Life Sentences

Life Sentences

by Laura Lippman

Donna Newman: A book recommended on the Today Show, Life Sentences is a beautifully written novel that explores the themes of memory, family, friendship and race relations in Baltimore in the 1960s. The main character, Cassandra Fallows, is a successful memoir writer. The premise of this book is Cassandra's research into the crime committed by one of her elementary school friends who was incarcerated for seven years for declining to answer questions about the disappearance of her infant son. The book is so much more, however, as Cassandra opens up her life and the lives of her parents and her friends to us. As in A Reliable Wife, no one is truly what he or she appears and the characters are not ones I want to befriend, but I could not put the book down in anticipation of the unraveling of the mystery. Unfortunately, Lippman rushed the ending and omitted explanations I would have enjoyed. I do recommend the book, and I think it would be a good movie.
Rating: *****

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