1 book I read listened to―I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
2 words that describe the book―Psychological gamesmanship
3 settings or characters I met
- In and around Maryland and Virginia, modern day and 1985
- Eliza Benedict has gone to great lengths to distance herself from her past identity as Elizabeth Lerner. Only a few people in the world know what happened to Eliza during the summer she was 15, and Eliza has done everything she can to keep it that way. So when a letter arrives one day from the man who abducted her that summer saying that he saw her photo in a magazine and that he’d know her anywhere, Eliza is rocked to her core. Desperate to keep this man in her past and prevent her children from knowing what happened to her, Eliza tries to “play nice” to keep the past in the past. However, the letter writer has an agenda of his own.
- Walter Bowman has been on death row longer than any other man in Virginia. As his execution day looms, he reaches out to Eliza in an attempt to convince her that he is not the same man as the one who abducted her and murdered another girl—he says he’s changed and remorseful. Using a woman who advocates for the rights of death row inmates as his go-between with Eliza, Walter begins a carefully choreographed dance to bring Eliza back into his world and back to the days that they spent together back in 1985.
4 things I liked or disliked about the book:
- I liked how Lippman developed the relationship between Eliza and Walter. The book alternates between the modern day and the events of 1985, and we slowly get a glimpse of the complicated relationship that develops between Eliza and Walter. It is a relationship that few understand, including Eliza herself. I doubt that either Walter or Eliza understand exactly how they feel about each other. I thought Lippman did a good job of making Walter sympathetic enough that you can understand how their relationship evolved the way it did.
- I like how Lippman used the secondary characters in the book. Although the story is primarily told from Walter and Eliza’s point of view, Lippman also includes two other characters: Barbara LaFortuny (a prisoner’s advocate convinced that Walter is a changed man and doesn’t deserve to die) and Trudy Tackett (the mother of Holly Tackett, the girl Walter was convicted of murdering). Both Barbara and Trudy are angry at Eliza for different reasons, and their anger acts as a catalyst that forces Eliza to go back and revisit those days she swore to leave behind. Both Barbara and Trudy have their own distinct voices, and you can see how their strong personalities are a contrast to Eliza’s most passive approach to life.
- I liked how Lippman developed the characters of Eliza’s children, Albie and Iso. They rang true to me (especially Iso’s moody descent into being a teenager), and I appreciated that Lippman took the time to write about Eliza’s challenges as a mother throughout the book. It helped make the book feel more “lived in.”
- This was the first time I listened to a “professional” audiobook production. (Previously, I’d listened to amateur readers from LibriVox. Don’t get me wrong … I think it is great what LibriVox is doing, but the results can be a little uneven.) It made a huge difference, and I now see why so many of you are audiobook fans. The book was read by Linda Edmond, and I thought she did a terrific job. For a female narrator, I thought she did a good job creating a voice for Walter, and her Iso voice was pitch-perfect. I found her reading “easy on the ears,” and she did a good job of making the nuances of various phrases come alive. In fact, I would say that listening to this book may have actually elevated it in my eyes more so than if I had read it in “real” book form. I’m now curious to try more audiobooks and am considering a membership in Audible. Any “can’t miss” recommendations for me to listen to? (Sandy: Please limit yourself to just five.)
5 stars or less for my rating
I’m giving the book 4 stars. This was the second Lippman book I read this year, and I think I preferred this to What The Dead Know. The relationship between Walter and Eliza was compelling, and it made me want to know what happened between them then and now. If you enjoy psychological suspense, I think this would be a good read. Lippman raises some interesting ideas during the course of the book, and it always kept my attention (which audiobooks in the past have not been able to do).
The Whys and Wheres: I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from Audible.com to give a “professional” audiobook a try and because Amazon gave me two free downloads to try out the Audible service.