Her by Harriet Lane

Her
by
Harriet Lane

Rating:

Nina Bremmer has it all. She’s sleek and sophisticated. Her painting career is successful. Her marriage is solid and all is good with her teenage daughter. Their upscale London home reflects a perfect life. But nothing is at it seems because no one can get away from a painful past.

Strange and dangerous emotions surface when Nina sees Emma Nash in a park. As Nina watches Emma from a distance, she’s sure this is who it is, so many years later. She doubts Emma will remember and that’s good. It’s Nina’s perfect chance to make things right. Right in her own head, that is.

It’s not easy to review a psychological suspense story, because the reading experience of a book like this depends on knowing nothing at the beginning and learning a little bit at a time. Her is a twisted story of one woman who stalks another, messes with her family and plans an unnamed revenge. The reader is along for the ride, unable to stop the process.

Harriet Lane has a clean writing style and is very good at describing people and relationships. She chooses her details carefully and makes it clear what is important to know and remember. Tension builds slowly as she reveals the history, bits at a time, between Nina and Emma. Lane makes the reader equally uneasy with dangerous settings, as Emma is unknowingly manipulated.

Both Nina and Emma tell their story, in alternating chapters that describe the same events. In this style, Lane shows how different, and dangerous perceptions can be. I wanted to corner Emma and tell her to watch out!

Her is a fast read that reaches a dreadful but ambiguous conclusion just as Emma begins to put it all together. While I enjoyed the lead-up, I was a little disappointed with the abrupt finish, as were many Amazon readers. I would have liked more explanation and tie-ups at the end, and that’s coming from a reader who likes open endings. Still, I recommend Her to readers who enjoy psychological thrillers because the characterizations and settings were excellent.

How do you feel about abrupt or open endings?

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6 thoughts on “Her by Harriet Lane

  1. After reading your review, I checked out the reviews on Goodreads. Whoa–there’s some vitriol out there for this book! I cheated and read the spoiler about how it ends since that’s what everyone’s main complaint what. After seeing the ending, I’ll definitely pass. Plus, books that keep switching from POV only to tell the same thing over in different perspectives can get repetitious. I don’t mind POV changes, but I like those scenes to each present something new. Thanks for the heads-up on it!

    1. Yes, I was actually shocked at how negative reader reviews were. It’s a shame because I think she’s a very good writer, but the finish was unsatisfying. I’ve heard others comment in general on alternating chapters with different POVs. I think that’s a new trend. Personally, I liked it because the Nina character was so conniving that I wanted to know what she was doing. Thanks for checking in – I can see why readers would pass.

  2. I think I’ll pass as well after checking out other reviews. I love alternating POV’s fom chapter to chapter, but the rule is you do not repeat the same events. A shame because the premise sounds so interesting to me.

    1. Yes – I do agree. It was a little repetitive, but overall fast moving. Like Carrie I was surprised however by so many strongly worded reviews. I enjoyed it until the last page and then my feelings changed. Too bad! Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer!

  3. Arghhh…that’s my reaction to open/ abrupt endings!! I become very frustrated and it really annoys me and just seems senseless when the rest of the book is so good. I read one during Easter which was brilliant but at the last sentence added an ambiguous ending…my son loved it, I ranted on about it! Obviously a personal thing.

    1. Yes, I don’t usually mind abrupt and open endings and I wasn’t too upset with this one except that I felt that the author owed her readers a little bit more. It is definitely very personal – some people love that kind of twist!

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