Review: The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, Elizabeth L. Silver

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
Six months before her execution date, Noa is visited on Pennsylvania's death row by a high-powered attorney named Marlene Dixon who initiates a clemency petition on her behalf. Marlene also happens to be the mother of Noa's victim, Sarah, and ten years earlier, she helped cement Noa's fate on the witness stand. What unfolds is the haunting account of Noa P. Singleton, an insular, acerbic thirty-five-year-old woman who agrees to entertain this last-minute appeal because Marlene has unexpectedly reversed her belief in the death penalty.

Marlene wants to know why her daughter died, and she scours Noa's past to reveal the bright loner who took Sarah's life. Haunting those involved is the fact that the motive was never revealed, but Noa doesn't want to fight for her life, and she is only slowly persuaded to tell what happened that day. A character-driven story about two women whose lives are inextricably linked through the law, through shared sentiments of guilt, and through irreversible mistakes, Noa and Marlene's motivations become increasingly nebulous, and in the end they must accept that they are in fact a blurred spectrum of good and evil.

Elizabeth L. Silver is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the MA programme in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in the UK, and Temple University Beasley School of Law. She has worked as an ESL Instructor in Costa Rica, editorial assistant at a publishing house in New York, adjunct instructor of English composition and literature at several universities in Philadelphia, and an attorney in both Texas and California.

I requested this book on Netgalley because I was intrigued by the synopsis. Imagine being sentenced to death and all of a sudden the mother of the person you presumably murdered makes an attempt to get you of death row that must be all kinds of weird. But as you will see at the bottom I am not that enthusiastic about the book after reading it and it mostly has to do with emotions.
The story is solid. While it develops you get answers to your questions, you can guess and puzzle along for motives and situations that will happen until you get the whole puzzle. Elizabeth L. Silver did a great job in keeping the last piece of the puzzle till the last page. But...I despised Noa and her attitude. I experienced the story as dark and depressing and negative. Noa does not want to be rescued never. She think she deserves all th bad she gets and even though that feeling gets explained it made me dread picking up the book. I do not like depressed people who cannot see light at the end of the tunnel. And even though getting touched in any way by a book this bad could be something good I just cannot get any positive feeling with this book. But please if you do not mind self loathing protagonists do pick up this book because the puzzle is done so well.

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
Author: Elizabeth L. Silver
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Pages: 320
Format: eGalley
Crown Publishing: various
The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

2 star review

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07 June, 2013 delete

Hm, I've heard a lot about this book. I still want to read it, but I appreciate your warning because I usually don't like really dark, depressing books, so this one MIGHT not be for me :(

10 June, 2013 delete

Shame! We all have to read some books we don't like to appreciate the great ones :D