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Judy Croome: Author on the Prowl

Judy Croome lives, writes and reads in Johannesburg, South Africa.  A novelist & poet, Judy loves cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, rainy days and cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) Visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome

Review: Sleep My Darlings by Dianne Fanning

This book alternates between reams of unnecessary facts (the history of areas to which the family moved) and a biased, anti-Julie commentary. There were also times when I wondered how the author could "know" certain things, for example, if Julie and Beau Schenecker were alone in the car when she shot him, how could anyone know what Beau was thinking and feeling just before his mother killed him? 

The impression I was left with - which started even from the sub title of the book - was that of a narrative based on a judgement already made: that Julie is a Bad Person. But, despite the pro-Parker (husband) slant to the book, one is left with certain questions, such as, knowing how damaged and unstable his wife was, how could Colonel Schenecker have left his children in her care?

Ultimately, this is a shallow and subjective account of a terrible tragedy. Instead of wasting space on recounting unnecessary detail and an overt judgement of Julie Schenecker as "a cold blooded killer of her children", a more interesting perspective would have been a deeper exploration of the clearly damaged psyche of a lost soul.

The ancient Greek tragedy Medea written by Euripides is a far more compassionate and deep portrayal of why a woman would be driven to kill her children.