The Third Rainbow Girl

The Third Rainbow Girl In The Afternoon Or Early Evening Of June Two Young Women, Vicki Durian And Nancy Santomero, Were Killed In An Isolated Clearing In Rural Pocahontas County West Virginia They Were Hitchhiking To An Outdoor Peace Festival Known As The Rainbow Gathering, But Never Arrived Their Killings Have Been Called The Rainbow Murders For Thirteen Years, No One Was Prosecuted, Though Suspicion Was Cast On A Succession Of Local Men In , The State Of West Virginia Convicted A Local Farmer Named Jacob Beard And Sentenced Him To Life Imprisonment Later, It Emerged That A Convicted Serial Killer And Diagnosed Schizophrenic Named Joseph Paul Franklin Had Also Confessed With The Passage Of Time, As The Truth Behind The Rainbowkillings Seemed To Slip Away, Its Toll On This Appalachian Community Became Concrete The Unsolved Murders Were A Trauma, Experienced On A Community ScaleEmma Copley Eisenberg Spent Five Years Re Investigating These Brutal Acts, Which Once Captured The National Media S Imagination, Only To Fall Into Obscurity A One Time New Yorker Who Came To Live In Pocahontas Country, Eisenberg Shows How That Crime, A Mysterious Act Of Violence Against A Pair Of Middle Class Outsiders, Came To Loom Over Several Generations Of Struggling Appalachians, Many Of Themlaborers Who Earned A Living Farming, Hauling Timber, Cutting Locust Posts, Or Baling Hay And The Investigators And Lawyers For Whom The Case Became A White WhalePart Serial Like Investigation, Part Joan Didion Like Meditation, The Book Follows The Threads Of This Crime Through The History Of West Virginia, The Back To The Land Movement, And The Complex Reality Contemporary Appalachia, Forming A Searing Portrait Of America And Its Divisions Of Gender And Class, And Its Violence

Emma Copley Eisenberg is a writer of fiction, and nonfiction Her work has appeared in Granta, The Paris Review, Tin House, the Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney s, The Los Angeles Review of Books, American Short Fiction, Electric Literature Recommended Reading, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, and others.Her first book, THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL is forthcoming from Hachette Books in January 2020.

[Reading] ➷ The Third Rainbow Girl  Author Emma Copley Eisenberg – Webcamtopladies.info
  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • The Third Rainbow Girl
  • Emma Copley Eisenberg
  • English
  • 16 August 2019
  • 9780316449236

10 thoughts on “The Third Rainbow Girl

  1. says:

    First and foremost, this book does not belong in the true crime genre Lately I ve seen publishers publicizing and categorizing their books in the most puzzling ways and this one takes the prize To compare The Third Rainbow Girl to In Cold Blood makes as much sense as comparing a forest to a dust bunny.It opens with a numbered prologue called True Things, which gives away all the facts of the crime and other Things None of what follows is a spoiler because all of it is there at the beginning The Third Rainbow Girl reads like four different boring magazine articles plus Eisenberg s journal pages and reminiscences, cut and pasted together in a way that doesn t flow or, ultimately, cohere.1 There s the murder victims, who are the least of the book In 1980 three girls were hitchhiking cross country to a Rainbow Festival that was being held in Pocahontas County, West Virginia Two were found shot to death, not sexually assaulted, their backpacks dumped elsewhere The third girl learned they were dead and she was being searched for so she called police to say she changed her plans, didn t go and was alive.2 There are the suspects, the witnesses, the police and lawyers the man who was convicted and his two trials, and the small mountain community, all of whom would be interesting to read about 3 had the real killer not confessed and not been believed before the convicted man was even tried We re told who the real killer was in the very beginning, an odd choice.4 There is the history and culture and people of Pocahontas County in West Virginia, in Appalachia, which could have been interesting but is unfocused and either too broad or too specific because the biggest problem here is 5 This is mostly an autobiography and what the author recounts about herself in great detail is often not interesting and seems irrelevant.Eisenberg writes mostly about Eisenberg, which seems to be the point She goes into detail ad nauseam about her work with the Vista Program in Pocahontas County and her return there as an employee, her living arrangements, social life and friends And through it all she quotes Adrienne Rich, other poets, sociologists, psychologists and historians I wasn t always sure who is what since there are no citations that have to do with her than the murders and the fallout in the mountain community, because she cannot look away from herself.And there s the way she writes about her sexuality She s gay, which the victims were not and which had me Questioning what it s doing in this book and why she writes in depth about it when she knows all along she s gay and spends many pages on her relationship with a local man, even describing her naked body as she lay next to him after sex This not a coming out story or a murder story or the story of a mountain community it s a jumble of information that never coheres.If these were five separate pieces I wouldn t enjoy any of them Having them woven into a rambling, pseudo intellectual narrative made it hard for me to finish but I did finish because it s a review copy For all the writing she does about herself, I don t even feel I know the author at all except that she s gay, has spent time in Pocahontas County and seems to have guilt about her privileged background and education That the titular Third Rainbow Girl is treated as either an afterthought or a metaphor or both I couldn t tell threw me again, since we re told at the beginning in True Things that she didn t die It s not clear why Eisenberg ends the book with her, and this woman too is just another vague character sketch, a woman who changed her mind and went somewhere else If you re looking at this for your next book, I suggest you do the same.

  2. says:

    This unusual blend of true crime and memoir is rather quirky and I m not quite sure how I feel about it There are places it felt a bit sideswiped to me, then I d go back to enjoying it once again The true crime parts were good, as was the history of the state and the research The two women, Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were headed to a Rainbow Gathering festival in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, near the Virginia border They never made it, having been murdered in a clearing that was mostly known just to locals, as it was not that easy to find So suspicion fell on it being a local person There was also a third girl traveling with them named Liz who survived but seemed to have disappeared.Despite investigation and much speculation, the case went cold for a long time It stayed fresh in many people s minds though Tips and breaks do happen at times later though, so some keep hope Someone must know something A good true crime book memoir for those who like them, with some mystery and history Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Emma Copley Eisenberg, and the publisher.First published on my WordPress blog viewable here

  3. says:

    I don t read a lot of true crime but I picked this up because I spent many summers in Pocahontas County when I was a teenager and my father moved to Hillsboro upon retiring in 2005 It s a place that holds a weird soft spot in my heart and I always appreciate whenever an empathetic light is shined on Appalachia.Imagine my surprise to read the first chapter, in which Eisenberg describes the discovery of two bodies in the summer of 1980.and it s in a field just off the same damn road where my father lives WHAT

  4. says:

    This was a Goodreads gift that was well researched by the author It included many details of the location, the history of the area in West Virginia and the Rainbow people, their people and habits The focus of the story was the two young women that were murdered We learned an extreme amount of minutae about all the accused men, the two trials, the defense, the prosecution, the later interviews and than we really wanted to know and cared about the author, her boyfriends and teaching in Pocahontas County This novel was far too verbose and lacked suspense There was some mention of the third Rainbow girl, but not much, considering the title It did not even really have a true climax at the end.

  5. says:

    I think what I enjoyed most about this book is that it seems to subvert, or in some way, complicate the true crime genre Referring to The Third Rainbow Girl as true crime feels like too narrow of a description Instead, what Eisenberg has given readers is something that feels messy, but in a carefully crafted and curated way, messy in the way that ideas of violence and truth and intimacy often are This book is about a particular crime, but it is also about much It is about the landscape of memory and the inheritance of pain and the complexities of love Every page feels like it was crafted with great care That is perhaps what I admire so much about this book the care the author took in approaching every one of her subjects You can feel that kind of care on the sentence level It s painstaking, and the end result is beautiful.

  6. says:

    In Rainbow Girls we have the sense of urgency and the sense of a killer getting away with murder.The details and history are very cut and dry but each road leads to another clear and compelling piece of the puzzle.Sadly this was the 80 s and the DNA testing and evidence was not like it is today.The fact that all evidence pointed to one man named Beard and later it was uncovered that perhaps he wasn t the killer forcing new evidence to come forward and looking into another suspect was quite interesting.For me there was simply too much detail in terms of location and not enough in terms of actual happenings.However, you may feel differently so take a chance on this one as it s quite the unusual read.

  7. says:

    The Third Rainbow Girl The long life of a double murder in the Appalachia by Emma Copley EisenbergJanuary 21, 2020Hachette BooksTrue crime, nonfiction Rating 3 5I received a digital ARC copy of this book from NetGalley and Hachette Books in exchange for an unbiased review.This book is of a memoir than a true crime story On June 25, 1980, Vicki Durian 26 from Iowa working as a HHA and Nancy Santomero 19 dropped out of a NY college to work in a Tucson thrift shop were murdered in southeastern West Virginia They died in Pocahontas County where they hitchhiked to attend the Rainbow Gathering peace festival It was during the author s experience living and working for almost 1 1 2 years in Pocahontas County that she developed an interest in this cold case Likewise, she had spent many summers there as a Volunteer in Service to America VISTA to help alleviate poverty by empowering teenage girls to pursue their education She states that her 5 years of research spanned over 7 states With that in mind, this is not a true crime novel in traditional sense, far from it By the end of the book it is noted that was the author s intention She wanted to record her memories in West Virginia as well as the unsolved murders which occurred there She felt deeply moved and sought to interview many of the people who lived through the terrible ordeal There were many trials and accusations many about 7 local men who were considered disorderly drinkers There was plenty of speculation regarding the police and politics of the handling of the situation Honestly, I was expecting a rather traditional true crime novel and felt confused and deflated at times Although the two stories, that of the author and the cold case, are interesting it wasn t my cup of tea The story reads as unconventional as the author describes herself In the end I had to wonder about the title, The Third Rainbow Girl It is only at the end that focus is given to Elizabeth Johndrow who was considered the third rainbow girl who survived because she left to return home before the group reached their destination The author relates so well with the characters and setting that she could be considered the third rainbow girl Although she lived and worked in Pocahontas County many years after the crimes were committed, her experiences entwined with the history feels almost akin to her bearing witness to the events.

  8. says:

    Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review It pains me to say this but this is the first book I DNF in a very, very long time Shortly after starting this book yesterday I didn t think it will be for me however I figured I would give it the good old try and see if I would like it a little later on.I was at 25% before I completely gave up on trying to force the read I was looking for this book to be about the murder of 2 girls in Pocahontas County, and while it did briefly touch on this subject during the first 1 4 of this book it wasn t enough to get me hooked A large portion of what I read seemed to be the authors personal stay and her history is West Virginia, than about the actual murders themselves.

  9. says:

    2.5 starsIn the summer of 1980, an outdoor peace festival called the Rainbow Gathering was held in Pocahontas County, West Virginia Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero hitched a ride across the country for the event but never made it to the gathering At some point on June 25, 1980 the two women were murdered and left in an isolated clearing where they were discovered by a local man late in the evening.The killings became known as The Rainbow Murders and police believed the killer had to be local due to the location of the bodies Suspicion was focused on a group of men thought to be in the area of the park on June 25 where the Rainbow Gathering was being held After thirteen years, the state of West Virginia convicted local farmer Jacob Beard and sentenced him to life.Eventually, it emerged that the convicted serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin had already confessed to murdering Durian and Santomero but the prosecution didn t believe the confession fit what they knew to be true about the case The doubt that Franklin s confession created gave Beard a second trial and raised questions when the men who had been suspected of involvement once again testified.Author Emma Copley Eisenberg grew up far from West Virginia but found herself working in the state to help young girls find a brighter future than the statistics they were given During her time in Pocahontas County, Eisenberg felt a bond to the land and its residents She learned about the Rainbow Murders and spent five years looking into the crime and her efforts are published here in The Third Rainbow Girl part memoir, part true crime.This book leaves me scratching my head It lacks focus, alternating between Eisenberg s wax poetic memoir of the bond she feels to the town and its people then switching to the history of the land before jumping around with introductions to key players in the trial.I still don t understand Eisenberg s reasoning for combining her memoir with the story of the Rainbow Murders, even after she tries to explain it as buying back a debt to the county and because she cares about the two women who died and the nine local men who suffered for it.There is no new information on the case in here and few people involved were willing to participate in interviews with the author The focus on the case is mostly dialogue from court transcripts police interviews and facts collected from news articles Eisenberg highlights the inconsistencies in the stories told by the nine men and eventually meets with Jacob Beard and also a victim of Joseph Paul Franklin, but only to rehash details.While the case is certainly fascinating, I don t feel enough time was actually spent discussing it The case simply became filler overshadowed by the memoir which romanticizes West Viriginia so much it becomes the main character.I don t know whether to call this a true crime novel or memoir but both stories left me disappointed with the overall lack of focus.Thanks to Hachette Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review The Third Rainbow Girl The Long History of a Double Murder in Appalachia is scheduled for release on January 21, 2020.For reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  10. says:

    In 1980, a festival called the Rainbow Gathering was held in a National Park deep in West Virginia s Pocahontas county Attended by hippies and free spirits, some of the local residents were not pleased with the influx of outsiders Then two young women on their way to the Gathering were found murdered not far from their destination The local police quickly reach the conclusion that the murderer was a local, but who the culprit was, in an isolated part of the country where most people know each other and many are related, is no small task Emma Copley Eisenberg lived in Pocahontas county after finishing university She was employed by a camp working to improve educational outcomes among local girls and she found the work both inspiring and frustrating At the same time, her own life was spinning out of control, even as she fell in love with the people and the landscape of West Virginia.This work is that odd hybrid of true crime and personal memoir, a new format that includes books like The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich and Dead Girls Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin It s an odd mix of an intensely personal account of the years the author lived in West Virgina, where her behavior grew uncontrolled and then dangerous, until she moved back to the safety of a big city, and an impersonal account of a true crime The depth of the one is not met by depth on the account she writes of the double murder, so there s the feeling of reading two different books sandwiched together The true crime account is hampered by the large cast of characters, who all presented conflicting accounts of what happened and the identity of the likely actual murderer Eisenberg isn t able to create a cohesive narrative out of the sheer amount of information she has to work with, and all her character studies remain frustratingly superficial One is left with the feeling that the author would have been better served by writing a long article about the crime and saving her personal story for a later time The writing was solid and once Eisenberg finds her subject matter, she s certain to write something well worth reading.

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