52 in ’11: I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

The project where I read a book a week this year. See more about my project here (and feel free to leave your book suggestions). You can read my other 52 in ’11 posts here.

Book 5: I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
My rating: Highly recommend

I’d Know You Anywhere tells the story of Eliza Benedict, a 38-year-old stay-at-home mother of two, who gets a letter one day from the man who kidnapped her back in 1985 when she was 15 and called Elizabeth. He saw a picture of hers in a magazine. He ends the letter with the chilling line, “I’d know you anywhere.” He’s on death row and less than two months away from being executed for killing another young girl. He wants her help in getting his sentence commuted, but tries to seduce Eliza the way he did when she was 15. Eliza gets roped into connecting her past to her present in a way she never expected to, or ever wanted to.

Some minor spoilers after the jump.

When Amazon recommended this book to me because I had read Room by Emma Donoghue, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Room was very emotional and, at times, very hard to get through. It was also very cleverly written because it was written from the point of view of a five-year-old boy and not the woman who was kidnapped.

I knew this book would be different. Because it seemed focused on the victim, I did worry it would be even hard to get through. And at times, it was. The book started off slow, rotating between Eliza present day and her captor, Walter, back in 1985. It’s at the halfway point, the book really begins to take off.

The mother of Holly, the girl Walter murdered — the murder he is on death row for — is introduced. She believes Eliza was Walter’s accomplice, not his victim. And she’s out to avenge her daughter’s death. Then there’s the character of Barbara, who’s befriended Walter on death row and is his accomplice into getting his death sentence commuted — and making Eliza help.

By the end, even the reader is questioning whether or not Walter actually killed Holly. And your mind for awhile begins to wonder if Eliza actually killed her. The ending is quite twisted and ropes you in to the point you can’t put the book down until you get the closure you need.

A great read which was, apparently, based on a true story. I highly recommend this book.

Have you read I’d Know You Anywhere or Room? Which did you prefer? Leave a comment and continue the discussion!

  • http://www.parentcentral.ca Brandie Weikle

    Wow, good recommendation. It sounds a little dark compared to what I’d normally pick but the twists you allude to have me intrigued. Congrats on this project. It’s a great undertaking. I’m spreading the word.

    • Sarah Millar

      Thanks Brandie! If you have any book suggestions, please pass them on! I’m looking to diversify my reading with this project.

  • http://www.alimartell.com alimartell

    I started, this year, keeping a list of all of the books I have read. I’m aiming for 52 too. We;ll see if it actually happens…since it’s april and I have only read 12 books so far…