Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis by Alexis Coe
(Pulp, 2014, 223 pages)
This is a nonfiction book about a real life crime of passion in 19th century Memphis. Alice and Freda were teenage girls engaged to be married and when Freda’s family found out they were forced to end their romance. Alice, pushed to the edge, killed Freda but was never tried for the crime because she was judged to be insane by virtue of her same sex love.
This was one of the book club titles this semester. I thought it was well written; the illustrations in the book, as well as the hand written letters, added to the overall impact of the story. It did seem the amount of source material the author had access to was stretched a little thin for a book, it could have been a longish article and had the same result. The subject matter was very interesting though and it was eye opening to see how a middle class white woman was treated in the court and the press for a crime that society couldn’t quite comprehend.