Andrea Oliver’s mother, Laura, is the perfect small-town mum. Laura lives a quiet but happy life in sleepy beachside Belle Isle. She’s a pillar of the community: a speech therapist, business owner and everybody’s friend. And she’s never kept a secret from anyone. Or so Andrea thinks.
When Andrea is caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognizable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person – and that’s because she was. Thirty years ago. Before Andrea. Before Belle Isle.
Laura is hailed as a hero for her actions at the mall but 24 hours later she is in hospital, shot by an intruder, who’s spent decades trying to track her down.
What is Andrea’s mother trying to hide? As elements of the past return and put them both in danger, Andrea is left to piece together Laura’s former identity and discover the truth – for better or worse – about her mother. Is the gentle, loving woman who raised her also a violent killer?
I have no idea how Pieces of Her flew under my radar for over a year. I’m usually a huge fan of Karin Slaughter books so it pains me a little to write this review. This book does not resemble Slaughter’s typical writing style but I found that to be a nice change of pace. The story jumps right into action during present day but comes to a halt about a third of the way in. The story switches to 1986 as we learn more of Andrea’s mom, Laura, but it is a complete buzz kill after an incredible start. It’s not that it isn’t interesting, it’s just … slow moving. After a while the story flip flops between present day and 1986 after every chapter. The momentum starts rolling again because the reader is seeing how all of the puzzle pieces connect.
My big disappointment was the main character. Slaughter is notorious for writing bada$$ female characters but Andrea was just – blah. I liked that she was a normal, relatable character, but she remained completely “blah” the entire story. There were even times I found her to be a bit whiny. There were so many occasions for her to just do more, but that unfortunately never came. This book could have been a knockout but it fell sort of flat in that aspect.
Overall, it was a good storyline and I enjoyed reading it.
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The provided summary of Pieces of Her can be found here.
★★★★★: Unforgettable, one of a kind. A book that will be hard to forget.
★★★★☆: A good read with little to no flaws.
★★★☆☆: A decent read, but not one I would put on the top of your “To Be Read” pile.
★★☆☆☆: Needs major work, did not enjoy but was able to finish.
★☆☆☆☆: Did not finish.