And When She was Good
Laura Lippman never fails to deliver. Suburban Madame may seem and over done plot line but not from the perspective of the woman. Helen is not just a prostitute or madame. She is an estranged daughter, an single mother, and an uneducated woman with all the doubts and emotional upset of each. She is human and a thoroughly enjoyable character. Book clubs will find many lingering questions. What choice would you make? Moral, legal, and domestic issues are a maze Helen tries to work through and I loved being along.
Rated of 5
by Judy K. (Conroe, TX)
This book grabbed me by the throat from the jump. This was a story about a young girl growing up in a constantly shifting environment, struggling to stay on her feet, struggling to rise above the abuse and neglect heaped on her at home, the very place she was supposed to be assured of stability and protection. More than that, however, it’s the place she should have been assured of unconditional love and acceptance. Helen never was accepted, by her parents or her peers. She never fit in, no matter how hard she tried, so when she was thrown out into the world, she wasn’t prepared to make good decisions about men or her future. I could see it coming! “DON”T DO IT!” I wanted to scream, but she did it anyway and therein lies the story, a fascinating tale of digging a hole for herself at a very young, too-young, age and spending the rest of her life trying to dig her way out. The fact that Helen becomes a prostitute and, eventually, a madam gives the story a gossipy, voyeuristic feel. Who doesn’t want to peer inside that industry? Who isn’t curious about what goes on between whores and their pimps? Why would a woman settle for such a life and, in Helen’s case, perpetuate it? Laura Lippman takes a long, hard, intelligent look at these questions and provides logical, entertaining answers. What more can you ask from a book? The book alternates chapters between Helen’s younger life and her current one bringing the two together in a gripping page-turner at the end. The story is a captivating one, the characters totally believable, some likeable, some un-likeable, and Ms. Lippman’s observations of suburban life, astute. I loved Reverend Frida, the cheerful, self-centered pastor of the twinkle-doo church Helen feels compelled to frequent, not because she has a religious nature, but because “some kind of organized religion is good for kids”. It’s comments like this and the nicely plotted, tightly drawn story of a woman trying her damnedest to overcome one obstacle after another in order to provide a future for her child, that makes this such a compelling read.
Rated of 5
by Suri F. (Durham, NC)
L.L. Delivers the Goods
What a great book! Laura Lippman is a wonderful story-teller and a real pro. She strikes a great balance between plot and character. Like any good mystery writer, she plants her clues well, so that we an be both satisfied and surprised.
This is a stand-alone tale with interesting and complex women at its heart. It was developed from some shorter works. I might quibble with how her "slip shows," in the way she fills in the back story. It is, nonetheless, a great read
Rated of 5
by Beth P. (Chester, VA)
Another knockout book!
The most important thing for me when reading a book is being able to get attached to the characters. When I saw the subject of the book, I had my doubts. A suburban madam? But Laura Lippman never fails to draw you in to her characters and empathize with them. I found myself unable to put the book down, and that is what I love in a mystery. I might not have liked all the qualities that the heroine possessed, but I definitely could relate to her as a mom wanting to protect her son, as a daughter wanting more from her mom, and as someone searching to make a better life for herself. Don't pass this book up!
Rated of 5
by Mary S. (Bow, NH)
Lippman at her finest
In the afterword of the book Lippman writes that she has thought about this story since 2001 and it shows. The plot is perfect, the storytelling is gripping and the characters are fully developed. It was hard for me to put this book down. Even when not reading it, I was thinking about what was going to happen and what had happened. Read this book!
Rated of 5
by Cathy R. (Dana point, CA)
Lippman is good
This book about the oldest profession on earth was well written and fun to read. I loved the main character Helen/Heloise right from the start. While the story is light on suspense, the ending has a nice twist.
Rated of 5
by Patricia S. (Yankton, SD)
indeed she is good!
Helen/Heloise is the perfect anti-heroine. Clinging to her own sense of integrity in her fight to shield her son from knowledge of her past and present, she remains painfully aware of the danger threatening both of them. The twist at the end is sudden and unpredictable, and the denouement cleverly foreshadowed in details laid down earlier in the book. AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD continues to show the excellent writing which has won Laura Lippmann so many Honor's, and is sure to win her more.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...