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If I Am Missing or Dead

A Sister's Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation

By Janine Latus

If I Am Missing or Dead
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2007,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2008,
    336 pages.

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Judy Warren (05/28/11)

If I am Missing or Dead
I thought I was going to read about Amy, not Janine Latus. I was frustrated that never happened until the last few pages. While I loved the author's writing style, at times I found the book overwhelmingly narcisstic since the focus was all about Janine's appeareance and her sex life with her husband, Curt. There was never much insight as to Janine's complicity in her own marriage.

I was in an abusive marriage for almost 20 years. I played the role of martyr just as Janine presents herself in the book. Someone should have educated me way back in first grade that if I acted like a doormat, I would be treated like one. If we are going to stop domestic violence, we must educate women about themselves as well as the abusive men in their lives.

As a high school teacher, my most recent message to the girls I taught was that there should never be a second time when a man hits you because you left after the first time. More importantly I explain to the girls that if they are flattered by a man's jealousy or temper, than the problem is with them as much as the male. I also explain that a need some women have to be a victim and proclaim their innocence is as destructive as the violence. Four women a day die of domestic violence in the US. We must teach our daughters the pitfalls of their own distorted thinking in relationships or it won't stop. This novel came off as blame the father, blame the husband. They deserved blame, but I found little depth since the mother, siblings, friends, and coworkers were all but invisibbe. The author seemed forever stuck in a world of buying bathing suits. It was a very superficial look at domestic abuse.
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