Summary- a non fiction book that looks at four different cases from the 1800 and 1900 where women murdered their children.
My rating: B
This was a well researched book that looks at four unwed women who murdered their children and got away with it. At the time these women were tried it was assumed that mental illness must have been the cause of the murders and so the women went mostly unpunished.
This was an interesting read and I think people who are interested in: mental illness as a legal defense, why mothers murder children; and how being an unwed mother in the 1800 and 1900 affected the lower classes will enjoy this book.
I had only one issue with this book. I felt that the author never really pulled everything together. She gives four detailed accounts of infanticide cases down to what the newspaper headlines said about the incident. The author never explains what she was trying to prove or explain. I felt like asking “so what? Why are you telling me all this? Are you trying to comment on mental illness as a criminal defense that was overused? How about how poverty and the stigma of being an unwed mother contributed to the murders? Why exactly did you tell me the stories?”