Great review of my just-released memoir, “The Lost Night,” in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday:

“In the small farming community of Merced, a little girl wakes up one night to find her father stumbling through the hallway of their home, a kitchen knife embedded in his neck. It’s this scene that begins Rachel Howard’s powerful memoir, “The Lost Night,” and it’s this scene that will visit her, again and again, for the rest of her life.
Rachel is just 10 years old when her father is murdered. Although he dabbles in cocaine, and although he’s working on his third marriage at the time of his death, he has no known enemies. No drug debts. Angry ex-wives, yes, but none so menacing. The killing, it seems, is entirely random, lacking in motive or design, and from start to finish the reader is as lost for answers as the author herself.

The subtitle of this memoir, “A Daughter’s Search for the Truth of Her Father’s Murder,” tends to cheapen the material; it is less an apt description of its contents than a publisher’s shrewd sales pitch. The book is far more intense and real than your typical true-crime story, and if you attempt to interpret the word “truth” to mean Rachel Howard’s search for her father’s killer, you’ll be disappointed.

Instead “The Lost Night” concerns itself with the psychological fallout that accompanies the tragic, sudden loss of someone you love deeply. It is about the role the dead play in the lives of the living and how in order to move beyond our pain, we must first embrace it, as Rachel will, learning in time to “integrate the murder with [her] sense of identity.”

Click here to read the full review.

–Rachel Howard

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