This book was so excellent. It touched my heart in so many ways. I had to have a good cry when I finished it. I am tempted to keep it, but I really don't have to, because I will never forget a word of it.
Wonderful autobiography of author Mary Ann Tirone-Smith that focuses on the murder of a classmate in the 1950's.
Fascinating. The writer did an excellent job of balance the murder of her friends, her brother's autism, and the struggles a young girl faces. Most of all I loved the respect she had for Irene, her empathy for the girl and her family could be felt in her writing.
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith writes of her childhood, her friends and neighbors. It is a typical though delightful coming-of-age story until the murder of a schoolmate interrupts her childhood and in a way, takes away her innocence. I found this to be a real page turner as the author tells how she coped with the horror (or tried to).
Mary Ann Tirone-Smith has done an excellent job of describing her childhood in the 1950s - her emotionally-estranged mother, her doting father and her older brother whose autism regulated how the family unit operated. The convergence of evil with innocence changed everything when a child predator killed her 11-year old friend, who was just one of the "girls of tender age" whom he assaulted. The author has offered an unblemished look at her life before and after the murder.
Sometimes after I finish a book, I know immediately that I won't be able to part with it for awhile. I'll have to loan it to a few close friends, thumb through it to find some tidbits to read aloud to my husband, and just treasure seeing it for a time on my bookshelf and the memories that it evokes. This is one of those books.
Girls of Tender Age is a memoir of a girl's childhood set against the events and aftermath of a serial rapist and killer in smalltown Connecticut in the 1950's. The girl's family unit is by no means "normal". She grows up with an older brother labeled "retarded", but obviously autistic. The result is a family that modifies their lives to a ridiculous degree to make him more comfortable.
The book is sprinkled with poignant photographs of special events and extended family members. By the end of the book, you will know them very well. Don't miss the "extras" at the end of the book (interesting notes by the author and even a recipe you'll want to try). If you like memoirs, make a note of this one.
Very interesting memoir. Even more interesting for me; I know this area of Hartford well because I have worked here for years.
I really loved this book! It was a great read. She is a brillant writer.
This was an excellent biography! It also adds some insight into the lives of people who lived with autism when there was no help offered for the condition.
A wonderful story that takes place in Hartford, CT in the 1950's about the taking of an innocent life and what evolves around the families involved. It's a story of compassion, joy and anger.
I thoroughly enjoyed _Girls of a Tender Age_, a unique book that reads part memoir, part true-crime, weaving Tirone Smith's memories of a childhood in Hartford, CT with investigative details about the murder of a schoolgirl friend, a terrible crime that changed her neighborhood forever. Woven throughout the story is the controlling influence in her family, her older brother Tyler, who we would now recognize as autistic but who in the 1940's was mislabeled "retarded".
Though this combination memoir and true crime story feels slightly disjointed at times, the narrative of the murderer's life leading up to the crime is riveting and the details about the unique characters in Tirone Smith's large Catholic extended family are evocative and often laugh-out-loud funny.
She is best, though, in the poignant, honest, and lovely final chapters focusing on caring for her elderly father and her adult brother. Refreshingly honest about the inescapable guilt so many adult caregivers experience, Tirone Smith also captures beautifully the treasured moments of connection that can make years of caregiving meaningful. I especially appreciate the full portraits she draws of her parents and other family members, sketching their flaws as well as what made them loveable.
A great read for its period details from the 1940's and 1950's, and an especially recommended read for those whose families include adults with autism.
Great (true) story told by someone who shared some key insight into the timeline of the era's for which this events happened. Brought back a lot of memories, too, on what it was like to be a child growing up during those (more innocent and naive) times.
I really enjoyed this book. Very well written and interesting story about author's life the murder of a classmate.
Book that takes you back to the innocence of the 50's or at least we thought they were innocent. Sometimes our memories are not a reflection of the true happenings.