Book review: Her by Harriet Lane

The book:
Her by Harriet Lane
Published in 2014 by W&N
Pages: 288
My copy: Library

herThe blurb: 

Two women; two different worlds.

Emma is a struggling mother who has put everything on hold.

Nina is sophisticated and independent – entirely in control.

When the pair meet, Nina generously draws Emma into her life. But this isn’t the first time the women’s paths have crossed. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did . . .

But what exactly does Nina want from her? And how far will she go in pursuit of it?

My thoughts…

This novel has two narrators – Emma and Nina, who are both in their late 30s. One day Nina spots Emma in London – she recognises her immediately but Emma doesn’t remember Nina. Nina orchestrates a friendship between them but clearly resents Emma for some unknown reason from their pasts.

I liked this novel, and the two narrators worked really well as they had distinct personalities and styles. Nina is cold and confident, while Emma is a struggling mum of two who is clearly worn down by life. I found some of the observations on motherhood to be really accurate and honest – Emma’s tiredness and the feeling that she has lost her own personality, and her frustrations with her oblivious husband Ben. I was also intrigued to find out what had happened between the two in the past…

I know a lot of reviews of this book have been negative – I think this is because the twists and turns you may expect in a book like this don’t really come – and it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. But it isn’t really that sort of thriller; the book is actually quite subtle and psychological rather than big on shocks, and the ‘reveal’ when it comes is more clever than shocking, and tells us a lot about Nina. But the occasionally repetitious nature of the book was something I did find frustrating at times, with some scenes and even dialogue being recounted by both narrators. But overall I found this an enjoyable read, and it is definitely a good page turner.

I would recommend this for fans of psychological thrillers who don’t necessarily need a massive twist.

My rating: 7 out of 10

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