Friday, March 27, 2009

"Life Sentences"

Laura Lippman has won virtually every major award given to U.S. crime writings, including the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Agatha Award, Nero Wolfe Award, Shamus Award, and the Quill Award.

She applied both the “Page 99 Test” and the “Page 69 Test” to her latest novel, Life Sentences, and reported the following:
P. 69 is essential to the book and I think most women reading it would want to keep reading. I'm not sure what men would think. It's about the main character's relationship to her father, a difficult man in many ways. Please understand, I'm not being sexist. I assume some men would find this intriguing and some would not. But this, ultimately, is a very feminine book. Which means, to my mind, that it's about things that obsess women. And this hints at a vital truth, one that the main character has yet to confront fully.

P. 99 This is trickier. Life Sentences has a book within the book, excerpts of the main character's bestselling memoir, and those sections are written in what I'll call the self-consciously erudite voice of some memoir writers. So, no, I hate to contradict Mr. Ford, but page 99 does not reveal the quality of the whole. Page 98, though, is really something.
Browse inside Life Sentences and visit Laura Lippman's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue