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Pieces of Her Review: Back-of-Book Description
The number one international best-selling author returns with an electrifying novel of devastating secrets and hidden lives that probes the fraught relationship between daughters and mothers and the lengths we go to protect those we love.
What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all? Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows Laura has spent nearly her whole life in the small beach town of Belle Isle, Georgia; she knows Laura’s never wanted anything more than to lead a quiet, normal life in this conventional community; she knows Laura’s a kind and beloved speech pathologist who helps others; she knows Laura’s never kept a secret in her life. Andrea knows that Laura is everything she isn’t—confident, settled, sure of herself. Feeling listless, with no direction, Andrea, unlike Laura, struggles to find her way.
But Andrea’s certainty is upended when a visit to the mall is shattered by an act of horrifying violence that reveals a completely different side of Laura—a cool woman who calmly faces down a murderer. It turns out that before Andrea’s mother was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly 30 years, she’s been hiding from the woman she once was, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.
The assailant was a mentally troubled teenaged scion of Georgia law enforcement royalty, and now the police want answers about what really happened in those terrifying moments at the mall. Though she’s being scrutinized at every level of the criminal justice system and her innocence is on the line, Laura refuses to speak to anyone, including her own daughter. She pushes Andrea away, insisting it’s time for her to stand alone and make a life for herself. To save her mother, Andrea embarks on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. Andrea knows that if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for her mother…or her.
Filled with intriguing turns, surprising revelations, and a compelling cast of characters, Pieces of Her is Slaughter’s most electrifying, provocative, and suspenseful novel yet.
Pieces of Her Review: My Thoughts
If you have been following this website and my reviews for a while you have likely noticed a couple of things.
- I like thrillers
- I often find authors I like and then read all (or a lot of) their stuff
- I am a sucker for a series or some reoccurring characters
Well, this book plays into all three of those! It was a thriller by one of my favorite authors and it introduced me to a character that will return later (like in my next review!). What more can a gal ask for?
I came across this one a little backwards actually. I chose Girl, Forgotten as a Book of the Month choice. but when I got it I realized that it involved a recurring character, Andrea Oliver. So, I sought out the book that introduced us to her – which was this one, Pieces of Her. And I am so glad I did.
I found this book very enjoyable. It had a fun nonlinear timeline, which I think is a bit unusual for this author. But some of the book took place in present-day with Andrea as the focus, and other parts took place in the 80s with her mother, Laura as the focus. I really enjoy books with multiple perspectives and some time shifts. It adds to the suspense, since you have to wait until the next chapter to see what happens to that one character.
It starts off with some internal tension and struggle with the younger, present day character and then gets pretty action packed relatively early. Which I suppose is a good time to inform/remind you that Karin Slaughter’s books can be pretty graphic with violence, gore, and sometimes sexual abuse.
But the action at the beginning really draws you in and gets you curious. I found myself just craving to learn more about them and see what had happened before, and what was going to happen next. I’ll be honest, though, the middle part lulls a bit as you get filled in on all the back stories of the characters and uncover what lead up to the present-day state of characters and their current lives. And I do think it was probably longer than it needed to be.
Besides the length, I enjoyed her writing as I always do. I found the characters pretty interesting overall, even though some of them felt a little hard to relate to. To be fair, some of them are crazy, violent people, so it’s probably a good thing.
The dialogue, setting descriptions, and all the usual story elements were well thought out and natural. It’s honestly not a surprise they made this into a show – it was very easy to imagine all that was happening.
And she had some pretty great quotes!
Favorite Quotes from Pieces of Her:
“…the same mistakes, over and over again, because why try new ones when the old ones worked so well in his favor?”
“It’s not selling out to enjoy yourself.”
“She couldn’t hear the waves, but she somehow absorbed their velocity, the relentless persistence to keep pushing forward no matter how hard gravity pulled at your back.”
“…he’d likely been considered attractive, in that way that money makes a boring man suddenly seem interesting.”
“When money speaks, the truth keeps silent.”
“He narrows your life. That’s what men like [him] do. They pull you away from everything you love so that they are the only thing you focus on. If you let them.”
“She wasn’t raised to be an adult. She was raised to be a rich man’s wife.”
“How could she still love someone who had tried to destroy her?”
Pieces of Her Review: In Conclusion
I was so wrapped up in this story, I couldn’t get enough. 4.5 stars for Pieces of Her. The only fault I found was that it was a bit longer than it probably needed to be, and it – even with all that bulk- there felt like some questions were still unanswered. But that’s a small negative in an otherwise terrific thriller. Besides – there is another book with some of these characters.
I would recommend this book to people who like action-packed thrillers and mother daughter relationships. Or if you’ve read any of Karin Slaughter’s books and enjoyed them – this one will be no different!
I may end up watching the show now…comment below if you have seen it and let me know your thoughts!