Book Review :The Fact of a Body


A body was written by Alexandria Marzano- Lesnevich, which Macmillan published on 16th May 2017. Alexandria expresses this book in a way that is groundbreaking and heart-stopping. Her story links with Rick’s story when she is at Harvard studying law. She gets a job opportunity at a Capital Assistance Area in Louisiana. She used more than nine years in the making to clearly show how the law is more personal than it is believed, with the truth being more powerful and complicated than it is imagined. Anyone can happen to undergo a situation in crime at any moment. Alexandria had pride in herself until she came across the case of Rick Langley, who was a murderer. By examining the narrative, she finds herself facing her own story to reveal the family secrets that were long buried. The book is obsessed with a lot of artfulness and truthfulness.

The story starts with Alexandria taking a summer internship at a penalty firm defense in Louisiana. The decision on the field was based on the conviction held by her since childhood. In a text written by Alexandria, “Everyone is a person, no matter what they have done, and that taking a human life is wrong.” Alexandria entered the profession legally to the law’s simplicity of the narrative and opposition to the death penalty. She says, “Despite having trained for, what I have here is to work for, despite what I believe.” Law has its causes and effects and seems to provide an overview that helps make sense of the stress of human life. That is why when she sees Langley confessing and overturning one of his convictions, her belief in the narrative structure and importance becomes decreased. She says, “this tape brought me to reexamine everything I believed not only about the law but about my family and my past.”

Marzano- Lesnevich takes the story of Rick Langley’s victim and fits it in her own family’s history. She narrates Rick’s upbringing and the characters through his father Alcide and his mother Bessie, who were confined in a full-body cast while he was conceived,” cutting a wide moon into it to halo her stomach.” It was in this moment that she flashed back to her most hurting moments in childhood. Being at the age of 3, her grandfather could enter her room and sexually molest her and her sister. She also nostalgically describes her grandparents, parents, and siblings bouncing back masterfully with her being a girl who knows nothing about the secrets of her family secrets. This book is not exploitative since Marzano- Lesnevich is more concerned and treats Langley with the most compassion as she treats herself with the same and writes about Langley’s parents being more loyal than hers.

This complementary shows how her parents could do such incomprehensible and cold things. When they learn that she and her sisters had been abused sexually by their grandfather for over Four years, they do not take any action of either telling the police or confronting him, even cutting off the contact. They neither take their children for any physiological care or medical treatment. The family never discussed this matter, and the only step they take is ending the custom of the grandparent’s sleepovers on weekends. And that was the solution to the abuse, which is inconsiderable and disgusting to Marzano- Lesnevich. She also came to learn on her own that she and her brother had a triplet that succumbed to death when she was a few months old. Her parents never discussed this. This showed that the Marzano- Lesnevich family was driven to destroy the past and thus to produce a memoirist.

In the entire book, Marzano- Lesnevich explores her general understanding of the law and fixes terms legally with some poetry seen in the transcripts in the courtroom. She views the whole idea of “proximate cause” and shifts it into a fully realized parable that brings together the whole of her general project. The main interest of Marzano- Lesnevich was about what the law leaves out. She ends up writing, “I ended up realizing that what I needed was everything that I hadn’t made into the words of the court records.” She wants to know all about the memories, emotions, story, and past of the law. This radically changed the understanding I learned about the law. Because the law is becoming more complicated and powerful, Marzano- Lesnevich graduates from Harvard and dies not even a practicing lawyer. Still, instead, she abandons the law, and her interests drive her to become a writer.

She tries to figure out that unspeakable crimes don’t render a person engaging in their own. She ends up putting more effort into Rick Langley’s story that he is not just a murderer or monster, but he also had some good things in him. This seems to show that they felt more depiction if they had spent some time together during their childhood. She even refers to visiting him once in a while but keeps a closed mouth about their conversation. Marzano- Lesnevich draws herself to the fact that sensory is critical in good writing. She has stood and experienced every problem that came in her way, starting from being sexually abused by her grandfather and coming to her learn about her sibling’s death. All these are described in the book through the statement, “I have stood and experienced every staircase, gas station, and a jail cell. ”

I recommend future readers to pick up this book “The Fact of a Body by Alexandria” since it’s such an excellent book with both a true crime and memoir. The author’s events are based on real-life situations from birth and growing up, which seems more pleasant. My flow in reading the book made me reach reality as I approached the end. It will help the readers to know the importance of knowing all the facts before judging. Marzano- Lesnevich states, “But how you tell the story has everything to do with how you judge.” The book is more motivating and encouraging because it comprises individual stories, and that says that the truth is more powerful and complicated than any other person can imagine.

In addition, this book is just excellent for any fan of true crime, memoir, legal thrillers, beautiful language, boundless empathetic storytelling, thoughtful questions about acceptance. At first, the title of the book, “The Fact of a Body,” is a clear view and will make the reader aware of what is happening in the entire book, and this is the more profound the reader would want to know more. The books help an individual to be personally intimate and are factual as well as emotional. Unlike the emotions in different stages, the memoirist gives a voice since it seems fitting since the family is the subject of many memoirs.

Supporting Theories of Crime

Classical Theory

Classical theory is portrayed by the characters in the book portraying crime characters caused by an individual freewheel. For instance, they acknowledge that Marzano-Lesnevich committed a crime confessing to his crime as the sexually motivated mother of the six-year-old boy. This is an evident indication of classical theory, indicating that the victim is rational in making decisions freely and with a clear understanding of the aftermath of his behaviors (White et al. 361). Furthermore, search kinds of crime weekends and harsh punishment are needed to reduce the instances from occurring. Crime prevention is possible through certain penalties that count as possible games of criminal behavior.

Sociological Theory of Crime

The case of Marzano-Lesnevich failed to present a claim to the court accusing the grandfather of tripping into the bedroom at night while they were sleeping and removing his false teeth and other body parts upon her. This represents sociological theory where both lawyers are tied with the case and juicing to make domestic arrangements in favor of the grandfather, acknowledging that this was a family issue. Later Marzano-Lesnevich felt a sense of betrayal based on the original crime composed by her parents’ refusal to acknowledge the fact that his grandfather was abusing her (Akers and Wesley 115). This theory is shown by the positive alternative of deviating an individual from a crime of activity and creating a sense of belonging to cover up the crime by family ties. The social program changed the cultural condition that leads to people’s offense. Government programs need to provide funding ways of alleviating poverty and eliminating such kinds of criminal acts from happening in society.

In conclusion, the book proves that arriving at the truth about something is more complex than we can imagine. Marzano- Lesnevich, in one sense, describes a specific model which suggests that “powerful force must be spoken and acknowledged for its power to be diminished.” She makes herself more examinable to every complicated detail even when the truth is inconvenient. At the same time, she refuses the ease of storytelling, and the fake narratives that the law gives since its truth are complicated and thorny. She advocates the lists of events she went through and does not simplify its subjects with more attempts.

Works Cited

Akers, Ronald L., and Wesley G. Jennings. “The social learning theory of crime and deviance.” Handbook on crime and deviance. Springer, Cham, 2019. 113-129.

White, Rob, Fiona Haines, and Nicole L. Asquith. “Crime & criminology.” (2017).




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