The Family Next Door: the Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue by John Glatt
I heard about this case in the news when the story broke and was always interested to find out why this happened. How did these children find the bravery to endure and eventually escape?
The Family Next Door: The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue by John Glatt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The story of the Turpin family is bizarre and outrageously awful. Louise and David Turpin are selfish, sadistic, and despicable people. They chose to have tons of children and reveled in the facade of a happy family in staged photos and social media posts. Initially touting a pious devotion to religion and later just due to sheer self-interest, David and Louise subject their children to torture, starvation, extreme neglect, physical and mental abuse, humiliation, and various other forms of abuse. They deprived the children of an education under the guise of running a homeschool facility. Severe malnutrition would cause many serious lifelong effects for all of the Turpin children. Louise herself suffered childhood trauma that clearly had an impact on her mental health. One of the older girls eventually escapes and calls 911 leading to their rescue. The author explains many instance where neighbors or family could have tried harder to help the hidden Turpin children. There were lots of signs but no one wanted to interfere and try a little harder to figure out why the Turpin children were so thin and so pale. Their imprisonment could have been shortened if someone had just gotten involved. It's a terribly sad story but hopeful as the Turpin children - both adult and minor - are moving forward with their lives. The one thing that really bothers me about the writing in this book is the author's detailed explanations of what everyone is wearing. There are times when its vital to establish characterization or the scene in general and is fully appropriate, but other times when the descriptions are so tedious, they just become a distraction.
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