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Waiting to be Heard

There’s nothing that I love to do more than lay in the sunshine and read a good book. I’m a fast reader and tend to read “easy read” novels, so I go through a lot of books in a summer. We’re hoping to share some of our favorites with you here! (Sean already shared his latest read here.)

The book that has most captivated my interests lately is Waiting to be Heard by Amanda Knox. In case you’ve forgotten, Amanda was a 19 year old student at the University of Washington who studied abroad in Perugia, Italy. After being in Italy for six weeks, her roommate, Meredith, was murdered and she and her boyfriend were accused and imprisoned.

This case had huge media coverage and I remember following it. I was captivated- Amanda was just a few years older than me and I couldn’t help but think that that could just as well be me or one of my friends.

Honestly, I always felt fairly confident that she had done it. From what I remember in the case, I hadn’t seen any other probable suspects- though the idea of Amanda and her boyfriend killing Meredith because she wouldn’t have a threesome seemed a bit far fetched to me. In reading this novel, I was captivated by the lack of evidence against Amanda, and the circumstances surrounding her arrest. I was also baffled by the differences between the Italian and American judicial systems. I have always thought of Italy as a modern county, but Knox paints their legal system as entirely antiquated. Basically, while the US has a general policy that it is better for ten guilty men to be free than one innocent to be imprisoned, it truly seems that Italy would rather have ten innocent people in jail than one criminal free.

Throughout the novel, Amanda really shows how she matured and grew up, locked up in Italian prison. At the time of her novel, she was nineteen, which is incredibly young. She came to Italy to learn more about herself and experiment with life. She barely knew herself, the language, or her boyfriend (of five days), when it was all stripped from her. She was so deeply grieving the death of her roommate and trying to help the police find her killer, she didn’t even realize that she was a suspect (THE suspect, really) until she was imprisoned. Even after she was, she kept saying, it’s only for the weekend. Its really for my safety.

Another theme in the book was small choices that Amanda made that could have changed her fate. What if, after the murder, she had flown home, as her parents begged her to do? What if she had worked that night and had an irrefutable alibi? Or what if she had stayed home with Meredith that night, instead of spending the night at her boyfriend’s?

This book will suck you in. It doesn’t use flowery language or distracting side stories. It is a mater of fact, chronological account of Amanda’s experience, and it will have you begging for her acquittal.  I cannot recommend this book enough.

 

I usually don’t buy books, especially not new books, and certainly almost never ever a hardcover new release. However, this book was worth it. Also worth oting is that Amanda was saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, court costs, and was even billed by the Italian courts for the investigative services done for the opposing sides (including thousands of dollars in translation fees translating her confiscated personal diaries into Italian) I felt pretty good giving her my $25. Though I’m sure she’s got some income streams going now, I feel good about giving a little back to her, after all that she has suffered.

 

We weren’t paid or perked to read this book or write this review. I just read this book and wanted to tell everyone about it! Click here to buy your own copy.

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Harry Rag

Sunday 15th of September 2013

The English translation of the Italian Supreme Court report which explains why Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's acquittals were annulled can be downloaded from the Perugia Murder File website:

http://www.perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=599

Chet Hadley

Friday 31st of May 2013

She was young, but she was not 19. Erik Menendez was 18 when he helped his older brother kill their parents. They both got life without parole. Amanda Knox of course isn't going to tell you the real prosecution case against her. She is going to tell you a straw-man case that she can easily demolish in the space of 400 pages. This is another example of celebrity justice in which the defendant has a multi-million dollar legal team and a friendly English-speaking media behind her. It was enough to convince the appeals court against all common sense that she and her boyfriend were innocent. Too bad for her in Italy appeals court rulings are not binding unless confirmed by the supreme court. And the supreme court said no. Contrary to what Amanda Knox says, the Italian system is much more fair than the U.S. system in which 95% of cases are plea bargained behind closed doors (because prosecutors are so successful at winning long sentences at trial). You are just trusting her that she isn't lying about her expenses in order to make yourself feel better about giving $25 against the wishes of the victim's family. In fact the money goes to Rupert Murdoch who paid Amanda Knox $4 million for the rights to her story. So you are not even helping her. Next time get it from the library or download it on P2P like she and her boyfriend did with Amelie.

Morgan

Friday 31st of May 2013

Wow, very interesting Chet! Like I said, I'm not super informed on the case outside of the book, soi I by no means mean to pass absolute judgement. Either way, the book was really interesting and I got really sucked into reading it! Thanks for sounding off!