Tuesday, September 11, 2012

And When She Was Good by Laura Lippmann

I thoroughly enjoy books where the authors createAnd When She Was Good characters so realistic you begin to worry what’s going to happen to them way before you reach the ending.

AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD by Laura Lippmann is just such a story. This is especially true for the audio version performed by Linda Emond.

Lippmann creates a most unique protagonist to care for in Helen ‘Heloise’ Lewis. Heloise is the madam for a very high-class escort service. But it’s Helen’s struggle, her transformation to Heloise, and her undying devotion to her son that makes her a protagonist you will cheer for, hope for and want more stories about.

Narrator Linda Emond does an excellent job bringing all the emotions to the surface. She gives voice to the pain and loneliness Helen feels and the courage it takes Heloise to go on. Emond also give each character their own personal voice through her distinct vocalization. Her performance draws listeners in and holds them captivate as this intriguing story unfolds.

In the suburbs, Heloise is mom to her 11-year-old son, a young widow with a forgettable job that is always at soccer games. In the state capital, Heloise is the redheaded lobbyist fighting good causes, but with only a mediocre track record. In discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, Heloise is the woman men dream of - that is if they can afford her hourly rate or that of one of her girls. 

Heloise has managed to keep her life compartmentalized for over a decade. But when another so-called suburban madam is found dead of an apparent suicide, she fears her secret life will be exposed. The deceased woman is an acquaintance from ‘back in the day’ when Heloise was Helen. The woman knew part of a dark secret that could get Heloise killed and let the killer know he has a son, her son.

As if that’s not enough, Heloise is also dealing with a problematic former employee threatening her. In addition, as her son enters adolescence she worries he will discover what she does for a living and that would be the worst fate of all. Heloise is forced to make desperate choices in order to save her son and herself.

Lippmann has created well-blended, well-developed characters. The story moves back and forth from the present to Helen’s past, explaining how and why she arrived at her new life. AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD flows at a steady pace never losing your attention. While you may figure out a few aspects ahead of time, Lippmann will still surprise you with unexpected twists causing you to say, ‘didn’t see that coming.’ Heloise is a strong, independent, spunky - yet vulnerable - protagonist you will want to revisit again and again.

Author Laura Lippmann’s website is www.lauralippman.com

And When She Was Good by Laura Lippmann, Performed by Linda Emond, Harper Audio, @2012, ISBN: 978-0062204844, Unabridged, 9 Discs, Listening Time: 9 Hours 30 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Do you enjoy stories where you pull for the protagonist moments after meeting them fearing what will happen before the book ends? Thanks so very much for visiting today. Have a wonderful day. Remember, if you smile you may make others wonder what you’re up to. Smile


  1. Mason - Oh, I'm very glad you liked this one. Laura Lippman's a very talented writer and I enjoy her standalones just as much as her Tess Monaghan series. Good to know that this one lives up to her skill.

  2. I'm a very character driven reader so I enjoy nothing more than a character I can connect with, worry about, and root for. This book sounds perfect.


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