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Dr. Sam is Under Your Bed by Prudence Wright Holmes

Title: Dr. Sam is Under Your Bed
Author: Prudence Wright Holmes
Stand Alone
Format- ebook
Publisher- Self- Published
Published- October 11th, 2012
Pages- 274
Source- Author

On July 4, 1954, Marilyn Sheppard, wife of prominent Cleveland osteopath Dr. Sam Sheppard, is bludgeoned to death. Prudence Holmes is a rebellious, creative, six-year-old living in nearby, ultra-conservative Bexley, Oh, when her father becomes obsessed with the "crime of the century" leading a group of neighbors working to bring Sheppard to justice. The author joins her father on this crusade--it becomes the happiest time of her life, and the crime haunts them both for the rest of their days.

Prudence (or Tina, her preferred name) becomes an existential, dateless teenager, dreaming of acting on Broadway and discussing literature in Parisian salons, while her bigoted mother forces her through charm school and society functions. Finally escaping Ohio, she heads to Carnegie Mellon to study acting, catch up with the sixties, and embark on the quest to become both sexy and an artiste. After graduating, she finally makes it to New York, finding employment driving a taxi, babysitting, and, eventually, acting. The memoir leaves the author at the brink of what will be a successful acting career, armed with a new understanding of her father, gained after his death. Packed with intelligent, realistic dialog, humorous narration, and subtle political commentary, this intimate memoir is the story of one woman's struggle toward childhood dreams fulfilled, played out against the background of an America in the midst of great change.

Originally this title through me off but I gave it a shot when I read a preview of the book. It took me a little while but the title grew on me and I found myself liking the story more and more. This memoir is about Prudence Holmes who lives in the shadow of her father's need to put a killer, Dr. Sam, in jail. Right away you knew that her father did not like people that weren't like him and shared the same beliefs. He once said something like how the Pope is going to make an army with all the kids that Catholics have. Before that I think young Prudence said how Jewish people are bad because they killed Jesus. I found this all very funny only getting a little annoyed at some parts. In that day of age a lot of people were narrow minded. In Blexley, Ohio even more so. All that they didn't deem right I had to laugh at because boy were they getting a surprise years later. Prudence grew up in this world and a lot of her childhood was spent not knowing these things. She grew up a bit sheltered and ultimately more different than her mother would like. She ended up going to college to study acting and later trying to make it big in New York. She struggles with going from this small town which was very conservative to a school and life that was tough and in your face.

It all started with Dr. Sam and the murder of his wife. Her father takes up the responsibility to get everyone behind putting him away. Dr. Sam is more of the background music of her life. It creates conflict in her and her family's life but I don't feel it was the central story. Her father later on seems more interested in the case than his family. You can say he was a little consumed by the killing. He was very frustrating. In the 1950s the man was the provider. In the 1950s men dominated the household. You can just imagine the superiority he thought he was entitled to. Needless to say I had a real problem with him. When Prudence would talk back when she was younger and then later on when she rebelled he got violent. I don't know how Prudence didn't just stop speaking to him altogether or how she kept on caring about him. Well, not really. It was her father and she couldn't help but care for him. Oh how I was thrilled when she told him off. It was glorious. Their relationship was a battle between different views from Dr. Sam to different views on life itself. Her mother was a little better. Sure, she wasn't very forgiving in the way she thought of other people but she didn't hurt her daughter. She did try to make her something she wasn't. It would have been nice to have her on her daughter's side.

The college she goes to is wild. I won't tell you exactly what she was trying to obtain based upon a teachers suggestion but know that this book isn't for the weak hearted. It has a lot of crude words and the people around her weren't really great "influences". I noticed how everyone tried to change her. Force their beliefs or way of life on to her before she really knew who she was. It's like give a girl a break so she's a virgin and doesn't want to do drugs. Chill out. There were moments where I just wanted to defend her. I wanted someone to just defend her already. Her life was a bit chaotic and it took awhile to get really good but I was really happy that she did. Her story was nothing but entertaining. I really liked seeing her go through the different stages in her life. Although I didn't particularly like the ending I thought the book was a great read. Her life was so not what I expected and I can't help but smile to myself now seeing what it's become.

For info about Prudence Holmes Wright and her books go to:

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