Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Life Sentences

by Laura Lippman

Life Sentences is the perfect title of this book about an author who has wrote her life into sentences in two memoirs, one about her growing up in Baltimore as a white girl with four black friends and her father's remarriage to a black woman, the other about her two failed marriages.

Her memoirs became bestsellers, but her 3rd book - a novel, does not stand up well. Cassandra decides to return to writing nonfiction when she is reminded of a quiet childhood acquaintance who was charged with murdering her infant son. The friend never said a word during the trial, she served a 7-yr sentence in prison and when she was released she still wouldn't speak of what really happened. Cassandra sets out to find Caliope in hopes of learning the truth. In the process she interviews and reconnects to her childhood friends that were included in first memoir.

"A memory can be fragile, fleeting and not all together reliable, but it also can have the power to sustain a life commitment. Several people can experience the same event at the exact time, yet each have a different interpretation."

A wonderful told story that I enjoyed immensely. I've even order two more of Lippman's books because I was so impressed with her writing. I wish I would have marked more passages - there were several that I would like to reread again and again.


Bellezza said...

I loved the quote you wrote about each having a different interpretation of the same experience. I guess that phenomenon can keep counselors in business! It's hard to be on the same page sometimes, even though people have had the same experience they come at it with a different mindset.

Anonymous said...

I really like Laura Lipman. I read her book "What the Dead Know" and loved it. I am adding this to my TBR pile!

Staci said...

Excellent passage...I've seen this book around but I hadn't read a review until yours. sounds like this is a really good read and I liked your review a lot!! I'm going to have to put this on my TBR list.

Thoughts of Joy said...

Oh, I'm so glad you liked this. I started reading it and just wasn't in the right mood, so I temporarily set it aside. I hope to pick it up again when I am in the right mood. :)

Zibilee said...

I hadn't yet heard of this book. It sounds like you were really taken with it. I'll keep my eye out for it, thanks!

Amy said...

I would really like to read one of her books. Thank you for this review.