Thursday, 15 January 2015

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

What was on my night table...

 This one is The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth Silver.  I began this book with great interest.  I do enjoy the diary format in a novel.  It seems to help move the story along in an intimate, authentic way, usually.  And who can forget the fun of reading Bridget Jones' Diary?

 Noa is 35 and has been sitting on Death Row for 10 years after confessing to the killing of a young woman; her execution day is in a few months time.  She slowly relates her own story (sort of) and this is interspersed by letters the deceased woman's mother is writing to her daughter.  Noa admits her guilt, has never denied the murder but the mother wants to know more...especially the motivation and circumstances of her daughter's death.  More information than Noa is willing to reveal even if it might save her from execution, apparently.
This was definitely set up as something of a page turner; you were kept wondering what you didn't know that led Noa to murder and why on earth was she reluctant to tell especially if it could save her life.
 Noa's voice is strong...she is sarcastic, at times witty, but I didn't like her.  Sadly I was not really rooting for Noa; in fact I was irritated by her stubborn stance of not letting us in on the facts in a more timely fashion.  I also did not really care for the mothers' letters;  perhaps another format allowing us to learn  the mother's motivation for her actions would have worked better.
However, I did keep reading; my interest was piqued enough to get me to the end.
This is another debut author and I was impressed with that.  Elizabeth is certainly someone to follow.
By the way, this business of having an unlikable protagonist seems to be happening more often; I'm really not sure how I feel about it.