If I'm Missing Or Dead




If I’m Missing Or Dead by Janine Latus - 336 pages
Book Blurb:
In April 2002, Janine Latus's youngest sister, Amy, wrote a note and taped it to the inside of her desk drawer. Today Ron Ball and I are romantically involved, it read, but I fear I have placed myself at risk in a variety of ways. Based on his criminal past, writing this out just seems like the smart thing to do. If I am missing or dead this obviously has not protected me...
That same spring Janine Latus was struggling to leave her marriage -- a marriage to a handsome and successful man. A marriage others emulated. A marriage in which she felt she could do nothing right and everything wrong. A marriage in which she felt afraid, controlled, inadequate, and trapped.
Ten weeks later, Janine Latus had left her marriage. She was on a business trip to the East Coast, savoring her freedom, attending a work conference, when she received a call from her sister Jane asking if she'd heard from Amy. Immediately, Janine's blood ran cold. Amy was missing.
Helicopters went up and search dogs went out. Coworkers and neighbors and family members plastered missing posters with Amy's picture across the county. It took more than two weeks to find Amy's body, wrapped in a tarpaulin and buried at a building site. It took nearly two years before her killer, her former boyfriend Ron Ball, was sentenced for her murder.
Amy died in silent fear and pain. Haunted by this, Janine Latus turned her journalistic eye inward. How, she wondered, did two seemingly well-adjusted, successful women end up in strings of physically or emotionally abusive relationships with men?
My Review: 3.5 stars
This was a very good memoir though at times hard to read when you want to reach in between the pages and give this author (the main character) a swift kick in the tush. Her low self esteem, lack of gumption, history of abuse with no support system were at times too much to take, especially for such a smart, talented woman. Her family dynamics as a child were the reason for her issues as an adult and she did a good job at deftly getting that across to the reader. The cover and title of this book sexed up the story as if it was a murder mystery about her sister when in fact that is a very small part of the book. This book was a great book to discuss especially if you grew up in the same time period.
Quotes I liked:
- “When I die, she had said to me, her petal-soft face inches from mine, I want you to engrave my tombstone with the words “I was gonna.” And I want you to promise that the same words won’t go on yours.”

- “ I figured the rain could mix with my tears and nobody would know the difference.”
Tags: Memoir, 2012, Book Club


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