Sunday, December 19, 2010

Why, After All This Time?

I'd Know You Anywhere
Laura Lippman

Earlier in the week, I just wanted a book that would suck me in and make me want to turn the page.  I didn't want to think, much, but be engrossed and entertained.

I'd Know You Anywhere certainly met my "suck me in" requirement. But surprisingly, what I thought was going to be a fast-paced, intriguing mystery was actually more than that, deeper, and it made me think in ways I was not anticipating.

When she was fifteen, Elizabeth Lerner was abducted and held for forty days by Walter Bowman. He was convicted of the murder of other girls. Now, twenty years later, Bowman is on Death Row with an imminent execution date, and Elizabeth is now Eliza Benedict, happily married and mother of two children.  Until the day Eliza receives a letter from Death Row, Walter re-establishing contact.

What follows is the unravelling of what really happened while Eliza was captive. The choices we make to survive, the choices we make to take control of our lives. It also explores the  morality of the death penalty, but does not come down clearly in one camp or another. Rather it explores the motivations of both supporters and detractors.

What I really liked abut this book is that it told an exciting story, intertwining the past and present.  Without being salacious, Eliza's time with Walter is revealed. She's made peace with how she survived her time with Walter, and built a life for herself. But as the story unfolds, Eliza must revisit that time in her past.  She's unsure why Walter is contacting her, and she's looking for something from him. But is he only manipulating her again, after all these years, for his own purposes?

This is one of those books that had me carrying the eReader around with me, grabbing whatever minutes I could to read a few more paragraphs.  

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