Her: Book summary and reviews of Her by Harriet Lane

Her

by Harriet Lane

Her
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2015
    320 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. With chilling precision, Lane narrates the re-entwining of these two women's lives through domestic details...And the net inexorably tightens. A domestic thriller of the first order." - Kirkus

"A gracefully written psychological thriller about friendship wielded as a weapon.... Like Nina herself, the novel is subtle, deliberate, chillingly effective, and hauntingly sad." - Publishers Weekly

"Lane is a brilliant observer of the intricacies of the everyday… As seductive as it is chilling, HER is quality literary fiction meets psychological thriller, the devil of which is in the detail." - Lucy Scholes, Guardian (UK)

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Reader Reviews

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Cheryl K. (East Aurora, NY)

Her A Novel
This novel by Harriet Lane was difficult for me to get into, initially. Reading the alternating voices of Emma and Nina was confusing, but I became comfortable with the story and couldn't stop reading until I finished. It was a carefully constructed "mystery" with a very unsettling ending. It would be an interesting book for discussion.

Susan P. (Boston, MA)

HER
This deceptively calm novel is told in alternating voices -- by Nina, painter with a comfortable life, and Emma, a slightly younger former professional trying to cope with life with very young children. Nina knows Emma from many years ago and gets to know her again, but Emma is unaware of the connection. They become more acquainted, slowly, and each time it's obvious that Nina is not the nice new friend Emma thinks she is. As you get closer to the end, you know something is sneaking up on you as you become more aware of true sociopathy. The end leaves you jangled and wondering why: why no one knew, why such bad feelings. A lovely subtle and seemingly quiet thriller. For fans of S.J. Watson and Rosamund Lupton.

Angela J. (Highlands Ranch, CO)

Her by Harriet Lane
This is a really great, creepy thriller. Nina recognizes Emma on the street from when they were teenagers more than 20 years before, but Emma has no idea who Nina is. Nina then insinuates herself into Emma's life, by pretending to be friendly and kind, but with underhand, sinister motives. It's cleverly written in alternate chapters by Nina and Emma, and the tension builds slowly and effectively towards the end. The ending is a cliffhanger, which leaves you wondering what exactly happened.

Viqui G. (State College, PA)

HER
This was a WOW book as far as I was concerned. It was a carefully crafted suspense that I could not put down. Nina and Emma were very realistic characters with very different lives. The reader could empathize with both of their situations up to a certain point. But that NINA--what a clever stalker! We learn slowly but surely that she is out for revenge of some kind. However, she certainly weaves a very benign web of deception for Emma. Poor Emma is out of her element as Nina's ultimate plan of revenge is finally revealed.

The ending was one of those "up in the air, the reader can take it from there" endings. Somehow, that was OK with me. The beauty of this novel was the suspense and the growing anticipation of disaster that Harriet Lane creates. Loved it!

Diana C. (Delray Beach, FL)

A riveting, dark tale
This story follows two women, seemingly strangers, who are connected by an obscure life thread. The narrative alternates between each of the women's voices and interpretations after they meet somewhat randomly. I was riveted by the prose, as it draws you in from the first into what turns out to be a crash landing in the very last paragraph. I found I couldn't put it down, wanting desperately to know the outcome.

Rebecca J. (Knoxville, TN)

Her by Harriet Lane
I read many thrillers, but Her by Harriet Lane, was one I could not put down. Two women, with little in common to the reader, keep getting pulled together. Only one of them knows that there is a plan in place by that woman to infiltrate the other's life because of some traumatic event (at least to one of them) in the past. The suspense was such that I read this in one sitting. Although the ending was a tad far-fetched, it did not take away from my enjoyment of the read. Enjoy!

...40 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

Harriet Lane wrote for The Guardian, The Observer, Vogue, and Tatler before the publication of her debut novel Alys, Always. She lives in North London with her husband and two children. Visit her at www.harrietlane.co.uk

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