Sunday, August 26, 2012
And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman Book Tour
Helen Lewis matured quickly. Hector Lewis, her father, was cruel, to her mother and to her, not only verbally, but physically. He told Helen she had a nothing face, which is very hurtful, but Helen tried to be a good girl and be quiet and just get good grades. But when she brings home a B on her report card, Hector demands she get a job and learn to pay her own way.
She gets a work at a diner and even though she enjoys making some money, she does hide some for herself. It's a struggle for her to go to school and work and take care of her chores, but she does it. Until she meets the owner of the diner's son. He makes Helen feel beautiful and she enjoys his company. He implores her to run away with him and she does. But it isn't long before has her dancing and more, just so she can make enough money to keep him in nose candy.
She knows that eventually Billy is going to lead her down a dark path with no return, so she jumps at the chance to work for Val, a pimp who runs a good operation and she'd be safe. She enjoys her freedom at Val's, but Val is a very complicated and powerful man. There are no second chances. She witnesses a horrific murder and uses it to her advantage when she finds out she is pregnant.
Using the tools she has honed over the years, she opens up her own escort business, but under the impression of running women's litigation. She's been very careful over the years to remain in the background, but rumor has it Val is about to be released from prison and there will be hell to pay if he finds out he has a son, or the fact, she was the person who turned him in. But when girls she used to work with start winding up dead, Helen knows she needs to move fast or she could be next.
And When She Was Good was a page-turning novel of woman's journey from girlhood to motherhood, and her tumultuous relationships and how she tried to keep the bad from the good in her life. It was interesting to see that part of escort work, with some very innovative ideas. Great character development, not only main characters, but also some secondary characters that we see and learn more about as the story unfolds. Flipping from the past to the present brought the whole story to life and I thoroughly enjoyed every page. Absolutely fantastic!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.