HARD TIME & NURSERY RHYMES by Claudia Trupp

HARD TIME & NURSERY RHYMES

Explaining My Work to My Daughters

KIRKUS REVIEW

A seasoned New York City criminal-defense attorney juxtaposes life defending hardened criminals with caring for her inquisitive daughters.

Though outspoken and diligent in her work, Trupp admits that she is quick to cry. She wept her way through middling grades in college, defeats in court and difficult pregnancies, but her greatest challenges, she says, have come from defending extremely demanding legal cases then changing hats and returning home to devote time to her family. Trupp revisits some of her more controversial cases, beginning with the complex trial of alleged cop killer Stephen DeLuca. After that defeat, she became overwhelmed with a second maternity leave and the “mommy justice” she was required to hand down at home. Ice-cream socials, bake sales, puppies and bedtime stories run parallel with a female murder plot, a vicious stabbing incident and unsettling visits to Rikers Island Correctional Facility to review a prison gang-rape scenario. Trupp also sprinkles in stories of her childhood, early life lessons and times at home with husband Charlie, also an attorney. Employing raw, often unchecked emotional language, the author’s intricate balancing act creates sympathy simply for its stark laboriousness. Though the criminals she steadfastly defends are thiefs, rapists and murderers, Trupp discusses how she has learned important lessons and found enrichment from her interactions with them.

Will appeal to those familiar with the legal arena, but the machinations of criminal defense may go over the heads of many working moms.

Pub Date: April 14th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59486-824-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Rodale
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2009