cover image Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row

Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row

Damien Echols and Lorri Davis. Blue Rider, $27.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-399-16619-8

Echols (Life After Death) was on death row in Arkansas in 1996 when he began to correspond with Davis, a landscape architect living in New York City. Over the next 16 years, they wrote each other thousands of letters. The letters trace the evolution of their relationship through friendship to romance and marriage, and also address the complexities of Echols’s appeals. Echols had been convicted for the murder of three young boys in West Memphis in 1993, and the case of the “West Memphis Three” became a cause célèbre, generating documentary films and books. Forensic evidence and claims of jury tampering led to the release of all three men in 2011. Echols and Davis are both competent writers (and postscripts and footnotes add some context to the correspondence); however, as intelligent and passionate as the lovers are, there’s little for a reader not already engaged with Echols’s odyssey. In the end, it’s the quotidian details that leave the greatest impression: Echols’s description of his Buddhist practice, or Davis’s story of how she smuggled fruit into prison via a string tied to her underwear. [em]Agent: Henry Dunow, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Agency. (June) [/em]