The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver
(Crown, 2013, 320 pages)
The Execution of Noa P. Singleton introduces us to Noa, a woman who has been on death row for the past ten years. We’re introduced to her 6 months before her execution date (X-Day) when Marlene, her victim’s mother, decides to come back into her life having changed her mind about her stance on the death penalty. Marlene has created a foundation called MAD, Mothers Against Death, and she has recruited a young attorney named Oliver to help her out with Noa’s case as they plead for clemency. Noa doesn’t know what to make of this turn of events. She has run out of appeals and she and Marlene have never exactly gotten along given the nature of their relationship. It turns out that all Marlene really wants is to know exactly what happened to her daughter – she never really knew since Noa didn’t take the stand in her trial.
The story is told primarily from Noa’s point of view as she recounts her life in a sort of memoir that she plans on passing along to Oliver. Interspersed with Noa’s words are letters that Marlene is writing to her dead daughter explaining why she’s doing what she’s doing. I was sucked into this book quickly because I was curious to see where things would go and what Noa’s story really was. It’s definitely a page-turner. I liked the unique perspective Silver took with this book.