Her by Harriet Lane
Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
12th June 2014
Two women; two different worlds.
Emma is a struggling mother who has put everything on hold.
Nina is sophisticated and independent - entirely in control.
When the pair meet, Nina generously draws Emma into her life. But this isn't the first time the women's paths have crossed. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did . . .
But what exactly does Nina want from her?
And how far will she go in pursuit of it?
This is the latest novel from Harriet Lane, following hot on the heels of her debut novel Alys, Always. This is a book that gets into your system, you turn the pages, wanting to know more... you want to know what Emma did that has upset Nina so much, you want to know if Emma will recognise Nina before things get out of hand, you want to know just what it is that Nina intends to do....
The book starts innocently enough. You lose your purse whilst out shopping, and it is found by another woman who offers to bring it round for you. She seems nice, you chat a little, you offer her tea, she invites you to her art exhibition, you think you will probably never see her again. Sometime later your child goes missing whilst playing in the park. You are frantic, you don't know where he is. Then the good news comes, he is at the police station, he was found by a woman sitting on her doorstep - the odd thing is that this woman is the same one who found your purse. Do you question this, or just accept it as a wild coincidence? If you are Emma, with a toddler and newborn baby to look after, struggling to manage the everyday chores of life, you put it down to coincidence and carry on with what becomes a newly found 'friendship.' The thing is, if you are Emma, you should be worried, very, very worried.
Nina has met Emma before, but she doesn't remember that. And now Nina has the perfect opportunity to wreck the revenge she has been harbouring inside for years. Emma isn't going to know what hit her.
Harriet Lane writes disorganised, frustrated, struggling parent extremely well. I don't think that there is any parent who reads this novel who won't recognise some element of Emma's life, and remember having been there. Nina is cold, organised and controlled and this comes across in eveything that she does in the book. Should Emma have been so naive you could argue? She's young, lonely and looking for friendship, she doesn't question whether the older, more sophisticated Nina has an ulterior motive - but believe me, she does!
I loved this book. It's pacey, and gripping, and you won't want to put it down until you get to the terrifying climax. I'm never trusting another stranger again.