Title: I’d Know You Anywhere
Author: Laura Lippman
Release Date: August 17, 2010
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 4.75 out of 5
Eliza Benedict is a housewife who is content with life at home with her teenage daughter, Iso, and son Albie. After living in the UK for years, they have made the move back home to the DC-area and are all trying to adjust to life back in the States. Eliza’s sense of complacency is shattered, however, when a part of her past asserts herself, something she thought she’d left behind. Walter Bowman, the man who kidnapped Eliza when she was sixteen, somehow finds her and sends her a letter from jail. Eliza’s world completely changes as she tries to deal with this new complication and comes to terms with what happened to her all those years ago.
I’m a huge fan of Laura Lippman’s standalone novels, and have only recently begun reading her Tess Monaghan series, so when I discovered she had a new book coming out, it went straight to the top of my list. I’ve found Lippman’s standalone novels to be taut and suspenseful, with masterful crafting, and happily, I’d Know You Anywhere wasn’t an exception.
I’d Know You Anywhere was an incredibly written piece of fiction. From the very first page, I simply could not put this book down. I planned on reading a little, then doing other things, but I ended up reading it in one sitting because I simply had to know what happened to Eliza. It was lyrically written and flowed incredibly smoothly. I really cannot praise Lippman’s writing highly enough in this novel. It’s beautiful, taut, and keeps the reader hooked. The entire book is so tightly wound that you can’t help but continue reading, no matter what real life matters are calling to you.
Eliza was an intriguing character, made even moreso by the way others in the book characterized her. They portrayed her as this passive, reactive woman who watched life rather than participating in it, but as the book progresses, it become clear how wrong they are. Eliza has an amazing inner strength, and is a fierce mother who wants to protect her family from the horrors of her past. She is a complicated, layered woman who can’t be described with just a few words. I really enjoyed getting to know her and understanding the person she was.
This book isn’t really a mystery as much as it is a work of suspense fiction. There are puzzles to be uncovered, but really it’s a look at Eliza and how she copes with the world when it explodes around her. I found myself angry at characters in the book as they tried to push her one way or another, thinking she was a lamb ready to be led to slaughter. I loved how Eliza manipulated for her own ends, and only allowed herself to be pushed when it suited her purposes. It was a great character study and a wonderful work of fiction.
I thoroughly enjoyed I’d Know You Anywhere and highly recommend it to suspense and mystery fans, as well as those who love character driven stories. Additionally, the melodic nature of Lippman’s writing should endear this novel to literary fiction fans. It’s an exceptional novel and I’m so sad that it’s finished and I have to wait for Lippman’s next novel!