AFTER THE ECLIPSE

A Mother's Murder, A Daughter's Search

Sarah Perry

When Sarah Perry was twelve, she saw a partial eclipse of the sun, an event she took as a sign of good fortune for her and her mother, Crystal. But that brief moment of darkness ultimately foreshadowed a much larger one: two days later, Crystal was murdered in their home in rural Maine, just a few feet from Sarah’s bedroom.

The killer escaped unseen; it would take the police twelve years to find him, time in which Sarah grew into adulthood, struggling with abandonment, police interrogations, and the effort of rebuilding her life when so much had been lost.

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When Sarah Perry was twelve, she saw a partial eclipse of the sun, an event she took as a sign of good fortune for her and her mother, Crystal. But that brief moment of darkness ultimately foreshadowed a much larger one: two days later, Crystal was murdered in their home in rural Maine, just a few feet from Sarah’s bedroom.

The killer escaped unseen; it would take the police twelve years to find him, time in which Sarah grew into adulthood, struggling with abandonment, police interrogations, and the effort of rebuilding her life when so much had been lost. Through it all she would dream of the eventual trial, a conviction—all her questions finally answered. But after the trial, Sarah’s questions only grew. She wanted to understand her mother’s life, not just her final hours, and so she began a personal investigation, one that drew her back to Maine, taking her deep into the abiding darkness of a small American town.

Told in searing prose, After the Eclipse is a luminous memoir of uncomfortable truth and terrible beauty, an exquisite memorial for a mother stolen from her daughter, and a blazingly successful attempt to cast light on her life once more.

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  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Hardcover
  • September 2017
  • 368 Pages
  • 9780544302655

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$27.00

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About Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction from Columbia University, where she served as publisher of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art and was a member of the journal’s nonfiction editorial board. She is the recipient of a Writers’ Fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and a Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, and has attended residencies at Norton Island in Maine and PLAYA in Oregon. Perry’s prose has appeared in Blood & Thunder magazine and Bluestockings Literary Journal. She lives in Brooklyn.

Praise

A Must-Read Title of the Fall by Entertainment Weekly, W Magazine,  and The Portland Press Herald
A Great Book of September by Nylon
A Great Nonfiction Title of September by Bustle
A Notable Nonfiction Debut of the Year by Poets & Writers
A Notable Fall Title by Book Reporter
A Barnes & Noble Discover Pick

“Stunning.”Entertainment Weekly

“A gut punch…A heartbreaking yet hopeful testament to human resilience.”Samantha Irby, Marie Claire

“Raw and perfect…I’ve never read a better depiction of how a sudden, violent event rips through a human being’s apprehension of reality…[It’s] an unfussy, richly textured remembrance of a town, a family, a particular place on the planet that its author knows all the way down to her bones—the strengths of a classic memoir… After the Eclipse [has] an eerie, heartbreaking power that it shares with the very best of true crime.”Laura Miller, Slate