Years ago, I had the idea to write a novel about a young girl who was abducted by a man, raped and tortured, but then rescued before she died. Of course this story is a dime a dozen these days, but I thought I’d make it a little different. I thought what if the girl chose to forge a relationship with the criminal in prison and chose to forgive him? What a beautiful picture of redemption. Of course, I never followed that thought up with actually writing the novel, nor will I ever. It was just an idea.
Having just finished Laura Lippman’s novel of a similar plot, I’d Know You Anywhere, I feel she did this story line justice. Although it ends differently than how I thought it would, I’m actually in agreement with the ending and wouldn’t have changed it. A story of redemption for an evil man isn’t easy; and when your reading the horrible things that are done to the victims, your idea on redemption for the criminal goes haywire. There’s always the question of forgiveness if you’re a follower of Christ or have any kind of religious view point that teaches forgiveness as a must. It makes you wonder if you were abducted, tortured and almost killed, would you be able to say the three crazy words, “I forgive you” to the person who enacted these crimes against you? Think about it.
Anyway, let me give a summary of the story. It follows Eliza Benedict who is now a mother of two and happily married. Years ago when she was just 15 years old, Walter Bowman kidnapped Eliza because he thought she saw him burying one of his many victims after raping her. Oddly he takes Eliza along with him on a crazy summer journey where she’s forced to obey him to survive and where she’s forced to be apart of kidnapping another poor victim. When the victim is killed and the police eventually catch Walter, Eliza’s life is forever changed. In fact, she’s the only victim Walter left alive. And when Walter finally starts communicating with Eliza from his prison cell as he awaits death by capital punishment, he has a request for her. But is there a hidden agenda involved? Will Eliza forgive, will she help Walter or will she finally stand up to him?
You have to read I’d Know You Anywhere to find out what happens in this compelling, thought-provoking book. Although I wouldn’t count Laura Lippman as my all-time favorite author, she’s still pretty entertaining and this book doesn’t disappoint.