All of the characters in The Execution of Noa P. Singleton are imprisoned in some way. With whom did you most sympathize?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 06/10/13
I think it was Noa herself. She never had a chance from the very beginning. An absentee father a mother who was much more interested in men than her daughter and who also was a habitual liar who tried to help her daughter in the beginning but quickly lost interest when she felt Noa was in the way.
Join Date: 06/18/12
I agree. I liked the character of Noa. She was sympathetic and likeable even though you knew she was guilty of a violent crime. I also liked the character of Oliver Stansted. He wanted badly to help Noa and tried his best to provide her a new defense.
Join Date: 04/14/11
I liked Oliver the best, as I think he was truly trying to help Noa. Noa I had a problem with, because I don't believe I would ever give up trying to make my case if I were not guilty. I felt like Marlene was just a mean person through and through, and quite possibly a little off kilter. And Sarah's characterization in the book didn't follow through equally in different parts of the story.
Join Date: 10/20/10
I just finished reading the book so I may not be far enough away from it, but I didn't really sympathize with any of the characters. Noa is an extraordinary unreliable narrator which made it hard to know what really happened or how people really acted. Likewise, Marlene's letters to her dead daughter can't be taken as being objective. I think that of all the people in her life, Noa liked Oliver the most which made me like him the most as she presented him the most sympathetically.
Join Date: 12/10/11
I liked Oliver the best. He seemed to be the only character with a conscience. He had good motives and was sincerely trying to help Noa. Although the author didn't delve into his family, one is led to believe he also came from a dysfunctional family.
Join Date: 05/31/11
None of the characters were very sympathetic. Most wasted their lives in one form or another. Noa had a miserable childhood and was never able to pull herself out of the lies and deceit. Oliver was the only one that seemed to be truthful and actually doing what he said he would do. I guess I sympathized with him the most because he was the most closely involved with Marlene.
Join Date: 08/16/11
I agree with eileenp. Both Noa and Marlene were unreliable narrators, and most of the secondary characters were unlikable. Oliver was the most sympathetic character, and I think it would have been interesting to have a chapter or two written from his perspective. But I don't think his take on the situation would have been any more reliable because he was too naive.
Join Date: 10/19/12
Join Date: 09/05/11
I thought that Oliver was the beacon of light in the novel. His intentions were good and I agree that an exploration of his point of view would have been interesting. He had to play off two very strong female characters who I frankly did not like. I sympathized with hi because I thought his good intentions did not have a change against them.
Join Date: 06/10/13
Several days ago I said Noa was the one I most sympathized with but after reconsideration I think it was Sarah. She was a pawn in Marlene and her boyfriends efforts to reconstruct herself into someone she wasn't.
In Marlene's case it was the perfect daughter and in her boyfriend it was a second Noa. Marlene had plans for her probably even before she was born to follow in her shoes, become sucessfull and eventually have a family while her boyfriend wanted a second chance with a "second" Noa.
When things didn't go as planned both parties were out to distroy her.
Join Date: 04/18/11
I sympathized with Oliver the most. He seemed to be the only character who had good intentions and who tried to do the right thing but was in over his head in the world of ruthless Marlene.
Join Date: 05/20/13
Join Date: 04/10/13
Although I hoped Noa's sentenced would be changed, I did not find her likable. I wasn't sympathetic to any of the characters. Oliver came off as wimpy and gave In to Marlene instead of continuing.
Join Date: 09/07/12
Join Date: 08/23/11
You will all think I am crazy, but I can't help but feel sorry for Marlene, who lost the most, a daughter. I think she may be mean and a little unstable right from the beginning and I didn't like her at all, but the loss is obviously driving her further insane.
I also feel sorry for Noa, and I think she is a little mentally disturbed, also. I don't think she can tell right from wrong sometimes.
The only character I liked was Oliver, but his loss isn't nearly as great as anyone else in the book. He just had a lesson in life.
Join Date: 05/20/13
I didn't really sympathize with any of the characters in the book. All of them seemed to be screwed up in some way,and none of them seemed even remotely redeemable.
Of all the characters, the one that made the most limited appearance was the one I could have sympathized with.....Marlene's husband. He was there when she blackmailed Caleb, he was there during all of Noa's trial and he died in the end. Marlene was to evil to sympathize with, but her husband? I think he would have been the one character that would have suffered the most from Sarah's death and from his wife's sheer ruthlessness over Noa's conviction.
Join Date: 04/10/13
The only character I could sympathize with in this book was Ollie. His intentions were good but he was no match for Marlene. Marlene's huband? I certainly didn't sympathize with him. He was a wimp who knew what was going on and just allowed it to happen. He couldn't or didn't stand up to Marlene no matter what she did. I couldn't sympathize with Sarah either. I can't imagine what attracted her to Caleb. I don't know that I've ever read a book with so few characters that I could identify with or even like.
Join Date: 06/17/13
I only found one character with whom I could sympathize and that was Oliver. His intentions were good and he believed in his cause; however, he wasn't strong enough against Marlene. To a slight degree I sympathized with Noa because she had so many strikes against her.
Join Date: 04/23/12
Join Date: 12/17/12
I could sympathize some with Oliver because he tried to help Noa, but ultimately he wasn't very strong. He wasn't a major character and I didn't feel like I really understood him.
Join Date: 06/01/11
I don't think liking a character and having sympathy for him or her is the same thing. All characters were incredibly flawed but that is what made them interesting and produced a great story. I had sympathy for each and every character. They were all imprisoned but only the women on Death Row were executed, ending forever their chance at redemption. I viewed this book as a extremely powerful indictment of the death penalty. I don't have to like the characters to enjoy a good story.
Join Date: 12/05/12
Join Date: 06/23/12
I felt most sympathetic towards Oliver because he appeared to,be motivated by wanting to do the right thing. I also felt compassion for Noa at times but her personality and the fact that I wasn't sure exactly what had happened made her hard to regard her with sympathy most of the time.
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