Sunday, 8 May 2016

Her - Harriet Lane

A great psychological thriller that fizzles out at the end.
I had picked it up once but then had to give it up when I was swamped with other books taking precdence. The writing was indeed very good and atmospheric that I just had to return to it once my TBR pile had reduced.

I picked it up again recently. The writing is very compelling, it forces you to turn pages but then sadly all that tension fizzles out at the end, leaving the reader disappointed and a confused.


Nina is an accomplished woman, comfortable in her skin and lifestyle. Emma on the other is young mother, caught in the throes of motherhood. When these women meet, it is for a reason. There is a lot going on where visits are manipulated and designed for a reason. The women have a past, though one of them has no clue, and what that is, is the crux of the story.

What works:
  • The superlative writing. The initial pages force you to keep going, ending each chapter on a cliffhanger.
  • Each incident is shown from the perspective of the two women. I thought that was a great device and very well handled by lane. It added depth and an angle that drew the reader into the story.
  • The building of tension is amazing. The whole story is about atmosphere and Lane finds it in domestic life. Commendable. I liked the way Lane managed to make the ordinary so spine chilling.
  • I also liked the way she describes the pangs of being a new mother so well. Having been there, it was very easy to empathise with Emma. A woman who gives up her career to have children and is struggling with a young family. It echoes so much with many women who have been in a similar position. The emotions are so good and the details are spot on.
  • The dangers of steering away from routine, the significance of having the specific toys to maintain the sanity of a family are so well described.
What doesn't:
  • The climax. Once you start reading and enjoying the ride, you enjoy the friction and the tension that is building with each incident. You start to expect a climax that will take the veil off the secret. You are waiting for a face off that will put an end to the covert tension simmering through the story.
But that does not happen.

What happens instead is a sort of an abrupt end, which is unexpected and open ended. I couldn't believe what was happening and had to turn back a few pages to make sure I understood that was the end.

Not happy. Not satisfied.

The explanation does not justify the action as a result, spine chilling though it may be, it failed to evoke a satisfed response from it.

Read it for the style. As a plot, it could have been better.

No comments:

Post a Comment