cover image Forsaking All Others: The Real Betty Broderick Story

Forsaking All Others: The Real Betty Broderick Story

Loretta Schwartz-Nobel. Villard Books, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-679-41601-2

Betty Broderick gained national notoriety in 1986 when she fatally shot her ex-husband and his young wife. To some, her action made the spurned wife a folk heroine: she had financially supported her husband through school, raised their children and helped him to achieve wealth and distinction as a San Diego, Calif., attorney, only to be cast aside when she lost her youthful good looks. Dan Broderick gained custody of the children and flouted community property laws, suggests the author, without interference from the local legal community. When her defense attorneys argued that ex-husband Dan had harassed Broderick psychologically, the jury was hung. A retrial resulted in conviction on charges of second-degree murder and in a maximum sentence, 32 years to life imprisonment. Schwartz-Nobel (coauthor, with Mary Beth Whitehead, of A Mother's Story ) offers less of a true-crime study than, in her words, ``a voyage into the soul of a woman.'' Her sympathetic portrayal presents Broderick as a victim of her upbringing in a society that had taught her to entrust her future to marriage with Prince Charming. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)