Title: Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row
Author: Damien Echols, Lorri Davis
Pub. Date: June 17th 2014
Source: Netgalley & Blue Rider Press
Three and a Half Stars.
Yours for Eternity is a book written primarily through letters between Lorri Davis and Damien Echols. Echols is one of the men charged as the West Memphis Three, accused of killing three eight year old boys in the early nineties, even though there was no DNA evidence that linked him to the crime. He was on death row until as recently as 2011.
Now, this review might seem like it goes outside of the ordinary, in regards to what I usually review. However, you'd probably be surprised to learn that I have an extreme interest in things that are crime and prison related. Add in a romance component and make it nonfiction? Perfect.
I had heard of the West Memphis Three when I requested this book, but my background knowledge didn't really go far beyond "these three guys killed some kids." It was a crime that had enough attention to be topical, but it happened "before my time" so to speak, so I didn't really know details. I'm disappointed that this book didn't really help me gain any information about it. I feel like this book was expecting me to have been researched on the subject, when I am not. A background preface or a synopsis, nutshell version of the crime would have been nice, at the least. There's also a lot of reference to the documentary made about this case, Paradise Lost. While it did spark an interest in me (I will definitely watch this film), I hadn't seen that either.
With that little rant out of the way, I will say that this was an extremely interesting perspective and story that not many people can tell and still have it be based on real life. Lorri wrote letters to Echols for years, and was with him through it all. It's both beautiful and insane to me that one can maintain feelings and a relationship, whether it be friendly or more, with someone on death row, especially in such a talked about case. It was cool, for lack of a better word, to watch it all play out.
I hate to say this about real letters, but at times I felt it dragged on a bit too long. I really did enjoy reading these letters, but sometimes I felt myself just wishing for more. This book held my attention enough for me to finish the book and take away some things, and learn some things slowly but surely, but it's not a fast paced book.
Overall, this was a solid read that takes a fascinating real life circumstance and gives the reader a rare insight into life behind bars and those in their lives who continually correspond with them. If you are interested in things like crime and jails, or are familiar with the West Memphis Three case. It's worth reading.
Thanks to Netgalley and Blue Rider Press for my copy in exchange for my honest review.