Wednesday, July 16, 2008
My First Book Review:No One You Know by Michelle Richmond!
No One You Know
by Michelle Richmond
From the Publisher:
Michelle Richmond dazzled readers and critics alike with her luminous novel The Year of Fog. Now Richmond returns with an intensely emotional, multilayered family drama—a woman’s search for her sister’s killer that spirals into a journey of secrets, revelations, and damaged lives. All her life Ellie Enderlin had been known as Lila’s sister. Until one day, without warning, the shape of their family changed forever. Twenty years ago, Lila, a top math student at Stanford, was murdered in a crime that was never solved. In the aftermath of her sister’s death, Ellie entrusted her most intimate feelings to a man who turned the story into a bestselling true crime book—a book that both devastated her family and identified one of Lila’s professors as the killer.Decades later, two Americans meet in a remote village in Nicaragua. Ellie is now a professional coffee buyer, an inveterate traveler and incapable of trust. Peter is a ruined academic. And their meeting is not by chance. As rain beats down on the steaming rooftops of the village, Peter leaves Ellie with a gift—the notebook that Lila carried everywhere, a piece of evidence not found with her body. Stunned, Ellie will return home to San Francisco to explore the mysteries of Lila’s notebook, filled with mathematical equations, and begin a search that has been waiting for her all these years. It will lead her to a hundred-year-old mathematical puzzle, to a lover no one knew Lila had, to the motives and fate of the man who profited from their family’s anguish—and to the deepest secrets even sisters keep from each other. As she connects with peoplewhose lives unknowingly swirled around her own, Ellie will confront a series of startling revelations—from the eloquent truths of numbers to confessions of love, pain and loss.A novel about the stories and lies that strangers, lovers and families tell—and the secrets we keep even from ourselves—Michelle Richmond’s new novel is a work of astonishing depth and beauty, at once heartbreaking, provocative, and impossible to put down.
This is the first book that I have read by Michelle Richmond and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I reviewed the book as an Early Reviewer at Library Thing and have modified my review a bit here. The author was kind enough to send me an email thanking me for my review. She seems very devoted to her books and her fans. I found the book a combination of literary fiction and mystery and this is not a typical mystery. The story draws you in from the start as it is truly about the relationship between two sisters, Ellie and Lila and how relationships effect all areas of your life. Even hidden secrets can turn full circle and be understood in some way and bring understanding and meaning to your life. After Lila's death, Ellie confided in a "friend" who turned her confidences into a book and she felt betrayed and the guilt affected her life in many ways. She was able to face her own fears and in the end to find the truth of what happened to Lila. This was very freeing and healing for her. As Ellie is the main storyteller and narrator you learn through her experiences that stories that you believe are the truth can sometimes be deceiving. Yes, parts of the story were focused on math and theory concepts but I found much of that written in a way that was interesting and held my attention. It did not detract from the story at all for me but made sense pulling it all together. I enjoyed the anecdotal stories related to math history as well. I found reading about Ellie's job in the coffee industry and her experiences very well written and detailed in ways that I could sense the aroma of the coffee beans and learned how important the sense of smell can be for a coffee buyer. I highly recommend this richly written and moving novel. I will definitely keep my eye on this author and check out her other books.