Notes on a Silencing
A riveting, lucid memoir of a young woman's struggle to regain her sense of self after trauma, and the efforts by a powerful New England boarding school to silence her--at any costWhen the elite St. Paul's School recently came under state investigation after extensive reports of sexual abuse on campus, Lacy Crawford thought she'd put behind her the assault she'd suffered at St. Paul's decades before, when she was fifteen. Still, when detectives asked for victims to come forward, she sent a note.Her criminal case file reopened, she saw for the first time evidence that corroborated her memories. Here were depictions of the naïve, hard-working girl she'd been, a chorister and debater, the daughter of a priest; of the two senior athletes who assaulted her and were allowed to graduate with awards; and of the faculty, doctors, and priests who had known about Crawford's assault and gone to great lengths to bury it.Now a wife, mother, and writer living on the other side of the country, Crawford learned that police had uncovered astonishing proof of an institutional silencing years before, and that unnamed powers were still trying to block her case. The slander, innuendo, and lack of adult concern that Crawford had experienced as a student hadn't been imagined as the effects of trauma, after all: these were the actions of a school that prized its reputation above anything, even a child.This revelation launched Crawford on an extraordinary inquiry into the ways gender, privilege, and power shaped her experience as a girl at the gates of America's elite. Her investigation looks beyond the sprawling playing fields and soaring chapel towers of crucibles of power like St. Paul's, whose reckoning is still to come. And it runs deep into the channels of shame and guilt, witness and silencing, that dictate who can speak and who is heard in American society.An insightful, mature, beautifully written memoir, Notes on a Silencing is an arresting coming-of-age story that wrestles with an essential question for our time: what telling of a survivor's story will finally force a remedy?

Notes on a Silencing Details

TitleNotes on a Silencing
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 7th, 2020
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
ISBN-139780316491556
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Crime, True Crime

Notes on a Silencing Review

  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    "First, they refused to believe me. Then they shamed me. Then they silenced me"Never have I read such a powerful description of life after an assault. The lengths taken to keep the statutory sexual assault silent is just infuriating. Only not everyone was so silent. She lived it all the time in the snide comments and treatment of those around her. Not only did the perpetrators do this, they talked about it."We are people on this earth. This life is all we had. It was all we fucking had, and life "First, they refused to believe me. Then they shamed me. Then they silenced me"Never have I read such a powerful description of life after an assault. The lengths taken to keep the statutory sexual assault silent is just infuriating. Only not everyone was so silent. She lived it all the time in the snide comments and treatment of those around her. Not only did the perpetrators do this, they talked about it."We are people on this earth. This life is all we had. It was all we fucking had, and life, my life, could not be determined by cruelty like this."Oh but it was. Years and years worth. All from one act of violence. To rate this raw account of Lacys life anything but 5 stars would be just as disgraceful. It was such a well written account, I could almost feel myself in her head. With every shameful comment like a slap to my own face.Thank you Little, Brown and Company for providing me a copy of this amazingly written story in a Goodreads Giveaway. I'm a different person because I read this. 5 SOLID STARS.
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  • sarah xoxo
    January 1, 1970
    review coming soonThank you to Hachette Audio and Libro.fm for this ALCRelease Date: 7 July 2020 review coming soonThank you to Hachette Audio and Libro.fm for this ALCRelease Date: 7 July 2020
  • rowan
    January 1, 1970
    “I had spent so much time considering the challenge of bearing witness, of finding ways to transcribe experience so other people would understand. The work of telling is essential, and it is not enough. There is always the danger that the energy of the injustice will exhaust itself in the revelation—that we will be horrified but remain unchanged.”
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  • Carolyn Rummel
    January 1, 1970
    I received this in a Goodreads Giveaway and count myself privileged to get to read it before it is published in 2020. This retelling of the author's sexual assault by two students at her boarding school, and the almost more horrific lies and cover up by the school's administration, had me in its grip for the beginning. I worried for the author, every page made me anxious to see her protected from the cruel and cowardly attacks on her as a person. The facts of this story are complicated and took I received this in a Goodreads Giveaway and count myself privileged to get to read it before it is published in 2020. This retelling of the author's sexual assault by two students at her boarding school, and the almost more horrific lies and cover up by the school's administration, had me in its grip for the beginning. I worried for the author, every page made me anxious to see her protected from the cruel and cowardly attacks on her as a person. The facts of this story are complicated and took decades to uncover completely but Lacy Crawford clearly details the evil that is alive and well among the rich and privileged. Women still have to fight to be believed and are shamed for having been assaulted. Things are slowly beginning to change somewhat but I shudder to think of all the women and girls who will never receive the justice they deserve.
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  • Janday
    January 1, 1970
    I read an early manuscript I obtained as an employee of Hachette Book Group
  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher and I'm thankful I did! I'm not a huge fan of memoirs but I really like mysteries and cover ups and so I was interested in reading this book from that perspective. I found it engaging and well written, I never lost interest or felt bored reading it. Generally speaking, I find the whole #metoo movement monotonous and maybe that skews my perspective to some degree and possibly I would have rated it a little higher. I feel like there are so I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher and I'm thankful I did! I'm not a huge fan of memoirs but I really like mysteries and cover ups and so I was interested in reading this book from that perspective. I found it engaging and well written, I never lost interest or felt bored reading it. Generally speaking, I find the whole #metoo movement monotonous and maybe that skews my perspective to some degree and possibly I would have rated it a little higher. I feel like there are so very many people who have found themselves in situations that put them at risk of harm and when things go awry they don't take the necessary steps to stop the situation from progressing further. In the author's case, she acknowledges that she made little attempt to do anything to prevent what was happening to her nor was it reported immediately afterward (not that reporting it would have resulted in any punishment for the assailants). Unlike many of the people coming forward with #metoo stories, I wasn't left with the impression that this author's goal was financial gain but to have her story heard, fully and by many, and to shed light on the corruption within the institution. This was appreciated. I feel like this is a valuable literary work, especially for parents who might have the opportunity to have their young teenagers read this so that they can recognize an attempted assault and know to do something that might prevent it as well as recognize behavior that is, in fact, assault and refrain from participating in it.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as a winner of the Goodreads giveaway. I enjoyed this book and highly recommend to a friend! Thank you for selecting me as a winner!
  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Well-written, nuanced, balanced and compelling. I couldn't put it down.
  • Vicky
    January 1, 1970
    Notes on a Silencing by Lacy CrawfordA naive young girl barely old enough to start her menstrual cycle is sent thousand miles away to a prestigious boarding school where she is assaulted by two adult 18 year old men and the assault does not end in the room where it occurred! This is a true story and the sad fact is that as the author points out this type of behavior happens time and time again all across the nation in colleges and high schools. Her assault is not an isolated event! The torture o Notes on a Silencing by Lacy CrawfordA naive young girl barely old enough to start her menstrual cycle is sent thousand miles away to a prestigious boarding school where she is assaulted by two adult 18 year old men and the assault does not end in the room where it occurred! This is a true story and the sad fact is that as the author points out this type of behavior happens time and time again all across the nation in colleges and high schools. Her assault is not an isolated event! The torture of being raped and she may not have been raped by intercourse but she was raped by the injustice of the system at the school, St.Pauls and by the medical system and the criminal justice system and her own peers. But, what’s even more devastating to me is the lack of support and emotional support from her own parents! Her parents should have pulled her from that school regardless of what they thought it could do for them or her as far as political connections! My goodness this is your child and you are allowing a school to tell you that your daughter has loose morals when you know that is a lie! How can you allow a man you barely know say things about your family when she is telling you differently! I realize that critical medical information was withheld, but I would believe my daughter over two boys that I do not know what kind of animals would do that type of perversion to a child! These _boys__ could not be content with keeping what they did to themselves, oh no they had to brag about their perversion to others. So, needless to say girls started to talk about her and would alienate her from activities. Other boys made suggestive innuendos about sexual relations with her! Then the school raked her over the coals and instead of being the protector and advocate for her as they should have as an Educational system, they blamed her and made her feel isolated! Years later the author found out that the school withheld important medical information from her parents and her local pediatrician just so they could protect their reputations as a fine educational program and to insure that those nice fine upstanding predators who perpetrated an act of violence on a child were free to do it to others!Lacy Crawford may not have been able to put these two men behind bars or sue the school, but she is having her defining moment!! She is no longer being silenced! This situation I am sure after years of retelling and reliving might have desensitized a person, but in reading this book, she is anything but that!! She lived this horrific event made even more hellacious because of the officials at St.Paul’s School ! However, she became stronger and has a loving husband and two beautiful children! Before opening up this can of worms by writing this book, she asked her husband first! His response was “Burn it down!” I love this man! He obviously is very supportive and the kind of person that she so deserves after the nightmare that she has had to endure!This book is highly recommended and one minute you will feel anger and tearful and joy even! I hope the author continues to write other books because she has a cohesive flair in creating a storyline! I would love to see even something that is not based on her life but maybe a romance because I think she has the talent for writing! I received a advanced copy from netgally and I am willingly giving my thoughts and opinions!!!
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  • Leslie Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    Compelling and haunting memoir of epic proportions of one young woman's sexual assault, the lies, the cover-ups and fall-outs. When the elite boarding school, St. Paul's in New Hampshire was recently under investigation after extensive reports of sexual misconduct/abuse on campus, Lacy Crawford thought her past there was behind her. Detectives asked for victims to come forward, and though it had been decades, Lacy threw her hat into the ring. NOTES ON SILENCING (Little, Brown July 2020) is exact Compelling and haunting memoir of epic proportions of one young woman's sexual assault, the lies, the cover-ups and fall-outs. When the elite boarding school, St. Paul's in New Hampshire was recently under investigation after extensive reports of sexual misconduct/abuse on campus, Lacy Crawford thought her past there was behind her. Detectives asked for victims to come forward, and though it had been decades, Lacy threw her hat into the ring. NOTES ON SILENCING (Little, Brown July 2020) is exactly that--a plea to have one's tender, vulnerable voice heard. Lacy's criminal case is reopened. She sees, for the first time in decades, evidence that corroborates her memories. That horrific experience involving two senior athletes and freshman Lacy in the boy's dorm after-hours wasn't just a figment of her imagination. It happened, it was cruel, and every attempt to cover-up or 'sweep it under the rug' was made. Lacy wasn't a 'legacy' at St. Paul's. Her parents were wealthy, but they hadn't attended boarding school. Attending St. Paul's was a privilege for Lacy, who worked hard in academics, athletics, and musci. Plus, the school had a highly prized reputation to uphold with scores of influential, powerful, and elite alumni. Now, she's a mother and wife and writer with questions and worries: why is it okay for the rich and privileged to commit heinous acts and be protected? How can a young woman *not* speak up when something so vile happens to her? How can a smart, hard-working girl find herself in this kind of 'trouble' in the first place? And how are we as young women socialized to agree with those in power and authority? Why do we default to the male for answers? These are just a few of the questions Lacy grapples with in NOTES ON SILENCING. While there aren't exactly any answers, we come away from the narrative with a sense of duty: to expose and protect. >NOTES ON SILENCING stirred so many emotions and gut-wrenching reactions. I was equally sympathetic and appalled by the tension in the book. I wanted to protect Lacy and the other girls at St. Paul's, I wanted justice. The overall story takes us back to the days in which Lacy was a Freshman (third form) at St. Paul's and moves forward in a linear fashion, culminating with the 2016 investigation. There were a few instances where I felt the past became a little too wordy or pretentious, but that could just be me; I'm not exactly part of the boarding school demographic. NOTES ON SILENCING is about about those in power refusing to believe, then shaming, and finally, attempting to silence. Let this be a call, a rise to end this kind of abuse. I was reminded, in part, of the work of Alexandra Robbins (THE OVERACHIEVERS, PLEDGED, and FRATERNITY), but those stories are more narrative nonfiction driven/journalistic whereas NOTES ON A SILENCING is memoir. In terms of fiction featuring boarding schools, Carol Goodman's work came to mind. For all my reviews, including author interviews, please see: www.leslielindsay.com|Always with a Book.Special thanks to Dewey Decimal Media and Little,Brown Publishers for this review copy. All thoughts are my own.
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  • Jodie
    January 1, 1970
    This has been one of the most difficult books that I have chosen to read and review. It is the story of the author’s own sexual assault, at the age of 15, while away at a St. Paul’s, a prestigious boarding school. I listened to the audiobook version which was narrated by the author herself , Lacy Crawford.The book begins with the actual assault, providing the reader with the shock factor right from the beginning. The horrific consequences of the assault are laid out slowly, as the author begins This has been one of the most difficult books that I have chosen to read and review. It is the story of the author’s own sexual assault, at the age of 15, while away at a St. Paul’s, a prestigious boarding school. I listened to the audiobook version which was narrated by the author herself , Lacy Crawford.The book begins with the actual assault, providing the reader with the shock factor right from the beginning. The horrific consequences of the assault are laid out slowly, as the author begins a discussion of her life both before and after the assault. This includes various health care providers, some who intentionally misdiagnosed Lacy and the cover up of the event by the school and local authorities when she finally is able to tell her parents. Regrettably, the students which assaulted her were never held accountable and instead graduated with awards. Lacy was herself a brilliant student. While at St. Paul’s she witnessed a hierarchy which was multi-faceted. Misogyny was rampant. Her assault was communicated by the students involved as one she consensually participated in. Her reputation was marred and she was called a slut. This, along with her eventual diagnosis, were spread all over the school campus including by some faculty. The rector, no better.Unfortunately Lacy’s assault is not a one-off. Indeed, other students approached Lacy with their own experiences. Then, many years after she graduated, Lacy learns her case has been reopened. Will she finally receive justice to this horrific event?While this was an emotionally difficult read, my hope is that the author has experienced some healing as a result of finally getting her words out to the world. The #MeToo movement has certainly brought to our attention the sadly widespread nature of incidents such as this. I not only feel empathy towards Lacy, but also her parents who believed they were sending their bright daughter to an academic environment which would provide her with opportunities that the public system may not be able to afford her. I can only imagine their guilt for having sent her there. I was saddened to hear that Lacy is now estranged from them. I found that the synopsis of the book to be a little misleading - much of the book is about Lacy’s life before and after this event which was a little too much to keep this reader engaged. It is not until the last third of the book that the investigation information is relayed and I felt I was patiently waiting to read this. This is likely a book that will stay with me for quite some time. I recommend it to those that have an interest in the subject matter.Thanks to libro.fm , Hachette Audio and Little Brown Publishing for the ALC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.
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  • Elyssa (Elyssa's Editions)
    January 1, 1970
    Audio Book Review & Happy Pub Day!When I saw this book as one of the available ALCs from Libro FM this month, I gave it some serious thought before agreeing to read and review. Finally I decided I wanted to hear Lacy’s story and also hear about the mysterious life of the elite at boarding school. Lacy wrote a memoir about traumatic sexual assaults when she was in high school and their impact on her both in short and long term. She has a beautiful narration style even when the subject matter was Audio Book Review & Happy Pub Day!When I saw this book as one of the available ALCs from Libro FM this month, I gave it some serious thought before agreeing to read and review. Finally I decided I wanted to hear Lacy’s story and also hear about the mysterious life of the elite at boarding school. Lacy wrote a memoir about traumatic sexual assaults when she was in high school and their impact on her both in short and long term. She has a beautiful narration style even when the subject matter was so dark and heavy. She still used foreshadowing to let us know something was around the corner - which is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before outside of fiction and it helped keep me hooked. This is a book that I actually think would be helpful for other survivors of any type of sexual assault and I also think it would be powerful for not survivors to read as well. A few of her quotes resonated with me and I have thought about them after finishing as well. Please excuse me if my grammar isn’t the same as she put in the written book since I had to type out while listening. “Now I wanted to want nothing. Ever. From a man.”and “A girl who was attacked will so often assume the fault lies with her.”As a fellow survivor of childhood sexual assault, I really was touched by not only her honesty in sharing her experience, but also the truth in her ups and downs after the fact. My heart broke for her and all the other girls who haven’t shared their stories.In addition to the assault itself, this story was both interesting and disturbing. If you think you have heard stories of politicians or famous people covering up things that they have done wrong, JUST WAIT until you hear all the layers of *effed* up things that happened to this CHILD when she decided to come forward and let people know what occurred while away at boarding school. It is truly amazing that the school, state, etc. thought that covering up the actions performed by rich men was the way to go. Lacy let us walk her shoes at 15, 16, 17, 18, 20s, 30s, 40s as she continued to deal with what happened to her as a young girl. This book hits shelves and @librofm TODAY. Thank you SO much to #librofm, @hachetteaudio, @littlebrown and for providing me with an advanced listener copy of this book. All opinions are my own! <3 https://www.instagram.com/p/CCWIoMFgFfJ/
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  • Donna Boyd
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to #NetGalley, Lacy Crawford and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my review. Notes on a Silencing is a memoir about Lacy Crawford. When Crawford was 15 and a student at St. Paul's, a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire, she was sexually assaulted by two senior athletes. At a later point, not disclosing what had happened to her, she sought medical treatment and that is where the cover up that lasted more than 2 Thank you to #NetGalley, Lacy Crawford and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my review. Notes on a Silencing is a memoir about Lacy Crawford. When Crawford was 15 and a student at St. Paul's, a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire, she was sexually assaulted by two senior athletes. At a later point, not disclosing what had happened to her, she sought medical treatment and that is where the cover up that lasted more than 25 years began. This was such a difficult book for me to read. While it was very well written, the things that Crawford had to endure during the sexual assault and after, at the hands of those who should have protected her, is horrifying. When an investigation was finally opened in 2017 against St. Paul's as a result of many others who had been sexually assaulted while students there, investigators found sexual misconduct by faculty and staff going back more than 50 years. Even with students coming forward with their stories, no charges were brought against the school or the abusers and they were allowed to reach an agreement with the prosecutors that amounted to little more than a slap on the wrist. Crawford says, "First, they refused to believe me. Then they shamed me. Then they silenced me." But in the end, even though St. Paul's and the legal system tried to keep the assault on Crawford and the others who came forward under wraps, after years of silence Crawford did speak out and finally saw evidence that substantiated her memories that the assault did take place. The result is a powerful and moving book that should be shared with sons and daughters alike. It is up to all of us to seek justice and to protect those who need protection and expose those who need to answer for what they have done.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    There's nothing more powerful than a woman's voice as not only a survivor of sexual abuse but as a warrior who paves the way for other's to come forward and heal collectively -united as one!Thank god she found her voice, the pen that writes reveals, the voice that speaks is now heard.Listening, observing, understanding, and finding compassion along with empathy are traits that have all but fallen to the wasteside and this is one such way to have them restored to their original glory. "A riveting There's nothing more powerful than a woman's voice as not only a survivor of sexual abuse but as a warrior who paves the way for other's to come forward and heal collectively -united as one!Thank god she found her voice, the pen that writes reveals, the voice that speaks is now heard.Listening, observing, understanding, and finding compassion along with empathy are traits that have all but fallen to the wasteside and this is one such way to have them restored to their original glory. "A riveting, lucid memoir of a young woman's struggle to regain her sense of self after trauma, and the efforts by a powerful New England boarding school to silence her -- at any cost."Silencing victims of abuse is not knew and sadly many women have been subjected to not only the obnoxious ways outside the courts but the internal corruption in law and order statues.What we need today is change in our legal system, in our enforcement, and in our societal values and norms.What is seen as acceptable behavior, boys being boys, men being men should never be allowed.So many people are hurting, so many young women are harboring this type of trauma, so many are not believed or even seen as credible.Yet the perpetrators continue on without any repercussions to there actions that result in years of trauma, ptsd, and unresolved issues from within.I pray everyone has a chance to read this powerful, moving, and heartfelt story of survival but also of tenacity to tell your story and not fear the hatred and anger that will most likely be tossed in by those who'd rather hide and cover up then allow the truth to be seen.Thank you LACY for your beauty to shine and for allowing women a platform to voice their stories like you have done here so eloquently.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    It would have been 5 stars had the book been in chronological order a little more. At times it was hard to put the pieces together in the right order. But that may be my intellect not being on par with the author's. Otherwise, it was a great story! I can't imagine what she went through. And I am so thankful for "Alex" and everyone else who helped her survive the following years.
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  • Michaela
    January 1, 1970
    (I won this book through goodreads giveaways) This was a really really good book. This book is really important because it is the story of how a girl can survive a culture of rape. Like the title, this book gives a first-person example of how silencing of victims and abuse of power is ingrained in the machismo, patriarchal, and monotheistic American society.
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  • Yaa Agyekum
    January 1, 1970
    It is about speaking out about sexual assault.
  • tory mckinney
    January 1, 1970
    No more silencingLoved/hated/angered/grieved all of this Tragic this systemic abuse has gone on for eternity. Burn it down! Then burn it down again
  • Hufg Vjxtwobr
    January 1, 1970
    Good
  • Ileana
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway and am grateful to have read such a masterfully written book. This book gives us an intimate look into Crawford's experiences, which in turns reflects the experiences of so many others. Honestly, it hit close to home. Any reader afraid of broaching the subject of sexual assault needs to evaluate their discomfort. This has been the experience of far too many people.
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