The Execution of Noa P. Singleton: A Novel

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The Execution of Noa P. Singleton: A Novel

by Elizabeth L. Silver

Crown/Archetype | April 1, 2014 | Trade Paperback

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton: A Novel is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2.

An unforgettable and unpredictable debut novel of guilt, punishment, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive
 
      Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, having accepted her fate, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date. 
   Meanwhile, Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing. She claims to have changed her mind about the death penalty and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute Noa''s sentence to life in prison, in return for the one thing Noa can trade: her story. Marlene desperately wants to understand the events that led to her daughter’s deathevents that only Noa knows of and has never shared. Inextricably linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life itself can impose while they confront the best and worst of what makes us human.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 7.94 × 5.16 × 0.79 in

Published: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Crown/Archetype

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385347456

ISBN - 13: 9780385347457

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great!! I thought that this novel was truly a page turner and it kept you guessing. It was a fairly easy read which made it easy to stay focused on the story because there were a lot of components. Overall it was a very enjoyable novel.
Date published: 2013-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unsettling The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is Elizabeth L. Silver's debut novel. Silver grabs the reader's attention from the opening pages.... ..."you must choose one way of life or the other. Victor or victim. And when you do, the fear drips away as seamlessly as a river drains into an ocean. For me, it happened on January, 2003. "I was lucid, attentive, mentally sound, and pumped with a single cup of decaffeinated Lemon Zinger tea when I pulled the trigger." ....and simply doesn't let us go. Noa is sitting on death row, convicted of a crime that is only slowly unravelled and exposed chapter by chapter. Or is it? Noa is not a reliable story teller. Does she have a faulty memory or is it just selective? Is she choosing to lie and prevaricate or can she not remember what is fact and what is fiction? As her execution date draws near and a young lawyer seeks to help her, she recounts her life and the path that led her to the cell she now sits in. Initially I found Noa quite unlikeable. My opinion changed many times over the course of the book as more is revealed. But again, it is hard to discern what is real versus what truth Noa wants us to see or accept. The addition of letters from the victim's mother sent my emotions and thoughts spinning in yet another direction. But is she herself victim or victor? The other characters are just as complex as Noa in their recountings and motives. Silver brilliantly explores relationships in this dark psychological tale. She also provides a commentary on the legal system and the death penalty that is sure to spark discussion. (Silver is an attorney) Silver masterfully plays with the reader in this debut. I was kept off-kilter and unsettled as the countdown continued to X-day. (Noa's own term) I turned the last page and just stopped. Did I like the ending? What would I have liked to have happen? The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is an incredibly strong debut. Elizabeth L. Silver has a long literary career ahead of her. One I'll be following.
Date published: 2013-07-03

– More About This Product –

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton: A Novel

by Elizabeth L. Silver

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 7.94 × 5.16 × 0.79 in

Published: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Crown/Archetype

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385347456

ISBN - 13: 9780385347457

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 It all started six months before X‑day when Oliver Stansted and Marlene Dixon visited the Pennsylvania Institute for Women in Muncy. Oliver trotted eagerly in first, like a wet surfer trying so desperately not to miss his second wave. He had thin brown hair that hung limply around the cherry contour of his face in a style that was probably at least a decade behind the times. (I know this because it was the hairstyle of choice when I was arrested.) A lone dimple nicked the center of his chin in a clean gunshot. I was in the diminutive holding cell with the telephone receivers where they dragged me whenever I had a visitor. Visitors weren’t rare--a story for the local newspaper? a feature for a news magazine television series? a book deal?--but when Oliver Stansted came up for his first breath, firm but anxious, steady but nervous, twenty, maybe twenty-five, I realized that my expectations would quickly need readjustment. “Noa, is it?” he said, speaking impossibly close to the receiver. “Noa Singleton?” The aristocratic Noa is it? British phrasing of his greeting skipped upward at the end of the statement as if it were a posh question in one syllable. Confidence and naïveté burst in the same hyperenunciated greeting. “My name is Oliver Stansted and I’m a lawyer in Philadelphia,” he said, looking down to his little script. His was handwritten in red ink. “I work for a nonprofit organization that re
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From the Publisher

An unforgettable and unpredictable debut novel of guilt, punishment, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive
 
      Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, having accepted her fate, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date. 
   Meanwhile, Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing. She claims to have changed her mind about the death penalty and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute Noa''s sentence to life in prison, in return for the one thing Noa can trade: her story. Marlene desperately wants to understand the events that led to her daughter’s death—events that only Noa knows of and has never shared. Inextricably linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life itself can impose while they confront the best and worst of what makes us human.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

About the Author

ELIZABETH L. SILVER grew up in New Orleans and Dallas and currently lives in Los Angeles.  She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in England, and a JD from Temple University Beasley School of Law. She has taught ESL in Costa Rica, writing and literature at several universities in Philadelphia, and worked as a research attorney for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is her first novel.

Editorial Reviews

BookPage’s 10 Notable Books for June: “A rare thriller that will be equally appealing for beach reading or book club discussion…riveting legal drama.” —BookPage “Like the narrators in recent best-sellers Gone Girl and The Dinner , Noa is endlessly complex and impossible to trust. Don''t try to outsmart her — you can''t. Just let her manipulate, shock, and maybe even move you. A-” — Entertainment Weekly “Bracing and combative… a classic slow-burn, with Ms. Silver spinning the web…and masterfully revealing the threads that connect [the characters] to each other and to the crime…The novel proceeds to its heart-wrenching conclusion by a series of feints and betrayals that would make Gillian Flynn stand and applaud.” — Wall Street Journal “Fantastic first novel…Silver makes us think critically about capital punishment without ever getting up on a soapbox or turning her great yarn into a civics lesson. As this unstoppable story bounds end-over-end to “X-Day,” we are reminded that everybody is guilty of something. Forgiveness, freedom and peace are rare commodities, and Silver keeps us guessing about whether or not we will find them here.” — Washington Post “I cannot recall a debut novel written more skillfully than The Execution of Noa P. Singleton… It works as a first-rate murder mystery…Suffice it to say that every development harb
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