Cover image for Her : a novel
Title:
Her : a novel
Author:
Lane, Harriet, 1969-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
Physical Description:
261 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"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"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316369879
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

You don't remember her--but she remembers you.

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.


Author Notes

Before the publication of her debut novel, Alys, Always , Harriet Lane wrote for The Guardian, The Observer, Vogue, and Tatler . She lives in North London with her husband and two children.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

What is it about Emma Nash that fascinates Nina Bremner? Nina, a successful landscape painter with a husband and daughter, seems to be what is called a pulled-together woman, but old feelings resurface when she recognizes Emma on a London street one day. Emma, for her part, does not recognize Nina. Now a mother with a toddler and a baby on the way, she is completely caught up in the mess and minutiae of daily life, and from her perspective, Nina's appearance on her doorstep (having recovered Emma's lost wallet) seems to mark the beginning of a useful friendship. Nina sees things very differently, however, and uses every opportunity to insinuate herself more deeply in Emma's life. Events are narrated alternately by the two women often the same events, with the same dialogue, but presented from two different points of view. Nina's calculations, side-by-side with Emma's heedlessness, create a growing sense of menace. Give this to readers who appreciate subtlety as well as suspense.--Quinn, Mary Ellen Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

On the surface, Nina Bremner's life seems enviable-she's a successful painter, effortlessly stylish, and owns a beautiful home. But her ease is set disrupted when she recognizes a woman she knew as a teenager on her street. Emma Nash, a once-confident adolescent, is now enduring complete disorder, with a three-year-old son and another baby on the way. She doesn't recognize Nina, and thus this slow-burning thriller is put into motion. Nina engineers a meeting and then a friendship; Emma is desperate for adult company and is swept away by Nina's generosity and compassion. But all is not empathetic with Nina. On the contrary, as the tale unfolds, it becomes clear that Nina is very angry with Emma. The question becomes, just what will Nina do and will the penny ever drop for Emma? On top of that, Lane (Alys, Always) writes searingly about the strain of minding young children and the fears and frustration involved in parenting. VERDICT Nina's motivation seems a tad lacking and Emma's obtuseness strains credulity, but the overall creepy factor is high-a tense read for fans of the intellectual psychological thriller.-Devon Thomas, Chelsea, MI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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