November 2, 2016
Her by Harriet Lane
2015 Little, Brown and Company
Finished on May 30, 2016
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
You don't remember her--but she remembers you.
On the face of it, Emma and Nina have very little in common. Isolated and exhausted by early motherhood, Emma finds her confidence fading fast. Nina--sophisticated, generous, effortlessly in control--seems to have all the answers.
It's easy to see why Emma is drawn to Nina. But what does Nina see in her?
A seemingly innocent friendship slowly develops into a dangerous game of cat and mouse as Nina eases her way into Emma's life. Soon it becomes clear that Nina wants something from the unwitting Emma--something that might just destroy her.
Now that five months have passed, I'm tempted to drop my rating to just three stars. I had to re-read the final chapter to refresh my memory of the details of the conclusion and why I was so irritated when I finished the book. As I said on Goodreads, I would have thrown this book across the room when I read the final page, had it not been 3 a.m. It was definitely not the ending I was expecting! However, I was sucked in from the opening pages and couldn't stop reading long into the subsequent nights.
This page-turner is one that you'll either love or hate. It's been compared to The Girl on the Train, with its sinister, ambiguous finale, but I didn't care for it quite as much as Paula Hawkin's debut hit. It's a compulsively readable story and perfectly paced, but nonetheless, a disappointment. Maybe that's not fair, though. Maybe my distaste is in the individual's actions rather than the book itself. And thus, my 4/5 rating. Not a keeper, though.
I did find some of the British vocabulary a bit confusing, resorting to Google for clarification. For example, plane leaves are sycamore leaves; E-numbers are European food additive codes.