Top positive review
A heart-wrenching but wonderful book
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2019
Sharon Rocha, mother of the late Laci Peterson, writes a powerful memoir that will undoubtedly captivate you. The entire book is a constant page turner and difficult to put down. Through Sharon's eyes, readers will learn what kind of person her daughter Laci was – the 27-year-old California woman who was 8 months pregnant when she disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002. Rocha details her horror on that fateful day, the months that followed, as well as prior to, during and after the trial of her son-in-law Scott Peterson.
Rocha loved Scott; he was her son-in-law whom she thought she knew well. She initially supported him, believing him incapable of murdering her daughter and his soon-to-be-born son. But as the evidence mounted, to include Scott's affair with Amber Frey and his outrageous lies, she and her family withdrew their support.
Scott Peterson was arrested shortly after the decomposed bodies of Laci and their baby son Conner washed ashore – a mother's worst nightmare had come true. Sharon tearfully describes this day in April 2003 and the painful details of preparing the funeral for her daughter and grandson. Rocha also writes about her experience in the courtroom during Scott's murder trial. She learned many more details about the investigation and credits law enforcement and prosecutors for securing a guilty verdict. She then describes her time on the stand, her highly charged victim impact statement, during the penalty phase.
The relationship between the Rocha and Peterson families had deteriorated throughout the ordeal, and Sharon describes the tense moments that transpired between them, especially those with Lee and Jackie Peterson, Scott's parents – their steely glances, snide remarks, squabbles over Laci's belongings, even Lee Peterson's heated exchange with Laci's brother Brent.
On a lighter note, Sharon Rocha has included in her book many beautiful photos of Laci, from babyhood, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and pregnancy. Laci's radiant smile is ever present, and Rocha basically states Laci was just like her pictures: humorous, fun, energetic, high spirited, someone who loved to laugh, and much more. Thanks to this book, I felt as though Laci was someone I've always known, the girl next door or even a kid sister. Additionally, and intriguingly, Rocha writes about "seeing" Laci after her disappearance and the years that followed. She describes seeing a younger version of her daughter riding a bicycle as well as Laci as a young adult lounging on the sofa. What touched my heart most was the dream Sharon had of Laci, who let her mother know that she was all right. This had to have been extremely comforting and reassuring. (This is something to which I can personally relate. I, too, had a dream of a friend who had perished in a traffic accident, wherein she told me she was all right and not to worry about her.)
All in all, this is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Thank you, Ms. Rocha, for writing it and sharing such deep, personal thoughts and feelings. If by chance you're reading this review, do know that you are a class act, a very brave lady, a role model for mothers, and that you and your family, to include Laci and Conner of course, have touched many hearts.