ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!
TW: kidnapping, physical abuse, child sexual abuse, suicide, and death
What made me request this book was the mention that this is a retelling of the true crime case that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita. And, let me tell you, it’s just as hard to read as that book was.
For those who don’t know, this follows the story of Florence Sally Horner (more commonly known as Sally Horner) and her abduction in 1948 by Frank LaSalle. He pretended to be an FBI agent after catching her stealing, then kidnaps her. LaSalle is thought to have raped her as they traveled through America to evade capture from the police. She finally came back to her family in 1950.
That’s the basic premise, though. The book goes far beyond that by using multiple perspectives. Of course, there’s Sally. Then, there are perspectives for her mother, sister, and brother-in-law. People she meets along the way who try to help also get perspectives.
At times, I thought there were too many perspectives because I wanted to know about four people: Sally and her mother, sister, and brother-in-law. I found their perspectives the most compelling because they were directly affected by LaSalle’s choice. Yet, I was drawn in by the different people the book also followed. They were all written in such a dynamic way that I wanted to know more about what they were thinking.
Another slight critique of the book is that it’s very sad. Very, very sad. I mean, it’s not YA so it doesn’t exactly gloss over what LaSalle is thought to have done to Sally. It doesn’t go into great detail, but it’s not erased and exactly faded to black. The ending is also sad. If you know anything about the case or read about Sally Horner on wiki, then you’ll know what happens. That doesn’t make for an easy read when you know what happens and what’s coming.
Overall, this was a very good book. I loved reading it. I wanted to read more and more despite having set a specific amount of pages to read each day. My critiques are very minor because it didn’t really take away from my reading experience, even if I wanted it to be a little different.
Are you planning on reading this book?
Have you ever heard of this case?