A beguiling debut novel about the stories we tell ourselves to survive, the scars that never fade, and the things we choose to call the truth.
Noa P. Singleton speaks not a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ends with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, a woman who will never know middle age, she sits on death row in a maximum security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date.
Seemingly out of the blue, she is visited by Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the heartbroken mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing. She tells Noa that she has changed her mind about the death penalty and Noa’s sentence, and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute the sentence to life in prison - if Noa will finally reveal what led her to commit her crime.
Noa and Marlene become inextricably linked through the law, shared sentiments of guilt, and irreversible mistakes in an unapologetic tale of love, anguish, and deception that is as unpredictable as it is magnificently original.
©2013 Elizabeth L. Silver (P)2013 Random House Audio
"In this grippingly off-kilter thriller, a young woman sits on death row after being convicted of murder until a high-powered attorney – the victim’s mother – intervenes, leaving everyone to wonder why." (O, The Oprah Magazine)
"Silver has written a darkly witty, acerbic jigsaw puzzle of a first novel about legal versus moral culpability…[and] explores convolutions of guilt and innocence beyond the law’s narrow scope with a sharpness and attention to detail that can be unnerving but demands attention." (Kirkus)
"Vividly written debut novel...Silver definitely delivers a thought-provoking examination of the criminal-justice system, providing a clear-eyed view of the artificial theatrics that dominate criminal trials and a heartfelt look at both grief and remorse. An intriguing debut from a writer to watch." (Booklist)
Death row is a sad and lonely place. In the face of death, one always wonders what really happened,and is the truth enough to justify the taking of a life. This books tackles these ideas without judgment or pontification. It is a gripping page turner with characters you love (some in spite of yourself). The narraters are perfect, and I can't reccomend this book highly enough. It is a perfectly paced story that I would read again (a rarity). I want more by this author.
Noa P and the language , great character development
Love the voices the cadence everything
A good story well written.
I didn't mind her performance. It was not her fault.
They were stuck with the material.
boredom and annoyance
One of the best written books I have listened to lately. Well thought out plot with lots of unique ways to look at the hard topic of the death penalty all in a captivating and clever fiction.
Noa is the very cynical main protagonist. If I have one complaint about this book that it’s a downer. Not a single upbeat in the entire book. I don’t know how you would write a death row novel that wouldn’t be. Noa has been sitting on death row ten years when the story opens. The remainder of the book gets the author up to date on Noa’s history and moves on to where she goes from here. Wow. The reader gets the back story before the trial. The trial of Noa is so resilient of the some recent death trials involving female lovers and mothers, but from all angles. For all the information that I thought was important to the case was not revealed in the light I thought would give be the best conclusion.
The story allows the reader to make their own conclusion though it’s extremely thought provoking. I will be thinking about this book for a long time and listening more dubiously to those television trials.
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