Thursday, June 13, 2013

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

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is the brilliantly written debut novel by Elizabeth L. Silver. Once I began this book, I didn't close it until the last page. The voice of Noa narrates the story as she talks about her past and what led her to death row. Noa is at times not an enjoyable character for obvious reasons. She killed someone. Much of the story readers are kept in the dark about what really transpired the night 10 years prior to her conviction.

The novel begins with a welsh lawyer named Oliver Stansted letting Noa know that the victim's mother is no longer wanting her to be executed so she's going to try all that she can to grant her clemency or a new trial. This surprises Noa because she can still vividly remember the words that the death penalty is the single most profound punishment to grace the judicial system among other choice words. Ultimately, Noa is dictating her life to Oliver and keeping her secrets in the process.

Initially Noa seems cold, abrasive, and unnecessarily sarcastic but as the book goes on, I appreciated her intelligence, humor, and acceptance. This novel is full of characters that readers will either love or hate. I'm not sure if I liked any of them but I still cared enough about Noa and Marlene (the victim's mother) to hope they came to some sort of resolution. Themes such as resolution, innocence, guilt, and truth reign supreme in this novel.

I really appreciated Elizabeth L. Silver providing readers with a complex novel that didn't go one way or another on the side of executions and wether it's right or wrong. There are facts stated but nothing in your face about opposing the death penalty or not. It's a hot topic that will forever be debated until... forever. Thankfully we don't have to have that argument here and in it's place is actually a really great novel.

In conclusion, I highly recommend The Execution of Noa P. Singleton to everyone. It's a fast read that's immediately engrossing with very rich characters. The mystery will keep readers guessing until the end. Silver has made a fan out of me. *****

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