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Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row

von Damien Echols

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417494,863 (3.27)1
"Yours for Eternity is an intimate look at the extraordinary love story between Damien Echols and Lorri Davis, who met and married while Echols--author of the New York Times bestseller Life After Death--served nearly eighteen years on death row"--
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I liked the book and am very familiar with the story having watched all the HBO Docs about the tragedy the befell Damien and his friends. This book is comprised of some of the over 5,000 letters the two exchanged over 11 years (of the 18) that Damien was falsely imprisoned on Death Row. It was interesting to watch Lorri grow in the strength and love of their relationship over time and to be brutally honest, if it wasn't for the "period updates" as I shall call them throughout the book, I really would think the woman was a bit unstable (shaves her head after a breakup?). But I came to really like her and how brave she is to put herself out there and admit how naïve and insecure she truly was and you can experience her growth right along with her through the letters. I only gave the book 3 stars as some of the letters were very repetitive and I felt not necessary. If you get this book with the impression it will be about the murders or about the trial/s, etc., it is not - it is only focused on the relationship between this couple. It is warming to know that love comes in all forms - continued blessings to them both. ( )
  ChrisCaz | Feb 23, 2021 |
This is told through letters. TMI in some cases. It was interesting. ( )
  dara85 | Jan 22, 2020 |
Fascinating peek behind the curtain of a blossoming relationship between two strangers who couldn't even meet face to face, much less touch, until well after their first communications via letters. Lorri Davis had never heard of Damien Echols until she saw the documentary Paradise Lost, chronicling the murder case of 3 young boys in West Memphis in the early 90s. Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. were charged for these horrendous murders despite quite a lack of legitimate evidence - their guilt was mostly determined through the viral spreading of vicious rumors and gossip about the young men, due to their status as "outsiders". And this was in the age before social media! Despite being a complete stranger, Lorri felt compelled to write to Damien on death row, and thus began their relationship that followed an excruciatingly long journey to free Damien from his unjust incarceration. I very much enjoyed this book, as well as Damien's autobiography, Life After Death. I applaud both Damien and Lorri for their strength, perseverance, and grace in the face of the insurmountable odds stacked against them in their fight for justice. Lesser folk would have caved under such pressure. I look forward to (hopefully!) getting to read a future book chronicling their journey together in the years after Damien's release! ( )
  merrittfamily1990 | May 1, 2018 |
Damien Echols is one of the "West Memphis Three," three young men sentenced to death for a crime there is no evidence that they committed in a grossly unfair trial. This book offers little information about the original case, so I would recommend reading a brief summary about it online before reading this book.

What this book does offer is a series of letters exchanged between Damien and Lorri Davis, the woman who would become his wife and work tirelessly towards Damien's freedom (which happened in 2011, although through bullshit means because Damien had to take an Alford Plea, which basically says that you acknowledge that the state has enough evidence to convict you of the crime. At least he is free, but still, what a slap in the face of justice.)

I read Damien's memoir over a year ago, which was fascinating and amazing and I highly recommend it. I cannot see how he endured what he did without becoming a bitter husk of a person, but he somehow managed, probably mostly due to Lorri's presence in his life and having something (and someone) to look forward to in his quest for freedom.

I have to give it to both Damien and Lorri - they really put themselves out there by publishing their letters. Even though the letters have been edited, they still address a lot of very personal issues - sex, love, fears, trust issues, etc. I don't think I could have shared such intimate letters with the world, so kudos to the both of them.

Most of the letters are from their early relationship, since they stopped writing so many once Lorri moved to the area and could visit Damien in person frequently and talk to him on the phone. Still, it is amazing to watch them fall in love with one another through letters. It's remarkable to me that such a strong love could endure with one spouse on death row for years and years. This book isn't as riveting as Damien's memoir, but I would still recommend it. ( )
  schatzi | Dec 25, 2015 |
So. This book. What to say, what to say.

First, let me preface this review with my interest in all things true crime. In particular, I've had a vested interest in this case (being, of course, the infamous West Memphis Three) for some time. Yes, I've read The Devil's Knot and, yes, I've seen HBO's riveting trilogy Paradise Lost. I've kind of wavered on my thoughts surrounding the WM3's guilt, but I've definitely come up on the side of their innocence. (Regardless of what you believe, any one with any logical prowess can agree that the trial these teens received was a joke - and their resulting ridiculously long incarceration was a travesty). I know that Echols has penned some books from death row, and they've been on my ever-expanding "to-read" shelf for quite some time; so, when I saw his latest title available on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. Thanks, yet again, NetGalley. You're the bee's knees.

This book is composed of the hundreds (if not, thousands) of letters that Echols, the supposed Satanic ringleader of the WM3, exchanged with Lorri Davis, a landscape architect that took particular interest in his case. Minor spoiler alert: the two conducted a prolonged courtship via mail and telephone, and they wed in a Buddhist ceremony while Echnols was still behind bars. To this day, now that Echols has been released, the pair are still married. This book is a scrapbook of their communication with one another, a record of their blossoming relationship and a look into the struggles that they faced as a couple fighting against appeals and the ever-impending threat of death row.

At the beginning, I was extremely interested in their communication with one another. I wanted to know exactly how a professionally successful, educated, reasonably beautiful woman could become romantically interested in a death-row inmate. I mean, regardless of his guilt or innocence, Echols was convicted of a horrendous crime - and that, alone, would ever prevent me, a professionally successful, educated, reasonably beautiful woman, from contacting a criminal behind bars in hopes of striking up something romantic. It's just CRAY CRAY. And really, despite their literary prowess (the letters, themselves, aren't poorly written or ill-conceived), that's how this whole situation struck me - as bat-shit crazy.

If the book had more information regarding the WM3 case work or Echols' prison life, I might have been satisfied. As it was, the letters between the two became repetitious, melodramatic, mushy, and, occasionally, icky-sexual. If I had to read how "magkical" their relationship was one more time, I thought I would puke. Their crazy courtship wasn't enough to hold my interest. As it was, Lorri seemed to stroke Echols narcissistic, arrogant personality way too much for my comfort. I'm curious as to how the two have transitioned to life together - actually spending time with one another, being able to touch each other, talk for longer than 15 minutes at a time.

I have quotes highlighted in my e-reader that illustrates just how icky these two can get - but I'm about to eat, and I'd like to keep my appetite. Maybe I'll revise this review later to incorporate them - if I can keep my dinner down.

Will I take Echols' other books off my "to-read" list? No, but I want more prison struggle, less pretend sexy-time, let's make Wicca capes for one another, you are so much-smarter/handsomer/spiritual than anyone I ever met nonsense. More of what makes him relevant and interesting than just some poor, crazy, delusional schmucks sending an obsessive amount of letters to one another. This? This just wasn't for me. ( )
  myownwoman | Jul 19, 2014 |
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"Yours for Eternity is an intimate look at the extraordinary love story between Damien Echols and Lorri Davis, who met and married while Echols--author of the New York Times bestseller Life After Death--served nearly eighteen years on death row"--

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