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Publisher's Summary

As a journalist, Suzanne O'Malley began covering the murders of Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary Yates hours after their mother, Andrea Yates, drowned them in their suburban Houston home in June 2001. Over 24 months, O'Malley interviewed or witnessed the sworn testimony of more than a hundred participants in this drama, including Yates herself; her husband, Rusty Yates; their families; attorneys; the personnel of the Harris County district attorney's and sheriff's offices; medical staff; friends; acquaintances; and expert witnesses.

O'Malley argues persuasively that under less extraordinary circumstances, a mentally ill woman would have been quietly offered a plea bargain and sent to an institution under court supervision. But on March 12, 2002, Andrea Yates was found guilty of the murders of three of her five children. She is currently serving a life sentence and will not be eligible for parole until 2041.

O'Malley's exclusive personal communications with Andrea Yates and her interviews with Rusty Yates allow her to offer fully realized portrayals of people at the center of this horrifying case.

In Are You There Alone? O'Malley makes a critical contribution to our understanding of mental health issues within the criminal justice system.

©2004 Suzanne O'Malley (P)2004 Simon & Schuster, Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Without pathos or overwrought prose, O'Malley details Yates' serious mental illnesses, including psychotic postpartum depression and probable bipolar mood disorder....This riveting book puts a human face on a larger social issue." (USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carel
  • Walla Walla, WA, United States
  • 08-24-10

Are You There Alone? Andrea Yates Story

Very well written and easy to read (listen to). For those interested in mental health it is an interesting story of errors and blunders in judgment, diagnoses, and law.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

GREAT TRUE CRIME STORY

No doubt most people have read about the Andrea Yates Story...about a young woman that killed her five children. Suzanne O'Mally wrote an excellent book on this very tragic true crime event.

I know part of the Andrea Yates tragedy had to do with the system failing to realize how sick she really was. After reading this very telling tale about Andrea, I couldn't help feeling sorry for her. I know the crime was horrible. I also feel her husband recognized the signs and did all he was able to do. This tragedy should fall not only on Andrea, but the Doctors that treated her, and the hospital's inability to recognize how dangerous she would become. Why is it always after terrible event people blame the criminal?

There were so many variables involved in this crime. Andrea does not belong in prison...She should be in a hospital setting. My feeling is one day in the not so distant future Andrea should be released after her childbearing years.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joanne
  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
  • 05-17-08

Such a tragic story!

A detailed portrail of Andrea Yates and the struggles this family went through trying to keep her from falling into the abis of mental illness. Such a tragidy for all. I found this story to be engagingly narrated and easy to listed to. It is done in a documentary style packed with facts and interesting commentary from the author.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sad, very sad

I listened to this because I remember when it happened.this book is very well written. The world failed the Yates family. There are so many things that went wrong for them, including the mental health profession. They tried to get help, over and over again. Once again, insurance companies dictate to doctors how to help. This isn't the way things should be.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jamie
  • Nanaimo, BC, Canada
  • 03-12-14

Are you there alone?

I would recommend this book to anyone interested. I loved the fact that they did such a thorough job of investigating her history of postpartum depression, previous to the deaths of her children. It was an easy listen and well worth the credit.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Author had way toooooooo much smypathy for Yates.

I don't have anything nice to say about Andrea Yates but even less for her husband. He's really just as guilty. I've worked 25 years as a court reporter in the courts and I just don't have any use for people like that.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle
  • Bordertown, Australia
  • 06-29-12

Tragic

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you enjoy true crime it doesn't get much better than this, a real insight to Andrea Yates and her tragic circumstance.

What does Becky Ann Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Emotional and a sense of understanding.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • m
  • COMMERCE CITY, CO, United States
  • 10-22-11

kinda disappointing

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not sure who would enjoy this book

Would you ever listen to anything by Suzanne O'Malley again?

maybe

How did the narrator detract from the book?

sounded flat....not really easy to listen to

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Are You There Alone??

Don't know if I would have cut scenes. but would have definately wanted better insight to Ms. Yates

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

narrator

I like the way the story was narrated by Becky Ann Baker. Of course Suzanne (author) did a great job also.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well written

I liked this audiobook very much. I have a child who has a mental illness and was interested in this book for that reason and I could understand somewhat why her husband did not understand the seriousness of her illness and the precautions necessary. I think an injustice was done there by almost everyone.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • 04-27-11

True Crime

As a true crime book it was as I would expect. Well researched and definitely heartbreaking to understand all the points that were not followed up to create this tragic story. As a book it was a bit of an essay. Meaning that it was to the point and nothing more or less. Definitely worth listening to as the story is worth the value of your time to understand. It is just not exciting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Penny
  • 02-11-13

The facts and nothing but the facts

A narrative of the facts leading up to, and following on from, the heartbreaking murders committed by Andrea Yates. It is written without judgement, and with a sympathetic slant towards Andrea, and her mental illness. The strongest impression I am left with is the mostly inadequate treatment she received under the mental health professionals she attended, except for one this was a shocking litany of failure to match symptoms to treatment. There is a lot of verbatim from interviews included here which I am not sure are all that necessary to understand the facts of this case.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful