Thursday, July 4, 2019

First Line Friday #64

It has been nearly a year since I have participated in First Line Friday. I had needed a break from a couple of the features I participated in (Top Ten Tuesday also became VERY sporadic) but now I am feeling like it is time to start up again, sharing my love for all things non-fiction in a sea of fiction lovers.

Here we goooooooo!


First Line Friday is brought to you by Hoarding Books.

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"There are two versions of the events of 1887. One is very well known, but the other is not."

I have been waiting for this book for a very long time, both literally and figuratively. I have been on the hold list at the library for weeks, and finally got my hands on this book on Wednesday.  But also, I am very much looking forward to discovering the women who became victims of Jack the Ripper. For over 100 years we have been fascinated by the monster, and his victims become afterthoughts. Here for the first time, is a book about the victims, the women who were so much more than what history has described them as - basically, prostitutes murdered by a madman during a private liaison. Right off the bat the author made the point that (based on research of documents from the period) the murderer did not have intercourse with any of the victims and all were found reclining. She states that this is indicative of the women having been asleep when attacked. I won't go into further details, because I have read quite a lot already and will probably finish it shortly, but I am so, so glad to finally have this book in my hands, and that it was written at all. These women deserve better than what history has given them, and I can already say that I very highly recommend this read.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

26 comments:

  1. Sadly we have too long focused on the criminal (usually male) rather than the victim (too often female) in this regard. Even in fiction we are inundated with 'exciting' stories of men killing women. At least that particular tide is starting to turn in both the book and movie/TV worlds. We even have women detectives bring men to justice - a step in the right direction at least! Jack the Ripper is a fascinating story though so I look forward to you (hopefully positive) review.

    My first line:

    "Thirteen point eight billion years after its birth, our Universe has awoken and become aware of itself".

    Life 3.0 - Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark.

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    1. I agree 100%. Until the author began discussing it at length, I did not realize just how much the murderer as truly been glorified in this specific case. It's almost like, good for him, he's eluded identification all this time. Gross. The author also directly addresses the idea that all of the women were 'just prostitutes', which also accounts for the lack of empathy in that period as well as our own. I did not realize so much information existed about these women. Granted, it is not nearly as much as we would like, but I think she did a really great job reporting what she knew, and then looking at what was typical of the period. It is such a shame that some of inquest files were lost for most of the women. But, the book does so much to humanize them. it will most certainly be a positive review - it is one of my five-star reads of the year.

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  2. Happy Friday! My first line is from "Risking Love" by Toni Shiloh:

    "Welcome to The Maple...Pit."

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  3. The non-fiction book I am currently reading is All You Need Is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman. It is turning out to be the perfect follow up to The Passage of Power, #4 in Robert A Caro's Years of Lyndon Johnson biography.

    "At its inception the Peace Corps told Americans what was best about their country and about the 1960s: the promise of youth, the New Frontier envisioned by John F Kennedy, the humanitarian impulses of the United States, the pioneer spirit reborn and the persistence of America's democratizing 'mission.'"

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    1. I know almost nothing about the Peace Corps, this would be a good read for me. I look forward to your review!

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  4. I don't know if you're a Trek fan at all, but the original series did an episode called "Wolf in the Fold" that solves the ripper crime. It's a creative idea, as I remember.

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    1. I have never seen an episode in my life! I wish the crimes would be solved and these women would get justice, but I doubt we will ever know who the murderer was. There's just no way, after all this time. Who was the murderer, in the episode?

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    2. An interstellar alien that, in its natural form, appears to be gas, so it was literally the fog that killed them. I think it can also possess someone (Mr. Scott, in that episode) and use them to manipulate victims. It's been decades since I watched that episode...I don't think it has much to reccommend it. I re-watch others all the time!

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    3. Yes! I remember. It was Piglet. (The actor who was Piglet's voice in the Disney movies). I don't mean to present myself as a Trek fanatic, but I have seen the original series about a million times.

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    4. Sharon - No shame in being a Star Trek fan, once you find out how thoroughly obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer I STILL am after all these years!

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  5. I'm not really into true crime, so I'm glad you're reading this and not me. I'll watch out for your review, and any more interesting factoids.


    I'm sharing from Sing a New Song by Candee Fick on my blog, which is a fun contemporary romance. I've just started reading Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky, which is set in England in 1909. Here's the first line:

    "Isabella Grayson's shoes sank into the plush red carpet of Broadlands' south hall, and she released a soft sigh. What luxury!"

    Its about the early days of aviation, and I'm enjoying it. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I am not typically into true crime either, it scares me how evil people can be. But there are some cases that I feel like transcend that label, even if they are at their most basic existence true crime. I absolutely loved this book, because it brought the victims to life and said nothing of their brutal ends. Each chapter was dedicated to one victim, in the order they were murdered, and each chapter ended just before they were discovered, so we are spared the same horrible details over and over. Photos of the women in life, even of their children, homes, and so on, were included instead of the graphic crime scene photos. I truly recommend this book, as it is not glorifying the murderer at all, but shining the light on the women instead.

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  6. Hi Sarah, This book does sound fascinating! I get hooked on listening to true crime podcasts and following whether or not the perpetrator is charged and justice prevails. It’s interesting to learn more about the victims and gain an understanding of their individual circumstances.

    Today I’m sharing on my blog the first line from Risking Love by Toni Shiloh.

    “Welcome to the Maple... Pit.”

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    1. Hi Narelle, thanks for coming by! I am working on writing this review right now, it was such a great book. I can't speak highly enough of it, it really made these women visible, and brought them into the spotlight where they belong.

      Which podcasts do you listen to??

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  7. HI Sarah. I just read and reviewed a book about Jack the Ripper and I thought it did a fair job of humanizing the ladies and also giving plausible accounts of who the Ripper actually was. Here's my review if you're interested:

    https://sharonhenning.blogspot.com/2019/06/jack-ripper-chilling-insight-into-one.html

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    1. I highly recommend reading The Five, as it is solely about the women and does not go into any detail about their murders. The book does not mention the murderer many times at all, until close to the very ends of their chapters, which were incredibly thorough. I did not realize there was so much information available about them. There are suppositions, but all are supported within the context of the period. And the author makes it clear that there is plenty of evidence to show that most were not actually prostitutes. I found that refreshing, as people seem to forget that his victims were real people, regardless of how they spent their evenings. It was very easy for Victorian London to write these women off, but this book shakes off the myths and uses all available records and testimony to show that there was much more to them than meets the eye.

      Thanks for your link, I enjoyed your review - I am going to look this book up!

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    2. Doesn't it seem to be human nature to somehow blame the victim? Maybe we think it can't happen to us that way.

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    3. It is one of the most disheartening parts of being a woman. Because how we dress, what we do, where we go - these are all reasons justified for harm that may come to us. Victim-blaming has got to end but I fear it won't.

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  8. Welcome back to FLF! I'm sharing the first lines from The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White: "The numbers marched across the page in a glory all their own." Have a great weekend and happy reading!

    https://moments-of-beauty.blogspot.com/2019/07/first-line-fridays-number-of-love-by.html

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    1. Thank you!! I am glad to be back, I have missed it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Glad to "see" you are back :) Love your first lines. Mine is from The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay. I hope you can stop by:

    https://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2019/07/first-lines-friday-7519.html

    Colletta

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    1. Thank you Colletta, I am glad to BE back. I'll be over shortly!

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Thanks for visiting my little book nook. I love talking books so leave a comment and let's chat!