In March of 1977, Samantha Geimer’s life changed forever. She was raped, twice in my opinion, once by a man and then a second time by a legal system still inclined to question what the victim had done to “provoke” her attacker. Because her first rapist was the famous Roman Polanski and because of his subsequent flight and fugitive status, the case has never really gone away.
With those two facts in mind, “The Girl” is entirely not the book I was expecting. Samantha breaks her silence and tells her story which turns out to be remarkably unlike the spin the media put on it at the time. Fascinating, compelling and remarkably honest, “The Girl” is not a story of a rape and a continuing life as a victim but a story of survival and how the media circus made it almost impossible for this young woman to get on with building a life for herself.
Samantha herself is neither vindictive nor grudge holding. She presents the facts of the case and the media circus that surrounded it with a certain quiet dignity. After years of silence, her storytelling skillfully re-creates the Southern California I remember growing up in where we still believed in the fantasy of overnight success and young girls dreamed of being “discovered.”
For years, people have believed that they knew what “the girl” in the Polanski case was like. Most of them were wrong and reading “The Girl” is a fascinating look into the other side of that story. I heartily recommend this book. Not only is a fascinating read but also a very interesting look at a case that helped spotlight the need for victim’s rights in our legal system.
“The Girl” is published by Atria Books and is scheduled for release on September 17, 2013. Order your copy now, as I think this book is really going to have people talking! “The Girl” was made available to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!