Monday, August 16, 2010
Review: Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My primary interest in this particular novel was the idea of a story that revolves around a woman who spent seven years in jail for her unwillingness to divulge information about her young son's disappearance. I find the idea of that fascinating and I wanted to see what that was all about. This novel is definitely about that but it is about so much more. It was like an unexpected gift to me as a reader in many ways. It was so much more than a mystery. It explores a lot of different issues that were all handled well - racism, betrayal, friendship, family dynamics and memory.
I felt that Laura Lippman did a number of things really well with this novel. First, she made Baltimore, MD come alive with her words. I've been to Baltimore a number of times but she really gave the city texture with her words. Second, the character of Cassandra was so well written - she is a very complex, not always likeable character. But, I really enjoyed reading about her journey throughout the novel. I think she was really well done. Third, I really enjoyed how Lippman handled the mystery aspect of the novel. She makes it an integral part of the plot while also focusing more on the impact of the mystery on the characters of the novel more so than it simply being a mystery. All in all, I found it to be much more complex than your typical mystery novel.
I found this to be a well written, thoughtful novel that gave me a great deal to think about. I definitely recommend it!
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