The Burning Bed by Faith McNulty

The Burning Bed

Recounts the tragic story of Francine Hughes, a battered wife who in desperation murdered her abusive husband, detailing their marriage, the deterioration of their relationship, the murder, and the trial that followed.

Details The Burning Bed

TitleThe Burning Bed
Release DateJun 1st, 1989
PublisherAvon Books
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, Biography, Drama, Womens, History, Sociology, Abuse

Reviews The Burning Bed

  • Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
    Ignore the crappy cover, title & blurb; this was one important book in it's day. The story of Francine Hughes became a rallying cry for a growing movement to change domestic violence laws. Ranks divided on the verdict, ‘she got away with murder’ or ‘justice was served’, everybody had an opinion…whatever. More significant than the verdict was that people were finally talking, it couldn’t be swept under the rug anymore. Read it so long ...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    A triumphant and bittersweet story of a woman who overcomes years of abuse in the only way she knows how, The Burning Bed is both sad and yet inspirational all at once.
  • Carol
    A true crime story of the living nightmare Francine Hughes endured during the late 1970's in Mason, Michigan. An intense, but fast read detailing both physical and verbal abuse as well as cruelty to animals at its worst dished-out by Francine's husband Mickey. I agree with the results of the trial and feel that Justice was Served.Thought the book was better than the movie.
  • Josephine (Jo)
    This was a heart rending true story and it made uncomfortable reading throughout most of the book.The story of Francine Hughes and her marriage to Mickey is almost unbelievable and yet all too true. Francine married Mickey when she was just sixteen and he was several years older, Francine had been taught by her mother that a wife must be dutiful, keep the home spotless and to respect her husband. Mickey was an inadequate and uneducated man who fe...
  • Chana
    Terrible, terrible story. And true. Francine Hughes, after fourteen years of spousal abuse at the hands of her husband, sets a gas accelerated fire around the bed of her sleeping, drunk husband who had spent the day drinking and abusing her.When you read the story the words are written as if a reasonable and innocent woman, who might otherwise have never experienced violence, was caught in a situation so horrible that the only way out was to murd...
  • Carey Shea
    I read this book when it came out years ago. I found it frightening and horrific. This poor women was constantly abused by her husband both physically and mentally. In the end she couldn't take it anymore so she set her husband's bed on fire while he was sleeping in it and killed him. Then there was the court case against her. She got off as not guilty because of all the abuse they were able to prove. They made a movie of it a few years after the...
  • Eric
    I read this book in the mid 1980's, it was a great book that shed light on a huge problem that had been ignored for way too long. I am from Shaftsburg, Michigan which is a short distance from where this took place, so it made it even more interesting. The guy in the story got just what he deserved and everyone I knew thought that she did what she had to do.
  • Amy schelkopf
    the burning bed was one of my sixth grade book reports-i have always liked to read and cheated because i had probably read it in fifth grade--my teacher chatted with my mom about my choice of book for these papers-my mom always let me read her personal books and she still does-this is something i have always really liked about her-
  • Theresa Alan
    Although this book is thirty-five years old, unfortunately, much of it could have been written about a story that happened this week. Though in larger cities there are shelters for women like Francine Hughes and her children, they’re usually filled to capacity. Francine was poor and not well educated. The binds that her husband Mickey and his family put on her is tough to read about. Her story could have ended very differently. I’m a sucker f...
  • Beverly
    Another true crime. This one is about an abused wife who murders her husband by setting a fire around his bed while he is sleeping. Fourteen years of marriage, four children, and many many many beatings, any one which could have killed her, and she had had enough. I thought it was an intersting look into the life of the abuse. There was a movie made on this book starring Farrah Fawcett, if that appeals to you more!
  • Emily
    I loved this story. When I was in high school, a teacher recommended it to me, and I checked it out of the library. Fast forward about 7 years, I took it out of the library again without remembering I had already read it. It's even better now than it was 7 years ago. I would recommend this story to anyone, to me, it is definitely a look into the face of domestic abuse.
  • Elizabeth
    I read the book and saw the movie. The movie was really good, but the book was more graphic and detailed. It is one of those books one does not want to put down. I highly recommend everyone read it.
  • { U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }
    I had a review posted but Goodreads ate it.
  • Sarah
    One doesn't ordinarily like to give a thumbs-up to murder, but I do not even hesitate to say this man should have been killed. I may even be okay with the fire. I'll be peace-loving tomorrow.
  • Ruth
    A classic and tragic account of how abuse can have deadly results if ignored. I couldn't put this book down.
  • Angela
    This was a haunting one. I first read it as a teenager and it shaped what I thought about jerk men! Not for me!
  • Jenny
    Excellent book. The man deserved to die.
  • Marian
    It was a great True story about abuse and the hold it can have on everyones life.
  • Angie
    True Story but very good and wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than the movie. The movie was lame.
  • Linda
    Raw, gut wrenching writing of the true story of an abused woman. Kudos to Farrah Fawcett for the magnificent portrayal she did in the TV movie!!
  • Carissa
    An older story, but one which has always fascinated me as a true crime novel lover. I'm glad I ran across this book while browsing that section of the library. Raw, honest, and I can't believe she put up with the abuse for as long as she did, although I know it's common in the case of spousal or lover abuse. I'll never condone killing anyone when your life isn't in immediate danger and it truly is self-defense, but she honestly believed it was he...
  • Danice
    This is the story of a woman whose experience as a victim of domestic violence captivated a nation. Her story reflects the cultural acceptance of wife-beating in 1970's-- the relationship between women's rights and the law. The match she lit not only freed herself and her children, but it lit the flame which has steadily illuminated the truth. Domestic violence is not a rare manifestation, but an evil deeply ingrained in human history. Stories li...
  • Carol Waters
    I read this back in the 1980s when the story was still new. I wish I could say things have changed a lot since then. And in some ways they have: there are more shelters now, and more police involvement, and more help for people who are able to get away. In other ways they haven't: women still tend to blame themselves for the abuse, the shelters are always full and have a waiting list, and people still say, "Why didn't she just leave?" Also, we no...
  • Melba
    This book tells the heartbreaking story of an abused woman, when there wasn't as much help available. I have seen the movie also, and this made me cry quite a bit (the movie & the book). I am glad there is more available now, but there still is much to be done to help abused women & children escape the clutches of an abuser. Some men are abused too, and it isn't right for anyone to suffer abuse at the hands of another.
  • Lesley
    I saw this movie based on this book like 30 years ago. I actually did not know it was based on a novel back then. This is a book about a woman in the 70's when domestic violence was not so well talked about. The only way she felt out was to kill him. Sure many women still feel that way. The difference I think this story made was that it opened a discussion to domestic violence.
  • Danielle
    I first read this book when it came out in 1980. I think it was one of the first books about a woman being abused by her husband that I read. It opened my eyes to something that happens way too much. There is also a movie made from this book, which starred Farah Fawcett. It was an excellent movie. It gets me really angry! Good read, but sad.
  • Paige
    Heartbreaking book. Now one of my favorites, though. I admire Francine, I don't know how she survived all those years of torment.I marked this as "made-me-cry". I only cried at the part where the dog and puppies died. How could anybody do that to an innocent animal?
  • Sabrina Rutter
    This is actually a really good book about an abused wife. I didn't get to finish it, but not because the book wasn't good! I was more than half way through it so I have decided to not read the book again, but I have seen the movie several times.
  • Fishface
    The case that put Dansville, Michigan on the map. An unusual domestic-violence case with an even more unusual verdict.