Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publication Date: 01/06/2015
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
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 is 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.
HER, a psychological domestic suspense thriller by Harriet Lane --of two forty-something women, neighbors, mothers, a friendship; secrets, revenge, betrayal, a past . . . let the games begin.
Set in North London, Emma and Nina, two women, married in their early 40s with very little in common and almost opposites.
Nina is a complex personality; an artist, glamorous, sophisticated, wealthy, cultured, and married to an older man with a seventeen year old daughter, Sophie (who wonders what in the heck her mother has in common with this woman).
Emma, on the other hand is overwhelmed, a stay- at- home naïve mom with two small children. She is insecure, desires and longs for a life like Nina—she wants to go out to dinner at a real restaurant and pretend to be a normal adult, wear nice clothes and have adult conversations without interruptions. They do not have the money and she resents her life and children at times.
When Nina befriends Emma, she is delighted and is excited to have someone to watch her children so she can have a few moments to herself. (clueless) She idolizes Nina’s life. However, Nina has her own motives for pretending to like Nina.
Now what possibly does this pair have in common? A past. However, Emma does not recall this past and Nina keeps this encounter a secret, while slowly worming her way into Emma’s personal life to get closer, as she prepares her attack while her hatred becomes more apparent to readers. When they arrive at the beautiful Holiday home for a vacation, Emma and her husband is in heaven; however, little does she know this is all part of Nina’s calculated and twisted plan.
I have one word for the audiobook when listening for the first several hours. “Frustrating!” Like get to the point. What in the heck did this girl do to you? Is this elementary school?
I was dying to get to the good part, but it never came. Believe me when I say, “less than minutes--the audio bar was all the way to the end, before finding the reason (like big deal); this is nothing! All this buildup for this? Then to make matters worse, less than 2 minutes left of the audio and then BAM – twisted, evil, payback, revenge; a haunting finale.
Of course, would prefer to have a little more reason for a game of obsession; however, guess this is why it is a “psycho-thriller”. This type personality does not think like a “normal” person, and takes minor moments and turns them into obsessions – for a creepy, wacky, chilling nightmare.
Even though frustrating, at times, Julie Maisey delivers an engaging performance with dark humor, and Lane keeps you hanging in there with the intense suspense. If you love a little dirty Desperate Housewives noir on Wisteria Lane in London, with a twisted jaundiced view of the domestic realm, this one is for you!
Reminiscent of The Playdate by Louise Millar, and Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly, an exploration of twisted female friendships--when it may be wise to tread carefully, especially when children are involved.