Notes on a Silencing: A Memoir by Lacy Crawford



This has been one of the most difficult books that I have chosen to read and review. It is the story of the author’s own sexual assault, at the age of 15, while away at a St. Paul’s, a prestigious boarding school. I listened to the audiobook version which was narrated by the author herself, Lacy Crawford.

The book begins with the actual assault, providing the reader with the shock factor right from the beginning. The horrific consequences of the assault are laid out slowly, as the author begins a discussion of her life both before and after the assault. This includes various health care providers, some who intentionally misdiagnosed Lacy and the cover up of the event by the school and local authorities when she finally is able to tell her parents. Regrettably, the students which assaulted her were never held accountable and instead graduated with awards.

Lacy was herself a brilliant student. While at St. Paul’s she witnessed a hierarchy which was multi-faceted. Misogyny was rampant. Her assault was communicated by the students involved as one she consensually participated in. Her reputation was marred and she was called a slut. This, along with her eventual diagnosis, were spread all over the school campus including by some faculty. The rector, no better.

Unfortunately Lacy’s assault is not a one-off. Indeed, other students approached Lacy with their own experiences. Then, many years after she graduated, Lacy learns her case has been reopened. Will she finally receive justice to this horrific event?

While this was an emotionally difficult read, my hope is that the author has experienced some healing as a result of finally getting her words out to the world. The #MeToo movement has certainly brought to our attention the sadly widespread nature of incidents such as this. I not only feel empathy towards Lacy, but also her parents who believed they were sending their bright daughter to an academic environment which would provide her with opportunities that the public system may not be able to afford her. I can only imagine their guilt for having sent her there. I was saddened to hear that Lacy is now estranged from them. I found that the synopsis of the book to be a little misleading - much of the book is about Lacy’s life before and after this event which was a little too much to keep this reader engaged. It is not until the last third of the book that the investigation information is relayed and I felt I was patiently waiting to read this.

This is likely a book that will stay with me for quite some time.  I appreciated that the author performs this audiobook - it was powerful to know she was telling the listener her own narrative.  I recommend it to those that have an interest in the subject matter.  I applaud the author for telling her story.  

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

Thanks to libro.fm , Hachette Audio and Little Brown Publishing for the ALC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

6 comments:

  1. Great review! I hadn't heard of this one before.

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  2. I never heard of this writer before. It indeed sounds like a book that will stay with you for a while... Great review!

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    1. I hadn't heard of this author either. Thanks for your comment!

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  3. A really good review. Sounds like an important book to read!

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