Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Book Review: Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Book: Pieces of Her

Author: Karin Slaughter

Pages: 480

Read on: Kindle

Read in: 4 hours

Plot Summary: Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them.

Things I Liked: 

  • The premise of this book is quite interesting! A daughter going about trying to unearth the secrets in her mother's past! What is not to like?! This book is sort of a thriller meets historical fiction (of sorts) as the narrative moves between Andrea's perspective in the present to her mother's perspective in 1986. Plus, there was a hint of domestic terrorism/ anarchism, which is a topic in recent American history that I haven't read much about, so that also got me to pick up the book! 
  • I really liked Laura- she is kickass and cool under pressure. She is fiercely protective as a mother and the steps she takes to keep Andrea safe from the demons of her past are so well thought out. I also liked seeing how she evolved from a confused, lost young woman to the woman she is at 55. Her journey is very interesting. I won't reveal too much here as it would totally spoil the book. 
  • Andrea is endearing. She is lost (does not know what to do with her life) and confused and in a state of shock as she sees a new side of her mother and has to suddenly be on the run from an unknown enemy! However, she still soldiers on and I liked that she is able to handle a crazy and scary situation all of a sudden. 
  • The events of 1986 were nicely done as well. I liked reading about Nick Harp and the charismatic influence that he managed to wield over some fairly intelligent, educated and wealthy people. I liked reading about how this rag-tag bunch of "revolutionaries" planned and went about their, in my opinion, pretty random attempts at "down with capitalism" type attacks. Nick and Laura's relationship dynamics were, especially, nicely done- his manipulation and control of her was well depicted. 
Things I Didn't Like: 
  • This was not a unputdownable book. It went into too many details about Andrea's plans and movements as she hid from the mysterious people after her. It also had too many internal monologues of Laura's from the past, which did not add anything to the narrative. The book could've done with sharper editing to keep it gripping and pacy. 
  • There was a twisty reveal in the end, which came out of nowhere! I like twisty endings but there needs to be some breadcrumbs dropped so that the reader is surprised but not too surprised. So, that's what I felt about this twisty reveal. This particular character displayed no such inclinations as were revealed in the end (not talking about sexuality here, more of a worldview) and it came as a forced attempt of leaving the book at a shocking juncture! 

Rating: 3.5/ 5

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