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A Mother's Trial

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3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  700 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Describes the ordeal of a woman diagnosed with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, a disorder that compels mothers to make their children ill, and put on trial for the death of her adopted baby daughter. Reprint.
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 1st 1984 by Bantam
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,326)
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Karen Monahan
Apr 10, 2013 Karen Monahan rated it liked it
I thought this story was fascinating, but the writing not so much. It did read more like fiction because of the dialogue. However, the medical terminology definitely read like non-fiction. At times, I felt like I was reading a text book and my mind wandered.

Another thing that I found infuriating was at the end of a paragraph or chapter, there would be a cliff hanger, something like "he would receive a phone call that afternoon that would change the whole course of the case!". Then you would NEVE
...more
Lynda Kelly
Nov 25, 2012 Lynda Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
The mother of the title was a nutcase. She had that Munchausen's By Proxy we hear a lot more of these days than they did back in the late 70's when she was trying to kill her adopted kids. You have to wonder why someone would adopt children only to put them through so much. I really felt for poor little Tia. She died a long, painful and lingering death all so her her mother could have heaps of attention showered upon by hospital personnel then the local church and community. Just outrageous. THE ...more
Stephanie


munchausen by proxy. Totally weird. Sad. Wonder what ever happened to the family
Carla
Mar 16, 2013 Carla rated it it was ok
Interesting, but dragged at the end, and never discussed what happened later.
Jamie
Sep 05, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it
As many of my friends and family know, I love, love, love psychology. The ins and outs of various psychiatric disorders have always fascinated me. I'm not exactly sure when I was first introduced to Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, but it had to be in my college Psychology classes.

I downloaded this book to my Kindle app I don't know how long ago, but in looking through my list of books to read on there, I came across this one again and figured I'd start it. I didn't realize I'd be drawn in and basi
...more
Heather McCoubrey
Jul 30, 2013 Heather McCoubrey rated it liked it
I read this book in 3 nights. The book is well-written and well-researched. I liked the fact that the author wrote the book as a fictional story, even though it was a true story. At times I felt a bit lost on the medical jargon, and found myself re-reading sections to better understand them.

I disliked quite a bit from this story: this book was originally written in 1984, and was updated in 2012 for the Kindle. What would be nice is if the author had included some photos and also an updated statu
...more
Kaitlin
Jun 07, 2013 Kaitlin rated it liked it
Finish time: 6 nights. I debated over downloading this book for awhile. The subject matter is tough and I will admit the first few nights, I lost a lot of sleep over it. Once you get past the “fact-finding” it was easier to sleep, but still a very tough subject for all, especially mothers of young kids.

I’m not sure what it was that led me to this book, after a week off from reading. I guess I thought I would dive into something of a different subject matter than I am used to (as I’m making some
...more
♥ Marlene♥
Aug 19, 2011 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it really liked it
I liked it but I do not agree that the author was neutral as some people stated. She seems to know all the conversations that took place between Priscilla and her husband. Well her only source of those talks are those 2. At first while reading I thought this was a fictional book cause of the way it was written. All the talks between man and wife for instance.

I have read a lot of books about Münchhausen by proxy syndrome and Priscilla fits very well into the mold of women who "suffer" from that.

I
...more
Elaine
Apr 10, 2013 Elaine rated it really liked it
When stories break, I often find it impossible to judge a person's guilt or innocence in the purported crime. I for one would not want to be on a jury that wrongly finds a defendant guilty.

In A Mother's Trial there seems to be damning evidence against Priscilla the adoptive mother of two young girls. Only then did people come forward with their own tales of "I always wondered about her" adding yet another strike against her character. Because a person is different is not indicative of a crime.
...more
Marilyn
Apr 27, 2009 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
True Crime: Priscilla is accused of murdering her first adopted child (approx 18 mo) with sodium overdose, and attempted murder of her 2nd adopted child (also approx 18 mo - sodium overdose). She has two boys of her own.

An "upstanding" citizen in the community, she tends to be bossy and overly assertive, but very community minded.

When the 2nd child became desperately sick, one of the Dr's had a hunch. The child was put in ICU and separated from mom. The child got well. AFter this the child was
...more
Samantha
Feb 09, 2013 Samantha rated it did not like it
I just did not really care for this book. There were a great deal of typos and a lot unnecessary peripheral information such as the marital life of the investigating cop, and how the mother was treated in jail. I'm not sure what this book was trying to say. It seems that the book was attempting to establish a way for the reader to be torn on whether this mother was guilty or not, which was to either be on the side of science, reason and facts OR to feel sympathy for the "caring" mother and her f ...more
Lisa
May 01, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
This was one of those books you cannot put down but hate it at the same time. It is almost inconceivable to me that it is a true story! How horrific for those two babies. What a painful, lingering, sad life for Tia who just needed to be loved. Women with this disease are attention seeking, glory hunting, sad human beings. I hope each one is found out and receives no support from community or friends.

I found the writing to be very wordy and simple at times. The story line was gripping and it was
...more
Jeanne
Nov 05, 2012 Jeanne rated it it was ok
This was a compelling story about a mother who may have been poisoning her adoptive children. However, the author tells the story, then retells it through court transcripts and by the end, I just wanted it to be over. The trial portion of the book was dry and too long.
Rhamel
Mar 13, 2013 Rhamel rated it liked it
Wow. I can't believe people would do such things. This book is full of medical/legal lingo that sometimes can get a little dull but the story behind it was interesting. I still don't know what to believe though after finishing it.
Jane Morris
Feb 12, 2015 Jane Morris rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book
True crime story about Manchusen syndrome by proxy. Well written at first, but bogged down in middle.
Valerie  Shampine
This isn't my favorite style of book, one about a crime that's fictionalized, but the story is worth a read. I much prefer True Crime. At any rate, this couple adopts a little girl from Korea and the baby falls ill. She takes the baby to the hospital, but the little girl Tia keeps getting sick, and eventually dies. Within a month, she applies for and is allowed to adopt another baby from the same area which is named Mindy. A few months go by and Mindy falls ill also. When the pattern begins agai ...more
Newbee (JoAnn) Brown
This book has been especially hard for me to read. My daughter was very sick when she was born and I can remember a lot of the same tests they did that was discribed in the book. The difference of course being they found the problem and shes almost 40 now.

Tho there were many details... Some of the tests were horrendous and much worst then discribed in the book. But I remember.

I CAN NOT imagine putting a child (or any one) through that on purpose! That just boggles my mind.

I found I had to keep p
...more
Morgan
Sep 14, 2014 Morgan rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I was annoyed by the author's over-dramatic style. She loved making foreboding statements. It was like reading a Lifetime movie. Wouldn't surprise me to find out that they made a Lifetime movie out of this book. I think the medical terminology might throw those who have no background in it. This is what happens when I get trapped somewhere and start reading a random free Kindle book on my phone...
Jen Wake
Jul 28, 2014 Jen Wake rated it really liked it
A very good insight into Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) committed by the mother of two boys and two adopted daughters. The reader is led through all sides of the story and given the court verdict but is still left to decide, based on the evidence, whether the decision was correct. MSBP is an emotive subject which is well handled in this book.
Courtney
Apr 09, 2013 Courtney rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. My mother and I both could not put this book down. If you are a fan of the true crime genre and are curious about Munchausen's by proxy, you will find this book fascinating.

For a "mother" to poison her child to satisfy a pathological need for attention is a real mind-blower. And this woman could have come to her senses at any given time over a period of MONTHS/YEARS! ALL SHE HAD TO DO WAS QUIT PUTTING SALT IN THE BABIES FORMULA! When the first baby died, she went and adopted a s
...more
Barbara
Mar 30, 2016 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this book at all. At times I was so bored with it I almost stopped reading it; but once I start a book whether I like it or not I try very hard to finish it. During parts of the book, it just seemed to drag on and on. I would not recommend this book.
Julie
Jun 19, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quite-enjoyed
If you are a fan of murder mysteries and who-dunnit and House, MD. This book is totally for you! Only in this book you know who did it, but that doesn't make it less of an exciting read. I think this is based on a true story, and what an awful story! But you want to see what is wrong with the kids, who is really to blame, and once they are "caught", what will a jury say? Surely it keeps you interested just because you want to see what happens next. I would let anyone read this book, even people ...more
Christina Houston
Kind of interesting

this book was a much slower read then I had expected it to be. The other could have achieved a better flow with the story. That said it did have interesting points.
Dalaina May
Jun 08, 2013 Dalaina May rated it really liked it
Intriguing story of the events surrounding the trial of Priscilla Phillips for the death of her daughter, Tia. The author did a fabulous job writing in the various points of view of the story's players. The story was very factual and informative without showing much bias as to what the author thought really happened.
In the end, I came to believe that Ms. Phillips is a murderer and likely suffers from Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy, yet if I was on the jury, I don't that I would have been able to
...more
Fishface
Jan 21, 2016 Fishface rated it it was amazing
I've read this many times. I hope this is a rare case. The story of a social worker, in fact a Children's Protective Services worker, convicted of murdering one of her own children.
cheryl kell
Apr 15, 2014 cheryl kell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FANTASTIC READ

One of the best true crime books I have ever read. Couldn't put it down. Would like to read more from this author.


Andrea
An interesting read, though I will admit I started skimming like crazy as the trial portions dragged on and on and on. In the end, I am still not entirely sure what I think about Priscilla's guilt or innocence. There doesn't seem to be an explanation that satisfies Occam's Razor other than her having Muchausen's by Proxy but the author leaves it a little unresolved – which I liked. It's been quite a while since I've read true crime or pathopsychology. There were times I was rolling my eyes a bit ...more
Elizabeth Maize
Jan 04, 2015 Elizabeth Maize rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story

I liked the story because it kept you in suspense and it was a true story. I would recommend anyone to read it.
Tamsyn Bucher
Mar 29, 2015 Tamsyn Bucher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent

Very good read. I still don't know if she did it or didn't do it. I enjoyed every minute of the book.
Kimberly
Mar 10, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it
The mother is this story is a complete nut case. This is a story about a lady with Munchausen by proxy and the trial that leads up to her conviction after she kills one adopted child and causes another to be seriously ill.

This is a riveting story that makes you wonder where in this woman's mind she could think it is possible that what she does to her children is acceptable much less boarders normal. This is a true crime story, that will take you into the murderers mind, as well as behind the sce
...more
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