Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review - No Place Safe by Kim Reid


In this compelling memoir, Kim Reid hauntingly transports readers to the innocent world of a childhood protected by a loving home, yet threatened by a danger beyond any child's understanding...

Thirteen-year-old Kim Reid will never forget the summer of 1979. In those precious free moments when she is not taking care of her little sister while her single mother works as a cop, Kim's days are filled with thoughts of boys, makeup, and starting high school in the fall. When a heartbreaking discovery along a quiet Atlanta road makes the news, Kim's mother instructs her girls to be careful. Accustomed to her mother's warnings, Kim feels she already knows how to stay alert and carry herself as if she's not scared.

But as the shadow of danger lengthens over Kim's once-sunny landscape of friends and family, she learns there is no place safe. While her mother becomes preoccupied with her increasingly high-profile job, Kim feels life unraveling. Straddling the worlds of her black neighborhood and her wealthy white school, teetering on the brink between girl and woman, Kim is torn between fitting in and finding her own voice; between becoming strong and clinging to the last traces of her childhood.

In this deeply intimate, powerful narrative, Kim Reid weaves an unforgettable story of growing up and the events that shape us forever...

My Thoughts:

From the minute I picked this book up until I finished it, I was engrossed in Kim Reid's life growing up in Atlanta in the late 70's/early 80's. There are a lot of references to music, fashion and other things that were popular back then, and it was fun to read about Kim enjoying the same things that I did during that same time period. Her story centers around the Atlanta Child Murders that occurred over a three year time period, from 1979 to 1982. Kim's mother was a police officer/detective and was assigned to the task force that was formed to investigate the murders. Kim's mother did not share a whole lot of information with Kim and her sister, Bridgette, but she did what she could do as a single mom to take care of her girls during that time. Kim was there for her mother whenever she would get home after a rough day of searching/interrogating, and would often be more like a friend to her rather than a daughter. During this time, Kim and her sister were not allowed to do most of the things that they used to enjoy doing. Kim loved to play basketball out in the street at dusk in the summertime, loved to go to parties in her neighborhood, and go shopping. One by one, all of those things were "taken away" because of the murders. Although Kim resented her mother for making the new rules and working long, hard hours, she constantly reminded herself of what the effect of the murders was having on her mother. Kim Reid's memoir is honest, gritty and unforgettable. She experienced a lot of turmoil during her junior high/high school years...having to grow up fast and be the adult to her sister, get a job and help her mother with the bills, and be a teenager all at the same time. She held her head up high and was proud of who she was, where she lived, and who her mother was. This is a beautifully written memoir. Anyone who loves memoirs like I do will love it. It is an unforgettable story written by a very talented author.
Please visit Kim's website at

Photobucket Very Good!
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dafina (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758220529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758220523


itsJUSTme-wendy said...

Oh this book sounds sooo good! You know how I love these kinds of books!

Vivienne said...

I can only see her mum as keeping her safe. It must have been so hard for her mum having to deal with the outcome and fallout of the crimes; she must have worried sick about her children. A great book but a tough read I think.

DCMetroreader said...

This sounds like a very good read! I remember the brutal Atlanta murders and am about the same age as the author. Very nice review!

Priya Parmar said...

this book sound marvelous! thanks for the recommendation

Lisa said...

I do love a well-written memoir. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

Diane said...

Missy, I do like reading books like this; thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

Lynne said...

Missy, we DO like the same books, you're right. This one looks really good. I'm like you, I enjoy reading about references to the 70's and 80's and things that were popular during that time. Brings back memories.

And I kind of remember hearing about the child murders in Atlanta. I'm going to have to get this one.

lilly said...

Well, I love memoirs so I guess I have to trust you on this one :).
It does sound like a book worth reading.

Anna said...

I'm generally very picky about memoirs, but this one sounds great. As a mom, I can imagine how difficult it must've been for Kim's mom to deal with the horrors of murdered children at work and worrying about keeping her own kids safe.

Diary of an Eccentric


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