I Let Him Go - Denise Fergus

Reading Challenge Category: Wanted to read more about this terrible tragedy

Official Blurb:

'I was crying so much I couldn't breathe. The thought of leaving the shopping centre without him was crushing. I knew that walking away from the place where he had gone missing, without any idea where he now was, meant that things were really bad. James had been right by my side and then he was gone forever.'
On 12th February 1993, Denise Fergus' life changed forever. As she was running errands at New Strand Shopping Centre, she let go of her two-year-old son's hand for a few seconds to take out her purse.
Denise never saw her son again.
For the first time since that moment 25 years ago, Denise tells her extraordinary story in this heart-wrenching book, an unflinching account of that terrible day. What if she had never taken James shopping? What if she had turned right coming out of the butcher's, instead of left? Denise's initial hope after seeing her son on CCTV with other children quickly turned to devastation when, two days later, James' body was found.
His death reverberated around the world and his killers became the youngest ever convicted murderers in UK legal history. Four minutes is all it took for them to lead James away from his mother to his death. Denise took up a tortuous legal battle for James, and it was her astonishing strength and love for her son that ultimately helped to change the way the law treats victims of crime.
This is a mother's tale, of finding a way through the despair to remember the happiness and wonderful memories that James brought his family. Above all, Denise doesn't want her son to be remembered as a murdered child, and with this beautifully written book, she does just that.

My Thoughts:

I Let Him Go is a heart-wrenching memoir by Denise Fergus, the mother of James Bulger, who was brutally murdered by two 10-year-old boys in 1993. The book provides a unique perspective of the tragic event as Denise shares her personal journey of grief and her relentless fight for justice for her son.
What sets this book apart from other accounts of James' murder is Denise's portrayal of Ralph, James' father. While Ralph's own book does not reveal any animosity, Denise's perspective is different. She shows a lot of resentment towards him and disputes his claim of having a good relationship with Michael. This insight provides a new angle to the story and adds to the complexity of the family dynamics.
Although the book is less graphic than other accounts of the murder, it still manages to capture the essence of the tragedy and its aftermath. Denise's pure grief and agony are palpable on every page, making it impossible not to feel deeply moved by her words.
Overall, I Let Him Go is a powerful and emotional read. It provides an important reminder of the devastating impact that a senseless act of violence can have on a family. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the human toll of such a tragedy.

I Let Him Go
by Denise Fergus
Date Started
21st April 2023
Date Finished
23rd April 2023