The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg audiobook

The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia

By Emma Copley Eisenberg
Read by Emma Copley Eisenberg

Hachette Books, Hachette Book Group 9780316449236


Format: Retail CD (In Stock)
  • $35.00

    ISBN: 9781549103193

  • $90.99

    ISBN: 9781549103179

Runtime: 10.55 Hours
Category: Nonfiction/True Crime
Audience: Adult
Language: English



An Oprah Magazine Pick of the Month

An Esquire Pick of Best Books to Elevate Your Reading List in 2020

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

A Literary Hub Pick of Best True Crime Audiobooks of Spring

A Crime Reads Pick of Best True Crime Works of the Month

A Library Journal Editor’s Pick 

A Pop Sugar Pick of Upcoming True Crime Books

A SIBA Okra Pick

A Booklist Pick of Best Books to Chill with a Thrill

An Indie Next List selection

A stunningly written investigation of the murder of two young women--showing how a violent crime casts a shadow over an entire community.

In the early evening of June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived; they traveled with a third woman however, who lived. For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted for the "Rainbow Murders," though deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward. In 1993, a local farmer was convicted, only to be released when a known serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility. With the passage of time, as the truth seemed to slip away, the investigation itself caused its own traumas--turning neighbor against neighbor and confirming a fear of the violence outsiders have done to this region for centuries.

Emma Copley Eisenberg spent years living in Pocahontas and re-investigating these brutal acts. Using the past and the present, she shows how this mysterious act of violence has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and the stories they tell about themselves. In The Third Rainbow Girl, Eisenberg follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, forming a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America--its divisions of gender and class, and of its violence.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Stepping into darkness, [Eisenberg] extracts a nuanced sense of place and draws a map with historical connections.” Nancy Isenberg, New York Times bestselling author
“Tells a haunting story of two restless women and the un-nameable desire to travel a different path.” NPR
“The surprising story of a wrenching crime. However, The Third Rainbow Girl is also so much more—it’s a deeply felt exploration of Appalachia, a land where fault lines of race, gender, and class run deep.” Esquire
“A fascinating hybrid work of true crime and memoir…an affectionate portrait of Appalachia that complicates and contradicts stereotypes about the region.” Shelf Awareness
“A beautiful and complicated ode to West Virginia. Exquisitely written, this is a powerful commentary on society’s notions of gender, violence, and rural America. Readers of literary nonfiction will devour this title in one sitting.” Booklist (starred review)
“Eisenberg narrates her own audiobook with care and precision. Her appealing voice, like her writing, never condescends to a region and people so frequently misunderstood. To this native West Virginian, few books have tried so hard and succeeded so thoroughly in understanding the state.” Literary Hub (audio review)
“This is essential reading for true crime fans.” Publishers Weekly
[Eisenberg] reconstructs the case with a brisk pace and a keen sensitivity…offers a nuanced portrait of a crime and its decades long effects. Kirkus Reviews
“A lens through which to consider the effects of violent acts on the communities where they occur.” Library Journal
“Brings to mind Truman Capote’s masterpiece In Cold Blood: elegantly written, perfectly paced, and vividly realized people and places.” Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author
Part crime narrative and part soul-searching memoir, Emma Copley Eisenberg’s The Third Rainbow Girl has so much wisdom to offer. It’s about the corrosiveness of preconceived notions, and about how trauma ripples through cultures and generations, and about finding connections in others and strength in oneself. Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author
I blazed through this book, which is a true crime page-turner, a moving coming-of-age memoir, an ode to Appalachia, and a scintillating investigation into the human psyche's astounding and sometimes chilling instinct for narrative. A beautiful debut that will stay with me for a long time, whose story mesmerizes even as it convinces you to find all mesmerizing stories suspect. Melissa Febos, Lambda Literary Award winner and author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me
Emma Eisenberg has distinguished herself as a reporter of remarkable wisdom and conscience, and her powers are on full display in The Third Rainbow Girl. Eisenberg's meticulous, compassionate reporting does not promise any of the easy answers we might expect from true crime: neither about what happened to the "Rainbow Girls," nor about poverty, injustice, and the fate of outsiders-whether hippies, hitchhikers, carpet baggers, or journalists-who give and take in this country's poorest areas. Her insights are hard won, deep, and devastating, making this an unforgettable debut. Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession
The Third Rainbow Girl succeeds on two levels: first, as a deep dive inquiry into the 1980 murders of two young women in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, and the ensuing, tangled investigation, and second, as an intimate and humane portrait of a close-knit Appalachian community, the kind of place that is often reduced by outsiders to little more than a cliché of itself. As Jimmy Breslin once wrote of the legendary New York chronicler, Damon Runyan, 'He did what all great reporters do ... he hung out.' A remarkable book. Richard Price, New York Times bestselling author of Lush Life
The Third Rainbow Girl is a staggering achievement of reportage, memoir, and sociological reckoning. We are better for this brilliant, gorgeous, and deeply humane book. Carmen Maria Machado, National Book Award Finalist and author of Her Body and Other Parties
"The Third Rainbow Girl is a riveting excavation of the secrets time, history, and place keep. In a long-buried crime, Emma Copley Eisenberg has unearthed a story that reveals America. Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder & A Memoir



You're reviewing: The Third Rainbow Girl

How do you rate this product? *

1 1 star
2 2 star
3 3 star
4 4 star
5 5 star


Author Bio: Emma Copley Eisenberg

Author Bio: Emma Copley Eisenberg

Emma Copley Eisenberg is a writer whose work has appeared in Granta, VQR, McSweeney’s, Tin House, the Paris Review online, New Republic, Salon, Slate, and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Elizabeth George Foundation, Lambda Literary, and the New Economy Coalition. Her reporting has been recognized by GLAAD, the New York Association of Black Journalists, the Deadline Club, and Longreads’ Best Crime Reporting 2017. She co-directs Blue Stoop, a community hub for the literary arts.

Titles by Author



Available Formats : Retail CD, Library CD
Category: Nonfiction/True Crime
Runtime: 10.55
Audience: Adult
Language: English