The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
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The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  5,356 ratings  ·  973 reviews
Before I Go to Sleep meets Defending Jacob, with a voice reminiscent of Lionel Shriver, in this story of a woman on death row, what she did to get there, and why she may not want the truth to come out.

Six months before her execution date, Noa is visited on Pennsylvania's death row by a high-powered attorney named Marlene Dixon who initiates a clemency petition on her behal...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Crown (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Rating = 3.5 stars
NO SPOILERS, and therefore a somewhat vague review.

I think this is going to be quite popular when it comes out this summer. It was compelling enough that I read it in three days. Noa is a convincing narrator with an unusual life story to tell. Her voice is gritty and sarcastic and resigned, just as you'd expect from someone incarcerated for ten years and awaiting execution for capital murder. Although I'm not sure I liked Noa herself, I did like her narration.

Noa killed Sarah...more
Ali
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill
This story by a narrator who may or may not be reliable is set in a prison, and more specifically, on death row. Noa Singleton, 35, is awaiting her day of execution after ten years of fruitless appeals, and now, six months before “X-Day,” she is approached by yet another lawyer who wants to make one last try for clemency on her behalf.

Noa provides her history, and as she does, we gradually get an idea of why she is on death row and what really happened to put her there. We also learn about the c...more
Trishnyc
Hmm...I am not entirely sure what I feel about this book. On one hand, I acknowledge how well written it is, what a brilliant page turner it is that it made me finish it in one day but on the other hand, I am left going, "But what was it all for?"

Noa P. Singleton is on death row for killing Sarah Dixon. By the time we meet her, she is six months from X day, the day of execution by lethal injection. Early on, we learn that she did precious little to defend herself at her trial and has done even l...more
Patrice Hoffman
The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is the brilliantly written debut novel by Elizabeth L. Silver. Once I began this book, I didn't close it until the last page. The voice of Noa narrates the story as she talks about her past and what led her to death row. Noa is at times not an enjoyable character for obvious reasons. She killed someone. Much of the story readers are kept in the dark about what really transpired the night 10 years prior to her conviction.

The novel begins with a welsh lawyer name...more
Blair
Noa P. Singleton is an inmate on death row, where she has been awaiting her execution for ten years since being convicted of murder. But six months before 'X-day', she is visited by Marlene Dixon, the mother of her victim Sarah. Marlene claims to have formed an organisation which opposes the death penalty, and believes Noa should continue to be incarcerated rather than face execution. However, to have a chance of clemency, Noa has to recount every detail of her crime - a story she has always ref...more
Christa Sgobba
This book was a hard one to get through. It seemed like a really good premise--woman on Death Row finally tells the real story of her crime--but something just didn't work.

First of all, the character, Noa, was clearly a sociopath, which was necessary in keeping in line with the story. But, she also seemed very, very flat, and as a result, it was difficult to care about anything she said. This isn't the redeeming of a woman who knows she did wrong, or even the story of someone wrongfully accused...more
Elizabeth
I don't know if I can legitmately say that I read it, because I bailed halfway through and my reasons for doing so were strong enough to send me to Amazon to post my first ever book review on that site. Here's what I said:

I wish I had at least read the first page of the book before I bought it, it would have saved me time and money. I would have known in that first page that the writing was nothing short of awful. Since I had already bought it, I got about halfway through the book before flippin...more
Wendy
I sat on a jury once. It was a murder trial in which a man was accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend. Both had been drinking extensively and engaged in a domestic dispute. He killed his girlfriend, beating her with his hands and feet and a hand held vacuum cleaner. I found the entire criminal court process . . . interesting. I had worked in a courtroom for years, but only in the juvenile dependency court. So, the criminal case was a new experience for me. The information that could be ent...more
Lori

Um. Yeah. This book full of suspense. The main character Noa is a woman on death row for a murder that you are sure she is guilty of but by the end of the book you realize there is guilt to be spread around. So while you realize Noa must pay for her crime you get the feeling that her bill is a little too much to pay while others kind of do a dine and dash.

Everything is revealed bit by bit so I spent a lot of the book wishing for more information and then when I got it I became angry at the actio...more
Zach
My wife always says I love boring books. Boring books are books where "nothing happens," but the author spends a lot of time and effort in the craft of making nothing happen. Or they can be called works of "literary fiction."

I always make fun of my wife for reading terrible books. Terrible books are books where "everything gets tied together in the end," but the author spends very little time and effort in the craft of creating beautiful sentences. Or they can be called works of "mystery" and/or...more
Joanne Guidoccio
Gone Girl. The Other Typist. The Silent Wife. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.

Introducing unlikeable protagonists who may not be reliable narrators seems to be a trend among authors launching debut novels.

In The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, we meet a young woman who is sitting on death row, awaiting execution for murder. We quickly learn, within the first three pages, that she “was lucid, attentive, mentally sound, and pumped with a single cup of decaffeinated Lemon Zinger tea” when she pull...more
Martha
This was a novel that I truly enjoyed--clever plot, great pacing, convincing self destructive characters--but I had some reservations about the writing, so I'd choose 3 1/2 stars to rate, or 4 stars for structure, 3 stars for the glut of metaphors and similes that drag it down--clever metaphors, yes, but not essential to the story. For the first half of the book, as Noa, sitting on death row, launches into the sad story of her derailed life, I sensed that the author was doing that meticulous, d...more
Ariel
I have been on an unreliable narrator kick lately. Gone Girl, The Dinner, and The Other Typist to name a few. All of the books are narrated by a character who wants to be seen in the best possible light but who can't ever really hide their dark underbelly. Gone Girl was truly shocking to me but the more I read these kind of books the more a pattern emerges. Everything the narrator says is all roses and kittens and then a "psychologist" will weigh in with their two cents somewhere near the end of...more
Erin
I would have rather given this 3.5 stars since I bounced back and forth between 3 and 4. I enjoyed this book. I read it quickly, it was a page-turner for sure. I'm not going to go into plot details since I don't want to spoil anything; however, depending on your opinions about capital punishment and the judicial system in the United States, this book may challenge your thoughts or may affirm your beliefs.

Either way the author keeps you interested by only revealing small tidbits of Noa's life (p...more
Melinda
Silver accomplished an arduous novel for her debut. A complicated and controversial subject matter on many levels. Powerfully written with extreme detail, irresistible page turner. The reader understands the 'why' but most importantly you are left asking yourself the question of 'does the sentence fit the crime?'

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Guilt and innocence are intricately entwined leaving the heavy question of mitigating circumstances the deciding divider between the accusers guilt or innocence. Inside and outside fac...more
Susan
Noa P. Singleton is thirty five and she has spent the last ten years of her life on death row, awaiting execution for the murder of Sarah Dixon. Although she has done little to help her own cause (she herself says she is guilty and "never contested that once...") there have been many failed appeals on her behalf. Virtually the only visitors she has ever had are lawyers hoping to get her to agree to get her hopes up yet again. Now, six months before her execution date, comes young lawyer Oliver S...more
Diane S.
3.5 Sitting on Death row waiting for her death sentence to be carried out, Noa seems to have no interest in appeals or petitions for clemency. From the beginning the reader know what she has done, but not the why and not the reason she will do nothing to help herself. This was an intense look at the definition of legal guilt versus moral guilt. It also looks at our legal system as a whole with a very dark but witty tone. Slowly, clues, conversations, feelings are doled out in increments, but I h...more
Deb
I got all the way to page 9 and thought Yuck! What a waste of words and paper. The author seems to want to be clever, and it only turns out to be stupid.

Here's an example from the first paragraph: "In this world, you are either good or evil ... The gray middle ground, that mucous-thin terrain where most of life resides, is really only a temporary annex, like gestation or purgatory. It shadows over everyone in its vacuous and insipid cape, flying across the sky, making smoke letters out of your...more
Leah
Intelligent and satisfying…

‘When I arrived, there were fifty-one women on death row in the United States. All we needed was to drop one to have a proper national beauty pageant, or add one if you wanted to include Puerto Rico and Guam.’

Noa P. Singleton has been on death row for 10 years and has run out of appeals. But then she’s never really fought too hard against her sentence anyway – why should she? She tells us straight away that she’s guilty. So when Marlene, the mother of the victim, turns...more
Heather
Keep an eye out for Elizabeth L. Silver. This is her first book and it has appeal on so many levels its hard to pin down to a specific genre. Mystery, social commentary, literary fiction, overall just a really good story and really good writing. What bumped this up from a good debut to really something is the fact that it made me think of my own position on the death penalty and death row. Cruel and unusual? Eye for an Eye? I don't know the answer, but I am thinking about it. I found myself high...more
Morgan Carattini
Wonderfully written and a compelling read, narrated by a woman on death row for murder interspersed with letters written to the victim by her mother. Highly recommend.
Kara
Apr 12, 2013 Kara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Gone Girl
Shelves: netgalley
I don't know what I can say about this book other than you should read this book.

It chronicles the impending execution of Noa, sentenced to death for the murder of another young woman about her age, told from Noa's point of view. Noa doesn't rail against the system, or claim to be a victim of a set up. In fact, Noa does little to nothing to fight her conviction or sentence, and tries to explain this to what she thinks is yet another eager beaver pro bono defense attorney who shows up to explain...more
Luanne Ollivier
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 sittin...more
Diane
Noa P. Singleton has resided on death row in Pennsylvania for ten years and is within six months of being executed for the crime of murdering a young pregnant woman in Elizabeth L. Silver's thought-provoking debut novel The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.

Marlene, the mother of Noa's victim Sarah, argued persuasively and successfully for the death penalty, but now ten years later, she has changed her mind. She now believes that no one has the right to take a life, and that includes the state in re...more
Heather Bokon
I'm just on a weird streak with books right now. Books that I don't hate, but I certainly can't say that I liked them, either.

Noa P Singleton has been on death row for 10 years for killing Sara Dixon. Six months before her execution date, she's approached by a lawyer, Oliver, who says he has been sent there by an organization, Mothers Against Death, or MAD, to file for clemency on her behalf. It turns out that MAD was started by none other than Marlene DIxon, Sara Dixon's mother. All Marlene wa...more
Denise
3.0 out of 5 stars -- What is truth? What is justice?

Convoluted story by unreliable narrators pulls this novel along, albeit cumbersomely, as it twists in many directions toward a fairly unsatisfying conclusion. Given my intense and immediate lack of empathy for the characters in this book, I found it hard to care too much about Noa's situation and her mixed up tale of lackluster achievement and her missed potential. Her dashed dreams, partially formed hopes, and going nowhere life before her im...more
Nancy McFarlane
A stunning and thought-provoking psychological novel about guilt, betrayal and remorse told in an unusual set of flashbacks by a woman on death row, and in letters to the victim by her bereaved mother. The reader is forced to rethink his idea of guilt and innocence and what punishment is just, as the dark but beautifully written story slowly reveals the true nature of the main characters.
Christine
Noa P. Singleton is in her late twenties, intelligent (although she chose to drop out of college), attractive, sharp tongued, sometimes tender, sometimes bitter and sitting on death row. She is quite resigned to the fact that she is going to be executed because she did, after all, commit the crime. Unexpectedly, the victim’s mother, a high powered lawyer, brings a colleague to visit Noa with the news that they are going to file for clemency in the hopes of having Noa’s sentence transferred to li...more
Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
The Exe­cu­tion of Noa P. Sin­gle­ton by Eliz­a­beth L. Sil­ver is a novel about our cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment sys­tem tak­ing place mostly in Philadel­phia. This is Ms. Silver’s, a lawyer who worked on death penalty cases, debut novel.

Noa P. Sin­gle­ton is await­ing exe­cu­tion for the mur­der of her father’s preg­nant girl­friend. As the months pass and her exe­cu­tion date gets closer, Noa is vis­ited by Mar­lene Dixon, mother of her victim.

Mar­lene Dixon is a pow­er­ful attor­ney, she promises...more
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***I love to meet with book clubs, either in person in the Los Angeles area, or via phone or Skype. Please email me: liz@elizabethlsilver.com***



Elizabeth L Silver is the author of the novel, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, published by The Crown Publishing Group of Random House. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton was an Amazon Best Book of the Year, Amazon Best Debut of the Month, a Kirkus Best...more
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“It's a funny phenomenon. You can never visit your own funeral, but if you want to see how people feel about you, commit a crime.” 7 likes
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