The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is Elizabeth L. Silver's debut novel.
Silver grabs the reader's attention from the opening pages....
..."you must choose one way of life or the other. Victor or victim. And when you do, the fear drips away as seamlessly as a river drains into an ocean. For me, it happened on January, 2003. "I was lucid, attentive, mentally sound, and pumped with a single cup of decaffeinated Lemon Zinger tea when I pulled the trigger."
....and simply doesn't let us go.
Noa is sitting on death row, convicted of a crime that is only slowly unravelled and exposed chapter by chapter. Or is it? Noa is not a reliable story teller. Does she have a faulty memory or is it just selective? Is she choosing to lie and prevaricate or can she not remember what is fact and what is fiction? As her execution date draws near and a young lawyer seeks to help her, she recounts her life and the path that led her to the cell she now sits in.
Initially I found Noa quite unlikeable. My opinion changed many times over the course of the book as more is revealed. But again, it is hard to discern what is real versus what truth Noa wants us to see or accept. The addition of letters from the victim's mother sent my emotions and thoughts spinning in yet another direction.
But is she herself victim or victor? The other characters are just as complex as Noa in their recountings and motives. Silver brilliantly explores relationships in this dark psychological tale. She also provides a commentary on the legal system and the death penalty that is sure to spark discussion. (Silver is an attorney)
Silver masterfully plays with the reader in this debut. I was kept off-kilter and unsettled as the countdown continued to X-day. (Noa's own term) I turned the last page and just stopped. Did I like the ending? What would I have liked to have happen?
The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is an incredibly strong debut. Elizabeth L. Silver has a long literary career ahead of her. One I'll be following. Read an excerpt of The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.
"Elizabeth L Silver grew up in New Orleans and Dallas and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the MA program in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in England, and Temple University Beasley School of Law. She has taught English as a Second Language in Costa Rica, writing and literature at several universities in Philadelphia, and worked as a judicial clerk and research attorney for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is her first novel." You can find Elizabeth Silver on Facebook and on Twitter.
See what others on the TLC book tour thought. Full schedule can be found here. And if this sounds like a book you'd like to read, I have a copy to giveaway thanks to the lovely folks at Crown Books. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. A randomly chosen winner will be selected on July 27.