söndag 29 mars 2015

Book Sunday - Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

Title: Life Sentences
Author: Laura Lippman
Year published: 2009
Pages: 352
Rating: 2/5
Find book: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Sentences-Novel-Laura-Lippman/dp/B002SB8P92

About: Author Cassandra Fallows has achieved remarkable success by baring her life on the page. Her two widely popular memoirs continue to sell briskly, acclaimed for their brutal, unexpurgated candor about friends, family, lovers—and herself. But now, after a singularly unsuccessful stab at fiction, Cassandra believes she may have found the story that will enable her triumphant return to nonfiction.

When Cassandra was a girl, growing up in a racially diverse middle-class neighborhood in Baltimore, her best friends were all black: elegant, privileged Donna; sharp, shrewd Tisha; wild and worldly Fatima. A fifth girl orbited their world—a shy, quiet, unobtrusive child named Calliope Jenkins—who, years later, would be accused of killing her infant son. Yet the boy's body was never found and Calliope's unrelenting silence on the subject forced a judge to jail her for contempt. For seven years, Calliope refused to speak and the court was finally forced to let her go. Cassandra believes this still unsolved real-life mystery, largely unknown outside Baltimore, could be her next bestseller.

But her homecoming and latest journey into the past will not be welcomed by everyone, especially by her former friends, who are unimpressed with Cassandra's success—and are insistent on their own version of their shared history. And by delving too deeply into Calliope's dark secrets, Cassandra may inadvertently unearth a few of her own—forcing her to reexamine the memories she holds most precious, as the stark light of truth illuminates a mother's pain, a father's betrayal . . . and what really transpired on a terrible day that changed not only a family but an entire country.

My thoughts: I didn't like the book that much, it mostly goes on about Cassandra's childhood and friends, but mostly it's just boring. The parts about Calliope is the best, that is where you feel a bit of plot, but the rest basically just feels like a biography of a fictional character. I was waiting and waiting for a plot to form, but there's just a vague main-plot.

What I do like about the book is that the characters are very alive. Both Cassandra and her friends as children and adults feel like real people. Lippman manages to paint up a good picture of each character as different individuals. When you read about the characters as children and then as adults you can see how their personalities and background  made them do the choices they did.

In the beginning of the book, I feel a little thrown between characters and different stories but after some more chapters you get used to it. With a more powerful plot and a bit less of Cassandras thinking I would have been much happier. The language is nice and plain. She doesn't throw all the information in your face. I like it that way, if you don't get two pages of details you tend to remember much more. Lippman is building up these characters through out the whole book, letting you get to know them step by step and not all at once.