Two different women; two different worlds. On the face of it, Emma and Nina have very little in common. Isolated and exhausted by early motherhood, Emma finds her confidence is fading fast. Read more...
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Two different women; two different worlds. On the face of it, Emma and Nina have very little in common. Isolated and exhausted by early motherhood, Emma finds her confidence is fading fast. Nina is sophisticated and assured, a successful artist who seems to have it all under control. And yet, when the two women meet, they are irresistibly drawn to each other. As the friendship develops, as Emma gratefully invites Nina into her life, it emerges that someone is playing games-and the stakes could not be higher.
What, exactly, does Nina see in Emma? What does she want? And how far will she go in pursuit of it?
A gripping novel about friendship and identity, about the wild hopes and worst fears of parenthood, about the small and easily forgotten moments that come to define a life, Her is unputdownable-compelling and hauntingly discomfiting.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-10-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Lane follows her debut, Alys, Always, with a gracefully written psychological thriller about friendship wielded as a weapon. Affluent artist Nina Bremner glimpses a lovely but disheveled pregnant woman shopping with a toddler one day and experiences a shock of recognition. She once knew Emma Nash—and her hatred for the other woman simmers, though it’s not clear why. When Nina lifts Emma’s wallet and pretends to have found it on the street, Emma does not recognize her. Alternating chapters in the women’s viewpoints reveal the friendship Nina proffers like a fairy tale’s gleaming, poisoned apple. Nina’s acts of sabotage—rifling through Emma’s possessions, surreptitiously beckoning her son away when he strays from Emma’s side in the park, taking and discarding the toy bunny he clings to—go undetected until Nina offers Emma’s family a vacation stay at Nina’s father’s opulent home. There she waits patiently to tear Emma’s world apart. Woven through the details of the women’s very different lives are suspenseful questions: how Emma has injured Nina, whether she will discover her frenemy’s duplicity in time, and whether evil is created or inborn. Cannily, Lane leaves some of the answers ambiguous; like Nina herself, the novel is subtle, deliberate, chillingly effective, and hauntingly sad. (Jan.)