Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

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

Check out the rest of the TLC Book Tour stops for Life Sentences by Laura Lippman.

Other reviews
Presenting Lenore
Caribous Mom
Raging Bibliomania

Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the publisher, as part of the TLC book tour. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.


14 responses to “Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

  1. This sounds really good. I enjoy books about writers too. Books, authors, readers…. I just like discussions of books in books.

    I am going to see if my library has this one. Hopefully the sex in the beginning isn’t too bad (or at least skipable).

  2. Pingback: Interview with Laura Lippman, author of Life Sentences « Word Lily

  3. I’ve read one Laura Lippman book and really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to this one.

  4. I’m not the biggest mystery person, so I’ve never read anything by Laura Lippman, but this sounds so intriguing! I like the idea of a mystery with a memoirist for a protagonist. 🙂

  5. I’m glad you liked the book enough to want to join the Lippman Challenge! 🙂

    I love that this book is about memories. It seems like you could pick this book for a book club and spend the whole night talking JUST about memories.

    Thanks for being on this tour!

  6. Lippman is an author I’ve been meaning to read for awhile too. This one looks like a good place to start. Look forward to the interview.

  7. I love Laura Lippman, so I’m so glad this book is good! I’ll definitely be reading it soon.

  8. Pingback: Words from my reading « Word Lily

  9. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: March 13, 2010 | Semicolon

  10. Pingback: Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman | Word Lily

  11. Pingback: By a Spider’s Thread by Laura Lippman | Word Lily

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