We Keep the Dead Close **My Mom’s Thoughts**

Happy Monday all!

Hope y’all had a wonderful weekend! Excited to share with you today my mom’s Review for this true crime book that I really need to read!

My Thoughts

WE KEEP THE DEAD CLOSE by Becky Cooper is the well documented journey of an investigative reporter hoping to solve the 50 year old murder of a Harvard coed(which rather ironically evolves around the anthropology department).

In short passages the author recounts the in person, email, phone, and letter interviews she had with the victim’s associates not only sharing her discoveries and suspicions but filling in the victim’s life story.

Cooper also includes news articles, grand jury testimony, and interviews with policemen past and present working the case.

A surprising conclusion as to who murdered Jane Britton is finally reached with the help of modern day police work but this book takes the reader on a long, often meandering, but always fascinating trip to get there!

About the Book

A Recommended Book from: 

  • New York Times 
  • Publisher’s Weekly 
  • Kirkus 
  • BookRiot 
  • Booklist 
  • Boston Globe 
  • Goodreads 
  • Town & Country 
  • Refinery29 
  • CrimeReads 

Glamour Dive into a “tour de force of investigative reporting” (Ron Chernow): a “searching, atmospheric and ultimately entrancing” (Patrick Radden Keefe) true crime narrative of an unsolved 1969 murder at Harvard and an “exhilarating and seductive” (Ariel Levy) narrative of obsession and love for a girl who dreamt of rising among men.

You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget. 

1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.   

Forty years later, Becky Cooper a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she’d threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for 10 years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a ‘cowboy culture’ among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims. 

We Keep the Dead Close is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman’s past onto another’s present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history. 

Have a wonderful day! XOXO Berit

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