Crystal's death as a symbol of larger cultural problems, Sarah never loses sight of her mother's humanity, one that was full of joy and love and hope.
We're so excited that Sarah will be joining us at the NYLON offices on October 30, at 11am, to talk about After the Eclipse, and we hope you'll join us, too. And, in order to help you better read along, we'll be giving away 10 copies of After the Eclipse to randomly selected commenters on the Facebook invite below.
See you on the 30th!