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Notes on a Silencing: A Memoir
Notes on a Silencing: A Memoir | Lacy Crawford
18 posts | 23 read | 38 to read
A riveting, lucid memoir of a young woman's struggle to regain her sense of self after trauma, and the efforts by a powerful New England boarding school to silence her--at any cost When the elite St. Paul's School recently came under state investigation after extensive reports of sexual abuse on campus, Lacy Crawford thought she'd put behind her the assault she'd suffered at St. Paul's decades before, when she was fifteen. Still, when detectives asked for victims to come forward, she sent a note.Her criminal case file reopened, she saw for the first time evidence that corroborated her memories. Here were depictions of the nave, hard-working girl she'd been, a chorister and debater, the daughter of a priest; of the two senior athletes who assaulted her and were allowed to graduate with awards; and of the faculty, doctors, and priests who had known about Crawford's assault and gone to great lengths to bury it.Now a wife, mother, and writer living on the other side of the country, Crawford learned that police had uncovered astonishing proof of an institutional silencing years before, and that unnamed powers were still trying to block her case. The slander, innuendo, and lack of adult concern that Crawford had experienced as a student hadn't been imagined as the effects of trauma, after all: these were the actions of a school that prized its reputation above anything, even a child.This revelation launched Crawford on an extraordinary inquiry into the ways gender, privilege, and power shaped her experience as a girl at the gates of America's elite. Her investigation looks beyond the sprawling playing fields and soaring chapel towers of crucibles of power like St. Paul's, whose reckoning is still to come. And it runs deep into the channels of shame and guilt, witness and silencing, that dictate who can speak and who is heard in American society.An insightful, mature, beautifully written memoir, Notes on a Silencing is an arresting coming-of-age story that wrestles with an essential question for our time: what telling of a survivor's story will finally force a remedy?
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vlwelser
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Pickpick

I'm sort of in between on this one. On one hand, her story / experience was horrifying. On the other hand, it took me a while to get into this because it was bogged down with minutia. I can't imagine if this was my child or sister or best friend that went through this. And the worst part is that it isn't even that unusual. Ugh. People should read this despite its flaws.

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Megabooks
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Pickpick

If it weren‘t for the sexual assault, this would read like a regular boarding school memoir. In fact, a quite bit of it reads typically of that. However, per the title, the heinousness is in the coverup, by the school and later by private and state attorneys. Not to discount her experience of the assault, but what makes her story unique is the systemic suppression of victims over time and the tampering with private medical records. #audiobook

Megabooks @Cinfhen I really liked her narration of the audiobook. She‘s got a great voice. 4mo
Chelsea.Poole Yes, I agree! 4mo
Megabooks @Chelsea.Poole 👯‍♀️ #YearOfMemoirs! 4mo
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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

Squarely in my wheelhouse. I love memoirs and this is very well done and expansive. I‘m impressed by the way the author places readers right in the action of her New English boarding school experience, which happened decades before she wrote this. It felt very raw and honest. I‘m sure many of the details shared were incredibly painful. Crawford was sexually assaulted at a very young age which affected her career at St Paul‘s School.

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FelinesAndFelonies
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Pickpick

As a survivor of sexual assault, I've never read a book & felt so understood. I marked & noted many passages that felt like she put into words the feelings I've carried for years. It's a fantastic memoir- as much as any writing on this topic can be. This occurred not so many years ago & exemplifies the way the full force of a system can be manipulated to suppress the voices of women & girls. It's a painful example of how far we still have to go.

TrishB Great review, I‘m glad it helped too ♥️ 8mo
Megabooks 💜💜 8mo
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Amiable
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Pickpick

A powerful and emotional memoir by a woman who was sexually assaulted at her elite boarding school at the age of 15 —and was then assaulted by the school itself, which slandered her reputation in an attempt to bury the crime. This book angered me in a visceral way. Kudos to Lacy Crawford for having the courage to speak out about what St. Paul‘s School did to her.

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paulareadsallthetime
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️The author was so come of and distant throughout the book that it did not seem like she was telling her story. Toward the end of the book the title finally began to fit the story. It is sad that this took place and that it still takes place today.

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kbuggle
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Pickpick

Wow this was good. The author reads on audio and I couldn‘t stop listening.

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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

Excellent memoir about a topic that is, unfortunately, far too common. I was impressed with the author‘s ability to tap into her 15-year old self and honestly convey her feelings. I was worried that I would be angry the whole time I was reading this book, but instead I wound up feeling great empathy with the author.

BarbaraBB I love the cover 🥰 10mo
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UnabridgedPod
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Pickpick

Thanks to partner Libro.fm for the ALC of Lacy Crawford's Notes on a Silencing.⠀

This book. Wow. Read by the author, the audiobook of Notes on a Silencing is a powerful, vulnerable, heart-breaking account of Lacy Crawford's sexual assault by two classmates. At fifteen, Lacy is a student at an exclusive board school when she's raped. The inevitable trauma is exacerbated by the fact that Lacy, held back by her own innocence and her fear, ⬇️

UnabridgedPod does not tell anyone for a long time despite certain tragic consequences. When she finally does share her story, seeking some form of justice, the school goes to great lengths to silence her and to protect not the victim but its own reputation.⠀

I listened to this book on the edge of my seat, hating what happened to Crawford and yet marveling at her bravery in sharing her story. ⬇️
1y
UnabridgedPod (This would have been a powerful pairing on Unabridged for our book club pick this month, Chanel Miller's Know My Name.) Crawford is a brilliant writer, able to convey with such honesty and reflection the significance of this horrible event in her life.

How often do you listen to audiobooks? OR Think of a recent book you read--what other book would you pair with it?
1y
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MicheleinPhilly
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Pickpick

This is a soft pick for her courage in writing and publishing this. I considered bailing several times because reading it made me viscerally uncomfortable. But that is kind of the point of a work like this, isn‘t it? Structurally I thought it could have been a bit more focused but that did not lessen its impact. Will sicken and sadden and enrage you. #BOTM

squirrelbrain Gosh, that sounds like a tough read ☹️ 1y
TrishB I think I may leave for now! 1y
Hooked_on_books It‘s a tough read, but for all the women who have gone through something similar, I‘m really glad it‘s out there. They need the validation it will provide. 1y
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Godpants
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Pickpick

Its hard to give words on a memoir about sexual assault at a prestigious school, but the best I can say is that it‘s written like a campus novel, and it‘s horrifying and lovely and so fucking infuriating too. It got me fired up!

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

Lacy Crawford was sexually assaulted by two 18 year olds when she was 15 at an exclusive boarding school. The school went to every possible length thereafter to silence her, from threats to violations of her privacy. She spends a bit too long setting the stage, so really this should be whittled down by about 50 pages, but the last 100+ pages are superb. An important addition to the #Metoo pantheon.

MicheleinPhilly I‘m reading this now and it is ROUGH. I had to break it up with something else. 1y
Hooked_on_books @MicheleinPhilly I can definitely see needing to do that. Some young women would not have made it through what she had to handle. My heart broke for her. Plus it made me really, really mad. 1y
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Godpants
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All of my library books that have the most other holds and therefore need to be read first are big bummers/heavy subjects. I‘ve been looking forward to this book for awhile but have found my stack a bit intimidating today.

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MelKelsey
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Panpan

Book 106 A memoir about rape culture-how being abused negatively impacted a young girl's perception of herself, as well as her peers', family's, and teachers' perceptions of her. Mostly about the lengths a prestigious boarding school will go to to cover up sexual violence on their campus. Really dry writing. It should have been impactful, but lacked focus. I almost didn't finish reading it.

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angel1
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First time ever getting 3 In my BOTM box...not sure how my hubby felt seeing a bigger box🤷‍♀️🤣

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TheNerdyProfessor
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Pickpick

This book is a reminder (as if we need one) that the patriarchy is alive and well. Lacy is the victim of a sexual assault as a 14 year old student at an elite boarding school. The story is not a new one - people in power covering up abuses against women to save powerful men - but it is an important one and one that must have been difficult to tell. Hoping for a future where victims are believed and perpetrators are held responsible.

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GerardtheBookworm
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Pickpick

This will be triggering for some. Local author from San Diego, CA gives a raw account of her sexual assault by two boys at an elite private school in New England in 1990. From the school covering up the incident to her being victim blamed, this is a precursor to the #metoo movement of the Kavabaugh-Cosby-Weinstein-Epstein era and the need for social change. Emotionally packed, this will leave you angry but informed.

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swishandflick
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Adding on to my last post with more July #BOTM picks (still not completely sure what's a "pick" vs an "extra").

I've edited to include the last spoiler, so between this and my last post I think that's all for picks and extras!