'GET READY TO SAY GOODBYE' by LaVonne McKee

'GET READY TO SAY GOODBYE'

A Mother's Story of Senseless Violence, Tragedy, and Triumph

KIRKUS REVIEW

 An angry and vengeful account of an act of possibly-not- gratuitous violence that turned a 14-year-old into a quadriplegic. Dwayne McKee was shot by his best friend, Jeffrey Townsend, who used a loaded gun left in an unlocked drawer in the Townsend house. Dwayne's mother tells the story (with Schwarz, The Hillside Strangler, 1981) of her son's suffering, of the morbid prognosis, of the struggle and sacrifice first to keep him alive and then to help him regain physical functions. At the heart of her story is a quest for retribution. According to the author, no one in the Townsend family--including Jeff, who pointed the loaded gun and said, ``Get ready to say goodbye''--showed remorse or concern or even acknowledged responsibility. Their financial resources stretched too thin to provide Dwayne with the medical treatment and physical therapy he needed merely to stay alive, the McKees consulted lawyers about suing Jeff's father, David Townsend. No go, said the lawyers; the family would only declare bankruptcy. Eventually a lawyer was found who helped to uncover hidden assets and obtained a judgment of $8.5 million against an insurance company that held a policy on David Townsend's business. David Townsend himself went to jail on a not entirely unrelated charge. The McKee family is still trying to collect the $8.5 million. Dwayne has determinedly begun to learn to walk again. And his mother is still bitter and close to self-pity. Cheer for the judgment against the big insurance company and for Dwayne's accomplishments; pity the mother, who has obsessed for so long about wanting the accused to say ``I'm sorry.''

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-88282-079-6
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: New Horizon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1994




MORE BY TED SCHWARZ

NonfictionCANDY BARR by Ted Schwarz
by Ted Schwarz
NonfictionTRUST NO ONE by Ted Schwarz
by Ted Schwarz
NonfictionTO LOVE A CHILD by Ted Schwarz
by Ted Schwarz