Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Events of October

I’m currently in the middle of a book I received from a good friend on my birthday. Her and I share the same taste in books and are always swapping books and recommending books to each other J I was so busy there for a while that I had to put reading this book on hold, but now I’m flying through it!
Why are you telling us about a book you’re not even done with?
I don’t know… haha! I guess because it was what got me thinking about some of my favorite books, and how when you really like a book it’s almost painful to put down. When I recalled a book that ended up being one of my favorites, I was SO surprised to realize that I hadn’t reviewed it yet! Honestly, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t one of my first posts. In my defense though, I had read this book a few months prior to starting my blog. It was a book that was recommended to me by a librarian who was reading it at the time. Her and I were working a shift together and I asked her what she was reading… she began to summarize lending me bits and pieces of the story. Needless to say, those bits and pieces were all I needed to put the book and hold and patiently wait for it to come in. There were 40 people ahead of me on the waiting list! Finally the day came and there it was….

”The Events of October” by Gail Griffin

I should start by saying this book will not be for everyone. It was my first “True Crime” book, which I never in a million years thought I would ever enjoy a true crime, let alone give it a spot in my favorites! Maybe I enjoyed it because it was so personal. It covers a story of two lovers from K-College. Because the setting is so close to where I live, and the topic hits home for me. I lost a very dear friend to suicide, and there is always that question “how could this happen?” On a larger scale in terms of there being both, a murder and a suicide committed, I think Gail tries to provide an answer to this the best she or anyone can. I fell in love with this story and the way Gail chose to cover it. It’s a beautifully written book that provides so much insight, and so much detail into the lives of Maggie, a bright athletic local whose life was stolen, and Neenef, a quiet Iraqi-American with much deeper issues than what met the eye.
The events of October: A murder-suicide on a small campus covers a murder-suicide that occurred at Kalamazoo College in 1999. The way Gail chose to portray the story was done with impeccable taste, never once pointing fingers or placing blame. She covers the back stories of Maggie and Nennef, their relationship and it’s ultimate demise. She writes about the college and how it reacted to the tragedy, friends of the two, the faculty and the community as a whole. She also covers domestic violence and the more broad topics that are of vital importance to the world today.
Gail shares text messages shared between Neenef and Maggie prior to the shooting, and a single email that got sent from Neenef’s email address after the shooting. Gail uses police reports and college documents to really provide you with a glimpse of what and how people felt and the events that were transpiring. It’s so interesting to hear from both groups of friends and especially heartwrenching to hear words from Maggie’s family. It is a story I feel, that deserves the publicity. How you never really know someone…
Honestly, I hate to give anything away about the story. I can’t even begin to describe the magnitude of how it hit straight through to my heart. You really must read it for yourself.

Favorite Quotes:
“…I found the grave within minutes. It is marked with a rose-colored stone bench. Across the top is bears her name and dates, followed by a verse:

Grieve not nor speak of me with tears
But laugh and talk of me
As though I were beside you.
I loved you so. 'Twas heaven here with you.”

“Setting hunting apart, looking only at the use of guns on human targets, the statistics may be surprising: According to the FBI, guns are used most often in suicide (17,566 in 1997), followed by homicide (13,522 in 1997), with unintentional fatal injury far back in third place (981 in 1997). Justifiable homicides by private citizens defending themselves: 193 in 1997.”

Maggie Wardle
August 23, 1980 – October 18, 1999

Gail Griffin

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