Life Sentences by Laura Lippman (William Morrow, 2009; the paperback was released in March 2010), 352 pages
Cassandra Fallows found writing success with her first book, a memoir. Her second memoir didn’t do to poorly either. Her third book, though — a novel — didn’t fare too well. Now the pressure’s on. And when the name of one of her childhood acquaintances comes up on the national news, she knows she’s found her next book. That acquaintance, Callie, spent seven years in jail on contempt charges after her infant son disappeared (presumed dead) and she took the Fifth. But she didn’t know Callie all that well. And the rest of her friends — she left them and Baltimore behind when she went to college — aren’t too eager to chat, either.
This is one of those books that definitely has a mystery at the heart of the story but doesn’t really act or read like a thriller. I guess that makes it more literary, more literary fiction?
I loved that it was about a writer. She’s published, but she’s still struggling. And Baltimore is one of those settings I’m really intrigued by, for some reason. The story line and the ethical dilemmas I liked. The main characters are well drawn. At the heart of the story, this is a book about memory. It’s much more questions- and character-driven than plot-driven.
The way sex was talked about in the beginning of the book was a bit shocking, a bit off-putting.
Laura Lippman’s name had been on my radar for quite awhile, which is why I jumped at the chance to read this one. I’m also signing up for the Laura Lippman reading challenge; I’ll go conservative and sign up at the two-book Dabbler level.
About the author
Laura Lippman grew up in Baltimore and returned there in 1989 to work as a journalist. She has won numerous awards for her work. Her 17th book, I’d Know You Anywhere, is set to be released in August.
I plan to have an interview with Lippman posted here soon. EDITED TO ADD: My interview with author Laura Lippman
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