Review - The Fatal Gift of Beauty by

Title: The Fatal Gift of Beauty
The Trials of Amanda Knox
Author: Nina Burleigh
Publish Date: Aug 2, 2011
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Hardcover, 306 pages

Barnes and Noble

Okay I will start with saying I do not know enough of Amanda Knox to judge whether or not she is guilty or innocent. I have seen the Lifetime movie and read other books about her. This book in particular is aimed at, I believe, showing her innocence. It definitely swayed me. If anything, it showed the amazing lengths that this foreign country went to great lengths to make this girl appear as guilty as possible. It seems that she was the only thing she had as a suspect. They took gossip. They trashed the scene of the crime. They gathered personal information and leaked it to the press. It seems they did everything they could to have her be the public killer. I find it sad. Even if she is guilty, no one will ever know because they messed up the forensics so badly. Regardless of what you believe about Amanda Knox or the guilty parties, anyone can see that the forensics team and the police did a really bad job.

I feel bad for all families involved. It is sad that the trial is so much more than the crime itself. It is sad that no matter what these family will have no resolution or conclusion to their love, feelings and thoughts.

The entire set of circumstances scares me. As I hope to be a mother some day and a person who spent six weeks in a foreign country, I think about the consequences of our actions. I think about being the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope that each family will find their closure and find what they need to move on. I am very sad for both of these girls and all the people involved. I thought this book was very eye opening.

Summary -

The sexually violent murder of twenty-one-year-old British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, on the night of November 1, 2007, became an international sensation when one of Kercher’s housemates, twenty-year-old Seattle native Amanda Knox, as well as her Italian boyfriend and a troubled local man Knox said she “vaguely” knew, was arrested and charged with the murder. The Fatal Gift of Beauty is award-winning author and journalist Nina Burleigh’s mesmerizing literary investigation of the murder, the controversial prosecution, the conviction and twenty-six-year sentence of Knox, the machinations of Italian justice, and the underground depravity and clash of cultures in one of central -Italy’s most beloved cities.

When Perugia authorities concluded that the murder was part of a dark, twisted rite—a “sex game”—led by the American with an uncanny resemblance to Perugia’s Madonna, they unleashed a media frenzy from Rome to London to New York and Seattle. The story drew an international cult obsessed with “Foxy Knoxy,” a pretty honor student on a junior year abroad, who either woke up one morning into a nightmare of superstition and misogyny—the dark side of Italy—or participated in something unspeakable.

The investigation begins in the old stone cottage overlooking bucolic olive groves where Kercher’s body was found in her locked bedroom. It winds through the shadowy, arched alleys of Perugia, a city of art that is also a magnet for tens of thousands of students who frequent its bars, clubs, and drug bazaar on the steps of the Duomo. It climaxes in an up-close account of Italy’s dysfunctional legal system, as the trial slowly unfolds at the town’s Tribunale, and the prosecution’s thunderous final appeal to God before the quivering girl defendant resembles a scene from the Inquisition.

To reveal what actually happened on that terrible night after Halloween, Nina Burleigh lived in Perugia, attended the trial, and corresponded with the incarcerated defendants. She also delved deeply into the history, secrets, and customs of Perugia, renowned equally for its Etruscan tunnels, early Christian art, medieval sorcerers, and pagan roots.

The Fatal Gift of Beauty is a thoughtful, compelling examination of an enduring mystery, an ancient, storied place, and a disquieting facet of Italian culture: an obsession with female eroticism. It is also an acute window into the minds and personalities of the accused killers and of the conservative Italian magistrate striving to make sense of an inexplicable act of evil. But at its core is an indelible portrait of Amanda Knox, the strangely childlike, enigmatic beauty, whose photogenic face became the focal point of international speculation about the shadow side of youth and freedom.

1 comment:

Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I'm not familiar this trial, but I am interested. It sounds really complicated, and horrific.