Laura Lippman has done it again! She has returned to the NY Times’ Best Seller list with her new novel, Lady in the Lake. Set in the 1960’s in Baltimore, the novel is a modern psychological thriller with elements of classic noir. Despite taking place 50 years ago, in an era without social media, internet, and 24/7 media coverage, the themes in the book – racism, homophobia, sexism – are current and could be ripped from today’s headlines.
Like many women today, Lady in the Lake protagonist, Maddie Schwartz, is a woman who decides she wants to do something important with her life. In an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered, Laura says, “I set out simply to write a novel about a woman who wanted to matter — who had these sort of restless, shapeless ambitions and needed to find a place to put them. The world in the mid-1960s was filled with women who were thinking, ‘I’m not done. This can’t be it. I think I would like to do something more with my life.’
In a letter to her readers, Laura has more to say about what inspired Lady in the Lake:
“Have you ever bumped into someone that you haven’t seen—or even thought about—for ten, twenty, thirty years? At the end of Marjorie Morningstar, Herman Wouk writes about such a meeting from a man’s point of view, encountering a long-ago crush. But how does she feel? What’s it like to come face-to-face with someone who remembers a younger you, the you with big dreams and aspirations?
That was the seed for Lady in the Lake, in which a 37-year-old woman bolts her seemingly happy marriage determined to matter in the quickly changing world of 1966. Maddie Schwartz, baffled by her life, tries to make sense of a young African-American woman’s death. Cleo Sherwood, now a ghost, watches with dismay and mounting anger as Maddie pokes into her history. She tries to tell Maddie that being interested in someone’s death isn’t the same as caring about her life, but she can’t be heard across the void that separates them. Maddie can’t hear anything or anyone over the drumbeat of her own dreams—and that’s the problem. Immersed in a city full of secrets and stories, Maddie pursues what she wants with no thought as to how that might affect others, even those she loves.
This is a crime novel, yes, but it’s also a historical novel about a seminal year in U.S. history. And it’s a tribute to my late father, who joined a Baltimore newspaper in the mid-60s. Finally, it’s a novel about what it means to want just a little bit more than you have, even when you acknowledge that you have more than enough.
I hope it can find a place on your bookshelf,”
Women’s Daily Post Launch Celebration
Join Women’s Daily Post on Monday, October 7th, 2019, for an evening to celebrate the launch of Lady in the Lake: readings by Laura, discussion and some very Shakespearean surprises! Our WDP Writer’s Group has inspired us to follow Laura’s talk with a panel of women sharing the paths they’ve taken to becoming published authors. Our location is the beautiful Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Theater, 7 South Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD. Doors open at 6:30 pm, program with Laura Lippman starts at 7:00 pm, followed by our Writers panel. After the program, we’ll mingle with wine for awhile. For this event, you are welcome to bring the guys and the family.
Get your tickets here! The $35 ticket price includes a copy of Lady in the Lake and a donation to Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library.