Title: The Fact of a Body
Author: Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Page Count: 352
Publishing Date/Publisher: 3 May 2018, Pan
Format: Print, paperback
Review: This is a hard book to read but also so worthwhile. It’s not hard because of the author or anything like that; it’s hard because it’s based on the murder of a little boy and the author’s own past abuse. Marzano-Lesnevich weaves the two traumatic pasts masterfully, never focusing too much on one at a time. She details the reasons behind why she thinks Ricky Langley, pedophile and murderer, did what he did, while also coming to terms with what was done to her and the mess that leaves behind. She discusses her family and their reactions to what happened in their own home, their legal professions that led her into the same field, and the horrible loss they went through at a young age.
While reading the lead up to her own story, I knew what was about to happen to her and a surge of emotions came out. I almost couldn’t deal with it. Marzano-Lesnevich’s writing is so unique and engaging that I felt her anger and horror so acutely. I think it is important that I felt these things for her because this sort of thing happens so often and it’s horrific and disgusting and we need to do better to protect our children. Her telling her story and about the PTSD that came afterwards is incredibly brave, and we need to acknowledge this and try to stop it from happening again.
The same goes for Ricky Langley’s story. From the circumstances of his birth to his subsequent imprisonment, it is important to understand what led to his crimes.
This book is a very compelling, interesting tale of two separate people with commonalities woven into their lives. Marzano-Lesnevich’s debut work is intense, yet worth the read.