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April 2, 2007 | by  | in Books |
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To Cry Inside: Love, Death and Prison, the hidden face of the euthanasia debate

Voluntary euthanasia campaigner Lesley Martin became the target of media frenzy in 2004 when she was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the attempted murder of her terminally ill mother. If you ever had any questions about her life during this time, and what was going through her head, you need only read this book and she will tell you.

To Cry Inside is the second of Martin’s books, the first – To Die Like a Dog led to her arrest. Her reasons for writing that first book, her mother’s death, the trial, and indeed her entire personal life are all discussed with almost brutal candor.

I commend her for her intelligent and upfront writing, but if I wasn’t already pro-euthanasia I doubt this would change my mind. Then again, I’m not sure that was even part of her reason for writing the book, which seems as much a defence and explanation of her actions, as a version of self-therapy, trying to get over it all a little.

To Cry Inside is frank and honest with only the touch of the dramatic, and has the rare aspect of containing an account of life in jail from an intelligent person with actual first-hand experience there. It is a miserable, depressing description, and serves to make you question our penal system, as well as marvel at Martin’s strength of character.

If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend you give this one a go. It is easy to read and so gripping it will have you following Martin all the way to the end of her terrible, sad ordeal. It is also informative, while not trying to convince the audience of the author’s conviction. A rare opportunity to see past the media and into the eyes of someone who really knows what she talking about.

LESLEY MARTIN

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