5 out of 5 stars
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This is a truly touching story of a family's plight in the hands of a delinquent child and the enduring love of a mother. The Decision to Kill: A True Crime Story Of A Teenage Killer And The Mother Who Loved Him is a biography that exposes one of many harsh life realities faced by human beings. Don and Cherie Wier have longed to be parents for eight years. Finally, they adopt a hefty baby boy, whom they name Dwayne. The couple is determined to love their baby boy and shower him with all the attention they could possibly give. Soon after Dwayne is three months old, he develops asthma and then other different ailments until he is almost two years old.
When Dwayne finally starts school, he suffers from a hearing impairment and gets into trouble on several occasions. Later, he begins stealing, and as a teenager, he gets into using and exchanging hard drugs. All his bad behaviour put together continues to cause his parents to look for solutions. Meanwhile, his younger sister, Donette, is the complete opposite of him. One night, Dwanye gets tired of his parents treating him like 'a ten-year old' and goes on to do the unthinkable, which lands him in jail. What does he do, and how does this change the course of his life?
Leslie Ghiglieri is able to paint a balanced picture of Cherie and Don's lives as the parents of the child who caused them so much pain. As much as the story contains much pain and sorrow, it also contains much hope laced throughout its later parts. The story quickly becomes about Dwanye's fight for his life, self-discovery, and reconciliation with his family. The intention of the author to help drug addicts recover through this book is noble and commendable. She shows that all hope is not lost if loved ones don't give up on their relatives who are addicts. I could feel the love Mr and Mrs Wier had for their children, and later on, the immensity of Cherie's love for Dwayne, despite his horrible offences.
The book comprises 21 chapters and more than 300 pages. The writing is excellent, and the structure and page numbering are correct. The author was able to smoothly incorporate the letters and other correspondences into the narrative, and this was appealing. Many times, when writers need to do this, there can be mistakes that cause the narrative to lose its flow and professional appeal, but there was none of that in this book. Due to its proper editing, I only spotted three errors as I read. This book also examines a number of other important topics, including parenting, trauma, spiritual healing, kindness, prayer, and a variety of medical procedures.
I really appreciate Ghiglieri's effort in researching all the events and producing a worthwhile piece. There are details of everything Dwayne went through, even though he was locked away at different correctional facilities during the time of many of the events. He also had access to intensive medical care for serious conditions such as Alport syndrome, kidney failure, and many other delicate health challenges he encountered. I dislike nothing about the book.
It deserves a perfect rating of 5 out of 5 stars. I gladly recommend this book to inmates, drug addicts seeking recovery, parents of delinquent children, and troubled kids. Dwayne's words on page 281 are a source of inspiration for anyone coming out of a bad situation like his. "I feel the deep urge to reach out to people with my experiences, what I’ve been through and why, what caused the circumstances that led up to what occurred in my life, how I’ve resolved it, and how I maintain my new life in Christ."
The Decision to Kill
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