Title: The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
Author: Hallie Rubenhold
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Historical Non Fiction
This book has been on my tbr for months, and I actually bought it as a hardcover for the full price (which I never do for non fiction because it’s just usually more than I can justify spending) but I just wanted to read it so much! And I’m really glad that I made it my first read of the year. It lived up to all my expectations and then some.
The concept of the book is fairly simple, but that’s really what makes it such powerful book. It just goes into detail to tell the life story of the five confirmed victims of Jack the Ripper. I can’t even image how much time and effort went into researching the lives of these women, especially since they were brushed aside even when the original investigations were taking place. The generally accepted story is that all the women murdered by JTR were sex workers, and it’s very obvious that that’s not the case. Not that there’s anything wrong with sex work, but ignoring and lying about these women and how they lived is beyond disrespectful and they deserve to have their stories told. There’s also the simple fact that even the two women that were sex workers had so many more aspects to their lives, every single one of these women had family and friends and lives that they were leading when they were murdered. And then they were completely overshadowed by the legacy and mystery of the person that killed them. It’s something that’s bothered me since I realized that and that’s why I made it a priority to read this book as soon as I could.
This book is basically five biographies. Five very well researched and well put together biographies. This book gives you the facts about these women, and gives you a sense of who they were before their lives were stolen. I cried multiple times reading this one, and it left me with a feeling of just…sadness. And that’s really a sign of how good the book was. I’m sad because it’s taken this long for these women’s stories to be told, but it was done in such a thorough and respectful way that you can’t help but be moved by the book. If you like non fiction, or if you’re curious about the JTR case, or you just want to learn about five women who history has ignored, then I’d suggest picking up this book. It’s worth the time.