“Maine authors Gail Chop and Margaret Wiley have written a riveting book based on real-life events that took place in their childhood home of Manchester, New Hampshire, in the 1960s. They tell the tale through the eyes and voice of the fictional Nora Donovan, whose father is the lead detective on the case of the 1964 brutal killings of Sandra Valade and Pamela Mason, teenage girls just a few years older than Nora. These were times when the number of TV stations was limited, and for many people, the main news source was the most powerful newspaper in New Hampshire, the Manchester Union Leader.

“We follow Nora’s life from 1960 to 1970. Her observations about the adults surrounding her are right on target; her voice rings true as she grows from a trusting 8-year old who obeys the nuns to an outraged adolescent horrified by the Vietnam War and the racism rocking the country. Wonderful family characters — her glamorous Aunt Kathleen, boyfriend-crazy sister Moe and John Glenn-obsessed little brother Joey – all lend humor to what would otherwise be a grim read. The authors do a great job tying in national news as a backdrop, while projecting the local terror of murderers at large and describing the entanglements that ensued as the legal system struggled to nail the killer. ‘Flashbulb Memories’ is a walk down memory lane for those of us who grew up in New Hampshire in the ’60s, and for those of us who didn’t grow up Catholic, an eye-opening (and frequently humorous) view of life as a student in Catholic school!”- ANN D. LEBOURDAIS, Harpswell

Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it. We want to hear what you are reading and why. Send your selection to pgrodinsky@pressherald.com, and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.

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