The Family Next Door: The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the 13 Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue

John Glatt. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-20213-0
On a January day in 2018, an emaciated teenage girl in Perris, Calif., escaped from the home where she and her 12 siblings were cruelly and systematically abused. Writing in a candid, unemotional prose style, bestseller Glatt (The Lost Girls) tells the devastating story of Louise and David Turpin, who, following their daughter’s 911 call, were charged with numerous counts of torture, imprisonment, and “willful child cruelty” inflicted against their children, who ranged in age from two to 29. Glatt unflinchingly details the victims’ home circumstances, including being chained to their beds, beaten, starved, and deprived of contact with the outside world. Unsettlingly, the Turpins behaved in a normal, at times lighthearted way in front of outsiders; the children’s experiences beyond the confines of home were restricted to bizarre family trips to Disneyland and to Las Vegas, where the couple routinely renewed their wedding vows. Whatever initial empathy one may feel for Louise—victimized herself as a child—dissipates as the narrative becomes less a depiction of traumatic reenactment and more an exploration of senseless depravity. This chilling portrayal of abuse and secrecy may leave readers looking differently at their neighbors. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 04/17/2019
Release date: 08/06/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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