Genre: Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers
Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?
But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, 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 police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . .
If you read my blog often, you know that Karin Slaughter is undoubtedly one of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved The Good Daughter and I was looking forward to reading her new novel: Pieces of Her. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love reading books during my vacations, and this year, Malta’s choice was Karin’s new standalone. Now, every time I think about the trip, I will remember how much I enjoyed reading this novel while lying on the beach.
If you’ve read other reviews, you already know that Pieces of Her is quite a different book and unlike her usual mysteries. I wouldn’t say this is a mystery per se, although, of course, Andrea is trying to find out more about her mother and her past. But I’d say this is more of an adventure… and what a ride! Andrea wasn’t an easy character to like, as she appeared to be pretty bland in my opinion, but I still wanted to know what was going on. However, the past narration was my favorite aspect of the novel and one storyline that will be incredibly hard to forget.
I don’t want to say much because I’d love for you to find out for yourselves, but I was incredibly gripped from the moment the flashbacks started. At first, I wasn’t sure what the book would be about, but once we started to get to know Laura a bit more, the book took a direction I honestly didn’t expect and I really like stories like this one. The story reminded me a bit of Diane Chamberlain’s The Secret Life of Ceecee Wilkes, and, after all, that is definitely a favorite of mine.
I am well aware that this will not be for everyone because it’s not exactly fast-paced and it’s quite long, but if it manages to grip you like it did with me, I’m sure you will love it, too. It’s not full of twists, as the story is pretty straight-forward, but it’s so incredibly well-written and full of interesting dynamics between the characters, that I couldn’t help to admire Karin Slaughter’s ability to make me care about her characters no matter what she writes about.