Sometimes I feel like I devour books just for the sake of having read them, rushing headlong through the pages just so I can move on to the next one. Right from the first chapter, No One You Know by Michelle Richmond made me want to pause and enjoy every word. But then at some point I got caught up in the plot—the wanting-to-know-what-had-happened—and it became harder and harder to pace myself, until the last two chapters, which I savoured slowly like fine chocolates, letting each word melt on my tongue...
No One You Know is the story of Ellie, whose older sister Lila, a math prodigy, was murdered nearly 20 years before in a crime that went unpunished (the killer was never caught). A chance encounter in Nicaragua causes Ellie to re-examine the story of Lila’s death and ultimately her own life. Richmond’s writing reminded me of Janette Turner Hospital’s (one of my favourite writers), who also writes about the lost, the missing and the murdered—although Hospital’s writing is darker. As Hospital has done, Richmond manages to use the language of obscure fields—in this case, advanced mathematics and professional coffee buying—to literary advantage. This beautifully written novel is a meditation on grief and the power of story to shape people’s lives.
This was one of my favourite books in 2008.
To read other bloggers’ opinions, head over to these blogs:
A Striped Armchair • Book Addiction • Breaking the Spine • Carmen Alexis’ Book Talk • Michele – Only One L • Musings of Bookish Kitty • Presenting Lenore • Stone SouP • The Book Frog • The 3 R’s: Reading, ‘Riting and Randomness
Read guest posts by Michelle Richmond on these blogs:
1st Books: Stories of How Writers Get Started • Musings of a Bookish Kitty • The 3 R’s: Reading, ’Riting, and Randomness
You can also read an excerpt of the book (the first chapter and a half).
Thank you to Melissa at Shhh I’m Reading for sending me this book.