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One Day She'll Darken

The Mysterious Beginnings of Fauna Hodel
Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, True Crime
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The inspiration for the TNT series I Am the Night.

The Black Dahlia Murder is near-legend in the annals of true crime. But behind the shocking case of a young actress’ gruesome slaying lies the story of another woman. 

Was Fauna Hodel the child of incest and the catalyst for a sensational trial that left her well-to-do family scarred by scandal, even as the accused sexual predator walked free? Taken as an infant from her teenage mother, Fauna was placed in the care of a working-class black woman who raised the white child as her own. 

Together, as a close-knit mother and daughter, they weathered years of poverty and bigotry, alcoholism and sexual abuse, pregnancy and even death - until the time came for Fauna to seek out her real mother and uncover her lost past.

But as Fauna will learn, some truths don’t want to be told.

©2008 Fauna Hodel, J. R. Briamonte (P)2019 Graymalkin Media, LLC

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  • Blackenedghost
  • 11-02-2019

Great Story!

Great story, of Fauna Hotel and what she went through growing up in racially divided times being of mixed race. The TV series, "I am the night", is based of this book. However, the show is completely different than the story told here, but that's actually a good thing. I recommend both the TV show and this novel.

49 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • Leah BoBeah
  • 21-02-2019

Better than Fiction

While I’m enjoying the new series, I am the Night, I find this true story to be much more fulfilling. I knew about this book and Steve Hodel’s books for years, and while I remain on the fence as to whether or not George Hodel killed the black dahlia, Elizabeth Short, the TV show started a renewed interest in this entire story. I wish so much that we could have seen the movie Fauna tried to make with Jill Clayburgh, but maybe one day a more accurate Lifetime movie starring Jill’s daughter, Lily Rabe will happen, I am suggesting. If you want to know the real story, I highly recommend this book.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • JT
  • 08-02-2019

excellent book, exceptional reader voice

The book itself was phenomenal but the reader, January LaVoy, made this the most exceptional experience. Her character voices were the most consistent, nuanced performances I've ever heard of an audiobook. Highly recommend!!!

57 of 60 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-2019

beautiful

there really is no review that I can provide that would do this story real justice. It was a most fascinating and you cannot stop reading or listening *whatever version you choose written word or audio* I would highly reccomend this book. It is both an autobiographical story and a time piece. Just a wonderful read and you can really feel the story taking place as the author lays out the story from page to page.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Spin It Baby
  • 26-03-2019

Fascinating family history, but a few too many over-dramatic cliches

Fascinating family history, but a few too many over-dramatic cliches.

Her overall message & life-mission was a beautiful one, but it comes off as an afterthought at the end of the novel rather than something we’re led to seeing for ourselves.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • pmw
  • 22-02-2019

Interesting and not what I expected

Book covers the early years of Fauna. she doesnt meet the grandfather. she just barely scratches the surface of those Hodel mysteries. still, an intriguing story about her limb of the family tree. worth a listen

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Donna Hrynyk
  • 25-05-2019

Crazier than fiction.

I wanted to read the book after watching the first episode of the tv mini series.
I liked the book better, knowing it was closer to the true story than the show. I’m looking forward now to reading the book by Fauna’s uncle.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Colorado-reader
  • 11-08-2019

True? Story’s redeeming quality.

This is not advertised as a true story… But it appears to be based on reality. It’s a good story, but it needs a much, much better editor. Or else an author who listens to her much better editor (are you listening Ms Hodel?).
There are huge gaps in the story, leaving the reader hanging. Minor SPOILER ALERT: You will never find out what happened to her loving & doting adoptive father. Ever. poof he’s gone. She is a good enough author to get you all invested in this loving man, but not a good enough author to say if she missed him, sought after him… Nothing. But !poof! Here comes another man in her life. !Poof! there goes the old one. She offers no insights into the emotional scars of having men cut from her life, and others plunked into the middle of it.
Fauna Hodel seems to think that her view of the world is the only right view in this world. ie: Nothing black people do is bad.
Nothing white people do is good, or for the right reasons.
Then she preaches to us that people should not see each other as their color.
Yet Ms Hodel always seems to see them as their color.She wishes she had been born black. But she resents having been placed with a black family. She resents white people treating her or her family badly, but she doesn’t resent black people for treating her badly. I don’t have a confirmed point of view on the subject, nor have I experienced what she has. My point is that she could tell the story of what has happened to her, without forcing conclusions on her readers. Fauna Hodel needs to give her readers some credit. We can read her story, feel the emotions, and draw conclusions. A good author will let us do that.
***My personal message to Fauna, “Give your readers some credit. Tell your story in an honest emotional way and we will be moved to act. Preach to us, and probably not”.

SPOILER possibility: Ms. Hodel’s birth mother is not a fairy princess! How unjust it is that she grew up thinking of her mother as a fairy princess. Terrible. Mine wasn’t either. Very sad. By the end of the book I want to write “Wah, Wah” on every page (if I had pages). That’s not an injustice, it is a life lesson. None of our idols are what they seem in our dreams. But poor Fauna... Wah!

There are some unique, intense & interesting parts of her life’s story, but they drag out through chapters and chapters. This is a journey of her figuring out that emotional interactions with family are not perfect. (I am not sure if she still resents her birth mother for not being a fairy princess, but come on- Grow up and let it go.)
Especially with family, it’s not all about race. Our imperfection is not an injustice. It is just reality.

I could list so many repetitions of episodes in her life story that could have been put on a page, instead of a chapter. And then there are pages that should’ve been a chapters.

Ie: “I was sexually assaulted” Is an example of a sentence that should’ve been a chapter. I would call that a spoiler alert but it isn’t. Because that’s the only sentence mentioning the episode and it doesn’t seem to impact her emotionally... not one iota.
I can’t keep going on with this, though there’s so much of it. I’m hoping that for the next book Ms. Hodel writes, she will get a good editor, and listen to her editor. This book was impactful and interesting, if poorly written. I wish the best for the author.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-06-2019

Excellent

After I saw the movie, i wanted to know more about Fauna Hodel and this book was definitely worth listening. The narrator was excellent...wonderful sad story.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • NinJA
  • 11-03-2019

Good story...

Really good story. So insightful on living in two worlds and the prejudice experienced on both sides. The ending was a little too abrupt. But I’d recommend the book and I’m glad I listened nevertheless.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • V Nerd - Reviews by Audio Killed the Bookmark
  • 23-11-2019

A true story that will break your heart

This was such an interesting story about a girl named Fauna, the title is a nod to her light skin, because she was born mixed race as her father was black.

While working in a casino bathroom a young black woman called Jimmie is approached by a white woman who has had one too many drinks, she strikes up a conversation with her about her life and children.
Jimmie finds this very odd, but the woman is white, so probably a good tipper, so plays along with her to see if she can get more money out of her.
In the conversation, the woman admits that her daughter is pregnant by a black man, and the child cannot stay with them for obvious reasons, so she is looking for a good "black home" to send her too, Jimmie enjoying the drunk talk tells the woman that she would be happy to take the child off of her hands, for a price of course, gives the woman her address, and swiftly gets a crisp $50 tip, talk about good luck, drunk women!!

Except a few months later, Jimmie gets a new member of her household, a brand new baby girl, called Fauna, Jimmie's husband isn't happy about this at all, but goes along with it, considering that there is money involved, it might be a sweet deal, except she doesn't look black, she doesn't look black at all, and people notice it too, which makes Jimmie very angry.

"We’re not categorized by the color of our skin. And just as Jesus was color-blind, so, too, is love. Our love for each other, for our brothers and sisters, and now for this baby is also color-blind. The only reason we see different color is because of a self-inflicted disease we call racism.”


And a sweet deal it is, they both come to love their daughter very much, as she gets older, they tell Fauna now named Patty, that her real mother gave her away, but the whole time, they wait for her black to start showing through, except it really doesn't.

But Patty is brought up a strong independent black girl, and she has plenty to say about people who don't believe her, in fact she starts to take her birth certificate everywhere with her just to prove it. But unfortunately, she is too white to fit in with the black kids, and too much like a black kid to fit in with the whites.

Jimmie, is not quite the loving mother she is portrayed to be in the neighbourhood, she is an alcoholic, and is very abusive toward Patty, and her string of lovers after her and her husband separate, also add to this, so much so that Patty eventually leaves the home and starts to find out a lot of information about her life that was kept from her by her "mother"

Lets just say that everything isn't as it seemed!!

🎧🎧

Narration by January LaVoy was as always perfect, and this story was so brilliantly told by her.

Also a TV series called I Am The Night on TNT, I haven't seen it myself, but I am anxiously waiting for it to come to UK TV so that I can.

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  • Jayne
  • 18-08-2019

Brilliant

Wow, wow, wow, what an amazing yet tragic life, wonderfully written, expertly read, Some shadows casts high

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-04-2019

Amazing story

Such an amazing story if your into true stories defo worth a read/listen loved every min of it