Catch the Sparrow

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🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2

Meticulously researched and likely one of the most factually rich true crime novels I have had the pleasure to read, this tragically terrible story, written by the step-sister of a young woman, Stephanie Kupchynsky, who disappeared mysteriously on July 31, 1991 from her apartment in Greece, NY, is masterful in its execution.

Rachel, our author, had never met Stephanie, who disappeared almost seven years before her mother married Stephanie’s father, Jerry Kupchynsky. Even so, it was impossible for Rachel (fourteen at the time of Stephanie’s loss), to grow up in her shadow without developing a sense of fascinated affinity for her step-sister, her “ghostly twin”, – a woman whose life experiences, including her physical appearance, as well as her brushes with domestic abuse, rage (both externally and internally directed) and soul-crushing depression resonated with a primal tug that could not be ignored.

“We don’t fully believe we can be adored, because the people who should have adored us, should have made us believe in our own lovability, instead told us we were worthless. “

But, as our author chronicles in gorgeous and painstakingly-loving detail, Stephanie was much more than a victim – she was a living, breathing woman of her times, (the sadly corrupt and misogynistic 90’s), who knew joy, friendship, heartbreak, and passion, with an incredible talent for music, a love of parakeets and cockatiels, and a personality that sparkled and touched those that knew her.

The story of Stephanie’s disappearance, and the long and eventually somewhat desperate search for justice, is as fascinating as it is grim. With no spoilers here (you will need to read the book), all I will say is that this reader literally could not put this book down.

Highly recommended for lovers of true crime, this story is both a book-lovers treat and a brutal warning – a reminder of the evil that really does lurk, all around us, and the fragility of the bonds that hold us safe.

With an ending that thankfully offers closure, and justice (of a sort), this is the sort of book that will continue to haunt this reader, long after the lights are dimmed and the front door bolted and checked, yet again, for that (even more elusive now) sense of security.

A great big thank you NetGalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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