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The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed    by Judy Shepard order for
Meaning of Matthew
by Judy Shepard
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2010 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

In the fall of 1998, I was a freshman in college. I was too absorbed in settling into collegiate life to really be aware of what was going on in the outside world, but one of the news stories I do remember about was hearing of the brutal beating that led to the death of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed is Judy Shepard's biography of Matthew Shepard and also an account of the murder investigation and trial from a mother's point of view.

Despite its difficult subject matter, The Meaning of Matthew is a highly accessible book. It is engaging, hearing about the real Matt Shepard, not the one portrayed by the media. And Shepard's honesty about her feelings from her arrival at Matt's bedside through the trial of his murderers was truly heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time. Even a decade afterwards, the significance of Matt's story cannot be denied as it brought the issue of sexual orientation motivated hate crimes to the forefront, a topic that is still finding its way into legislature today.

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