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Salt of the earth : one family's journey through the violent American landscape
Olsen, Jack.
Adult Nonfiction HV6574.U6O57 1996

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Anyone who doubts that women are the stronger sex would be well advised to read this tale of Elaine Mayzsak Gere, who not only endured but triumphed over two violent tragedies in her family. Raised in California and trained to work hard even as a child, she married Joe Gere, a local boy who served in Korea, became a police officer and was badly hurt in a confrontation with two drugged arsonists. After many moves up and down the West Coast, they settled in a town near Seattle, where in 1985 their daughter, Brenda, was abducted and murdered. Her body was found six years later. Joe came from a drinking family and turned into an alcoholic after Brenda's disappearance. In 1988, he committed suicide, shooting himself in the presence of his wife and two young sons. In 1993, the man who everyone was almost certain had abducted Brenda was finally tried, convicted and sentenced to life. Thus Elaine, who had struggled to hold the family together after the kidnapping, now had to help her sons recuperate from the twin traumas. Her firm religious faith and strong work ethic sustained her, and the story of her indomitability gives Olsen (Doc) the material for one of his most penetrating books. True Crime Club featured selection; Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, Doubleday Book Club featured alternates; author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In 1985, 12-year-old Brenda Gere was abducted from her home and murdered by Michael Green, an unemployed bodybuilder and ex-football player. In something of a departure, best-selling true crime writer Olsen (Charmer, LJ 10/15/94) focuses mainly on the victims-the Gere family and friends-rather than Green, although the latter's pathology is addressed. The heartbreaking loss of a child drove Brenda's father into acute alcoholism and ultimately to suicide. Mother Elaine-"the salt of the earth"-managed to cope and survive for the sake of her two sons and herself. While the Geres' tragedy seems much too common in today's society, their sad but also uplifting story could not have had a more skillful, sensitive narrator. Recommended for true-crime collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/96.]-Gregor A. Preston, formerly with Univ. of California Lib., Davis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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