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Starred Review. This stunning stand-alone from bestseller Lippman (Baltimore Blues) examines the extraordinary power and fragility of memories. Writer Cassandra Fallows achieved critical and commercial success with an account of her Baltimore childhood growing up in the 1960s and a follow-up dealing with her adult marriages and affairs. The merely modest success of her debut novel leads her back to nonfiction and the possibility of a book about grade school classmate Calliope Jenkins. Accused of murdering her infant son, Jenkins spent seven years in prison steadfastly declining to answer any questions about the disappearance and presumed death of her son. Fallows (white) tries to reconnect with three former classmate friends (black) to compare memories of Jenkins and research her story. In the process, she discovers the gulf (partially racial) that separates her memories of events from theirs. Fallows's pursuit of Jenkins's story becomes a rich, complex journey from self-deception to self-discovery. 20-city author tour. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
As in much of her fiction, Life Sentences was inspired by a real-life story -- that of a Baltimore woman who spent seven years in jail for contempt of court for refusing to divulge information about her young son's disappearance. Most critics agreed that Life Sentences, which almost measures up to the career-defining What the Dead Know, is a compelling exploration of ego, friendships, family relationships, memories, racism, self-deception, and betrayals. Reviewers praised Lippman's evocation of Baltimore and her strong character development, if the latter at times overwhelms the plot. Only the Dallas Morning News had serious complaints about the lack of suspense and the attempt to address too many topics (class, race, etc.) in one novel. Otherwise, Life Sentences is another gripping offering from an accomplished author.Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Not Lippman's usual detective novel. Strange story of young lives separated, still involved in a complex, barely plausible web of deceit. Read morePublished 1 month ago by oldoc
I have read most of Laura Lippman's books and find them both fun and with a real twist . This one was repetitive and predictable. Read morePublished 3 months ago by marcia harcourt
I am a very big fan of Lippman. I preorder all her novels this was enjoyable but the slowest by far from this author. Read morePublished 10 months ago by marisa
Another book for my wife, boy are you guys are backing a loser here, you really want this. I hate books and I hate books because my wife buys them all the time on Amazon duhPublished 16 months ago by Anthony P. Haley
I've liked Lippman's other books but this book was just boring. I kept hoping for more but it never came. Read morePublished 17 months ago by ccjs
Laura Lippman is a seasoned author with many books to her credit. I reviewed one of them, After I'm Gone, on this blog on December 26, 2013. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Rebecca Mugridge
Interesting development of childhood relationship between writer protagonist Cassandra. The mystery at the heart of the story was never resolved and the novel ended with little... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Rosalie Sanderson
I liked it well enough. Not the best book I've ever read, but a pretty engaging read. I think it started stronger than it finished, for me at any rate.Published 18 months ago by K I. Beard
I was very disappointed by this book. The plot concept was excellent, however the execution was poor. Read morePublished 18 months ago by B. Patterson-Browning