Book Review

Waiting to be heard : a memoir


This memoir is naturally something that a lot of people would be interested in reading because of all of the publicity and intrigue surrounding Amanda Knox's trial. If you followed it at all, as it was happening, then you definitely wondered what her side of the story would be. And, of course, this is exactly why I chose to read her book. Knox describes the events leading up to her roommate's brutal murder and the subsequent trial that landed her in Italian prison for four years. As expected, she puts her best foot forward and paints herself in the most becoming light possible, given her situation. I think the book was very telling, but maybe not in the way that she intended.

Whether you believe she is guilty or innocent, I got the impression that a lot of careful thought went into how she constructs her image as a naïve, innocent girl who knew nothing of the world and stumbled her way into the wrong place at the wrong time in a foreign country. The book is written in the ever-suspect first-person narrative, which makes the reader's ability to buy into what she says suffer. But then, perhaps that adds to the intrigue. Though a person might want to sympathize with her and believe her, she makes it a little bit hard because of the way she presents herself.

Although I don't believe there is any way to know for sure if she was innocent, guilty, or even how involved she really was, I don't think Amanda does herself any favors with this book. It seems to me that if someone went through such a harrowing experience, as she did, that person would want to come home and put it all behind them instead of rehashing it all to write a memoir, almost immediately after returning. I can understand the reasoning behind a book like this, in that she would want the public to have a true account if she were innocent. On the other hand, it seems like that need would play second fiddle to simply moving on with her life and healing. In the end, I would not recommend this book unless you're just really curious, which, I think, is who the book really plays to—inquiring minds.

By Emily Weber
Submitted: April 21, 2014