Eliza Benedict recently returned from 6 years in London with her husband and two children. Settling into life in suburbia, initially her only concerns are her children’s adjustments, her husband’s job, grocery shopping and dentist’s appointments. Then a “real letter” (i.e. handwritten) arrives in her mail box, written by the man who abducted her and kept her for 6 weeks when she was 15, a letter from a serial killer to the one victim he let live. Now on death row for the rape and murder of one of his other victims, he wants to see Eliza again. He believes she can save his life.
Eliza has to decide how to respond, and how much to let her children know. She also has to contend with a woman who has very strong opinions as to what Eliza should do, and has no problem crossing the line of normal behaviour to make her point. All this only adds to the suspense. The narrative goes back and forth between the present day and the events of 1985, and the viewpoints of Eliza, Walter Bowman, and even the mother of one of the victims. The tension builds as the narrative moves between choices Eliza is making now, and choices she made at 15 in order to stay alive. She has to deal with the guilt of her survival, and look with fresh eyes at the relationship, such as it was, between her teenaged self and her captor. She has to trust her memory even as she tests it. Eliza is forced to relive the past, looking again at events so that she can finally learn the truth, and set herself free from Walter’s hold on her life.
I’d Know You Anywhere is downright creepy, but in my mind at least, it never crossed the line into full-on horror. (Aside: I personally do not like full-on horror. I loved this book.) It was impossible to put down. Laura Lippman is an excellent writer, and she knows how to pull you in. The reader is invested in Eliza’s current, normal life, and wants the events of her past to stay there, but of course that will prove to be impossible. It’s fascinating to view the relationship between the 1985 Eliza and Walter as well as the adult Eliza and Walter, to see how those events shaped the woman Eliza has become as well as her relationships with her parents and sister, with her husband, with her children. And finally, it’s exciting to see her come to a new kind of wholeness.
I’d Know You Anywhere: A Novel has just been released in paperback. We’re thrilled to announce that two of you have a chance to win. One will win a copy of I’d Know You Anywhere: A Novel and a copy of Lippman’s previous book, Life Sentences: A Novel.
Another will win a copy of Life Sentences: A Novel. This giveaway is now closed.
We have plenty of winners to announce:
- Klutz Guide to the Galaxy — #1, Bekahcubed, #7, Christa, and #11, Linda.
- Monday is One Day — #21 Megan, #17 Barb and #22 Kerrie Mayans
- The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness — #28 Debbie Kennedy