Samantha Geimer is The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski. I remember when his case came up again, but I am too young to be familiar with the details about his arrest for rape and then fleeing before sentencing.
This was such an amazing book on so many levels. Samantha Geimer struck the perfect balance of sharing what was part of her personal experience and keeping private what should be kept private. She recounted “the incident,” and it was difficult to read, but she shared it in a totally appropriate way. Her perspective was so interesting. One of the themes Geimer touches on throughout is how those who have been “victims” of crimes, especially sexual crimes, continue to be victimized because that label is given to them. Geimer chooses not to feel that way.
Her thoughts about Roman Polanski are interesting. She certainly blames him, but she also paints a picture of the changing sexual mores of the 70’s, which affected his perspective and even hers, before and after the rape.
The incident happened when she was 13 years old, and obviously it changed her life. However, she doesn’t blame all of her choices about sex and drugs and school, on what happened to her. That would make her a victim, and she chooses to see her life through a different lens.
She certainly is an overcomer. She didn’t make good choices in her late teens, and so much had happened to her, but she never gave up, and never made excuses for herself.
Hers is an inspiring and unique story, and I’m glad I read it.
NOTES ON THE AUDIOBOOK:
Books read by the author are always special, but not always well done. Samantha Geimer does a great job telling her story. Parts of it are very conversational, like when she adds in an aside to teen girls who might be listening, and this made it even better as an audiobook. You can read the first chapter at the Simon & Schuster page.