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The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

3.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,198 Ratings  ·  1,169 Reviews
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
Audio CD, 10 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jul 25, 2013 Ali rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jun 20, 2013 Jill rated it did not like it
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
May 20, 2013 Trishnyc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 28, 2013 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
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
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
Sep 27, 2013 Christa rated it it was ok
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
Aug 06, 2014 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 03, 2013 Zach rated it it was ok
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
Aug 06, 2013 Lori rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction

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
Feb 08, 2014 Deb rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
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
Diane S ☔
Jun 11, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roadrallyteamb
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
Jul 24, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 04, 2013 Martha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debut-novels
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
Joanne Guidoccio
Jun 18, 2013 Joanne Guidoccio rated it really liked it
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
Sep 07, 2013 Ariel rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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
Jul 25, 2013 Erin rated it liked it
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
Jul 14, 2013 Carrie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I finished this, but barely. It was touch-and-go, and if the book had been much longer I wouldn't have made it.

The author's writing just doesn't appeal to me. The metaphors are too thick, the "literary" phrasings too forced, the moral or point of the book not effective. I think the author intended this to be a book that forced the reader to ponder the value of the death penalty and the workings of the US judicial system, but I never got beyond a passing curiosity and overall boredom with the cha
Mar 01, 2016 Obsidian rated it liked it
We begin the novel almost at the end of the life of Noa P. Singleton.

Noa in six months will be executed for a murder she committed. We find out that Noa was found guilty ten years previously for the murder of a young woman. Noa is visited by an attorney, Oliver Stansted, who is working for Marlene Dixon, the mother of the young woman Noa murdered.

Oliver's goal is to get Noa a commuted sentence so that she will not be executed for the murder. Ultimately, Marlene's goal is to get Noa to reveal w
Jun 01, 2014 Melinda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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?'

 photo imagejpg1_zps1704662f.jpg

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
Heather L
I can tell this one was written by a lawyer. Jesus, this person likes to hear themselves Whatever. With the exception of Oliver, there were no likeable characters in this story. This was chosen for book group, and I can't wait to tear it apart. It was horrible. I was never entertained, intrigued, connected, enthralled...NOTHING. If there would have been some more solid emotions behind the characters' and their motives, at least something, anything, give me just a modicum of anythin ...more
Kathryn Berla'
Aug 12, 2013 Kathryn Berla' rated it did not like it
This book is so unmitigatedly awful that I can't stop thinking about how angry I am that I read the whole thing. I only stayed with it because I saw it on Entertainment Weekly's Must list a couple of months back, a source I usually trust. And now, after reading others' reviews, I see it was on Amazon's June recommendation list as well. What a hoax. Other reviewers have lauded the publicist and marketers for this book, and I guess that explains why it was promoted, because it certainly did not ge ...more
Kathy Cunningham
Jul 25, 2013 Kathy Cunningham rated it it was ok
Elizabeth L. Silver's THE EXECUTION OF NOA P. SINGLETON has a great premise - thirty-five-year-old Noa is on death row for murder, with her execution date just six months away, when Marlene Dixon, the mother of her victim, shows up with a proposal. Marlene will use her influence to convince the State to commute Noa's sentence to life in prison in exchange for information on her daughter's murder. Why did Noa kill Sarah? What exactly happened on New Year's Day, 2003? Noa has never told her story ...more
Jun 12, 2013 Leah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, new-to-me, 2013
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
Nancy McFarlane
Mar 16, 2013 Nancy McFarlane rated it it was amazing
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.
Morgan Carattini
Dec 07, 2012 Morgan Carattini rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 31, 2015 Gaby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As they say in popular culture, “I can’t even.” Giving “The Execution of Noa P. Singleton” one star makes me want to revisit my other one-star ratings and score them higher. It was BAD. I feel that reading to the end reflects badly on me, like, why didn’t I give up?

Where should I begin? I started taking note of the examples of the truly awful writing, but quickly gave up. I’m relieved that many other Goodreads reviewers also quote some examples. There are many to choose from, but two that actua
Jan 27, 2015 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2013 Kara rated it it was amazing
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
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Piedmont Public L...: Discussing "Noa" 3 13 Jul 20, 2015 03:19PM  
Piedmont Public L...: It's here! We Skype with the author today!! 6 7 Jul 17, 2015 06:27PM  
Piedmont Public L...: Discussion: "The Execution of Noa P. Singleton" 6 11 Jul 07, 2015 08:50PM  
Why didn't Noa talk? 5 78 Mar 28, 2014 10:09PM  
New Years day 1 34 Dec 27, 2013 07:03AM  
The Bracelet and Other Symbolism 1 53 Oct 09, 2013 05:48PM  
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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
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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.” 11 likes
“Jury trials are really nothing more than poorly written stage plays. You’ve got two authors writing opposing narratives and a director who is paid not to care about either outcome. Hired actors sit on either end of the stage, while unwitting audience members strive to remain quiet. No applause should be rendered, no gasps of glory. Witnesses sit agape with fury as they stumble across their rehearsed lines. If only they had practiced just once more. If only they had more time or a dress rehearsal, then they would recite their packaged words with such eloquent delivery that the critics in the jury box would believe only them.” 5 likes
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