The Best Memoirs of 2016
The inspiring real-life stories that changed the way we think—and read.
8 of 10
I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her
272 pages; Atlantic Monthly Press
Available at:Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound
At the age of 30, Joanna Connors was raped by a stranger at knifepoint. David Francis had been released from prison only one week earlier, and her testimony helped put him back behind bars for the rest of his life. But the story was far from over. Although she had a successful career as a journalist and went on to have children, her life was defined by fear and self-blame (for not trusting her instincts). Decades later, she decided to learn more about the crime. Why had this man, roughly her age, gone down a path of violence? Francis had died in prison, but she found his siblings and uncovered a story of staggering poverty and abuse. Her rapist's father was a brutal pimp; his drug-addicted mother fled. The boys in the family turned to crime by age 12 or 13, entering the criminal justice system, while the girls turned tricks. One sister told Connors she'd been raped three times: "But I asked for it, because I was on drugs and I was prostituting." Connors came to understand that despite her nightmare, as far as the legal system goes, she was among the lucky ones—white, educated and middle-class. She had resisted, with bloody cuts and bruises to prove it, and she reported the crime immediately. For many, there is no such justice. Connors has written a story of profound compassion, for others and for herself. Yet, the questions she raises will leave you unsettled.
— Dawn Raffel