Book Review: Looker by Laura Sims

Looker by Laura Sims

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Here’s a fast, psychological thriller about a woman’s obsession with her neighbor, a beautiful and famous actress. The story is set in an unnamed urban neighborhood (Brooklyn?) and is narrated by the woman. It begins just as her marriage has ended, marking the onset of her psychological decline. Years of unsuccessful fertility treatments have left her feeling like a failure and she obsesses with her actress neighbor’s perfect life: a successful career, three beautiful children, and a gorgeous husband.

At first, she takes comfort in watching the actress walk by, with her baby or off for a jog. She notes everything about her beauty, clothes and healthy glow. At night, she peers in the actress family’s window, noting the seemingly effortless life inside. When that’s not enough, she fills her spare room with discarded items the actress has left at the curb.

She tells herself it’s all okay, that her life is under control. And she even starts to like the cat her husband left, his cat, she notes. Her job as a poetry professor seems to be okay too, but she soon falls into a relationship that will put her career in jeopardy. At this point, the narrator begins to step in and out of reality and makes rash and reckless decisions, many times after a lot of beer or wine.

Readers are certain of a train wreck, but the suspense is in not knowing how it will happen. A neighborhood party marks one of the last stops before the crash.

I tore through Looker, not just to see what happens. Readers also get a good look into an unraveling mind, which is not just a series of irrational and bad decisions. The author shows the narrator’s fragile and desperate efforts to be acknowledged as a human, and not judged because she can’t get pregnant. As the narrator looks inside the actress’s window she thinks, “Let me in. I too, am cherished and kept.”

I enjoyed reading this quick story about envy and jealousy and recommend it to readers who like psychological novels. I’ll be looking out for more books by Laura Sims.

Laura Sims is an American novelist and poet. She is a professor of creative writing, literature and composition at New York University.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Note: created with block editor – finding my way!

24 thoughts on “Book Review: Looker by Laura Sims

  1. If ever a book cover makes you want to Look inside it’s Looker. I do like psychological novels, but your 4-star rating gives me a bit of a pause. Thanks for curating books for us here.

    I may take a second look – ha!

    1. Hi Noelle, I have no idea if I will ever finish my TBR list – it grows at a pace that’s faster than my reading capabilities! Thanks for the visit – hope you are doing well. I was just chatting with Mae Clair about The Last Pilgrim. Looking forward to reading it!

  2. Oh boy. This is just too creepy for me. But I have a difficult time with psychological horrors. I end up feeling so sorry for the character that I get too upset. But you are such a good reader and reviewer. You help us know what we don’t want to read as well as what we would like to.

    1. What a nice compliment, Pam. I try to show my tastes in my reviews so that once people know me they can judge whether they’d like a book or not. I have always liked psychological books – I did sympathize with the character, for a while. But she makes some pretty bad decisions, which is always great to have in a story. Thanks for the visit!

    1. Hi Jill – I’d say it’s a common theme in thriller type books and movies, but one I always enjoy reading about. As long as it’s not happening in the real world! Thanks for the visit 🙂

  3. Wow, just reading your review gave me the creeps, Barbara, and so did the perfect cover for the story. I may add it to my list, but will have to muster up some courage first. 🙂 Thanks for your wonderful review!

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