Pieces of Her

Pieces of Her Review

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

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. . . .

I thought you guys might want to know some of my thoughts on my new book, PIECES OF HER. First off, let me say it’s NOT a Will and Sara book (that will be next year). I hope that you’ll give this one a try even if you’re a series fan.

I’ve been writing about father/daughter relationships a lot in my standalones, but when the plot of PIECES OF HER started taking shape in my brain, I found myself thinking about how much I enjoyed writing scenes in the Grant County series between Sara and her mother . Mother/daughter relationships tend to be more fraught than father/daughter ones, and it’s always fun to play with those tensions.

Primarily, I wanted to focus on the opportunities for women now vs. the limited choices when I was growing up. Laura Oliver is older than me, but she was faced with the same messages that I grew up with. No one was telling me I could be a doctor or lawyer—us girls were either fast tracked into nursing, teaching, or library sciences. Title IX was just reaching Morrow High School and I vividly recall being told again and again that girls weren’t interested in sports, or that girls weren’t good at math and science and all those other lies that young women are told about themselves.

In contrast to this experience is Laura's 31 year old daughter, Andrea (Andy), who has so many choices that she is paralyzed. I think in many ways 31 year olds are closer to my generation’s 21 year olds. There is no stigma to living with your parents or even hanging out with them. All of the things that for better or worse furiously propelled my generation into adulthood—getting your own car, having your own apartment, making your own decisions, paying for your stupid mistakes—have ceased being motivating factors.

I think a lot of readers can relate to this dynamic, whether they are on the mother side or the daughter side. Everywhere I’ve traveled, there’s some phrase in the popular culture that describes what we in the US call a “helicopter parent.” (In Denmark, they’re “curling parents”). Laura has done her level best to make Andy’s life easy and conflict-free, and the end result is that Andy is teetering on the precipice of adulthood, unable to take the leap and with no one around to give her a gentle shove.

But don’t worry about all this character stuff. Those of you looking for a thriller should be very satisfied with the story. It opens (as all of my books do) with something really horrible happening. Andy is having a birthday celebration with her mother when suddenly, shit goes sideways. In a flash of violence, Andy sees Laura as not the gentle, loving mother she grew up with but as a complete stranger who is capable of doing terrible things.

This leads Andy into a dark place—and also into a quest to find out who her mother really is. Most kids can relate to not really knowing their parents (and some kids don’t want to know!) but Laura’s secrets are deadly, which Andy quickly finds out when she starts to put together all the pieces of a woman she has never known.

Title:Pieces of Her
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Melissa

    “She had always believed—vehemently, with great conviction—that the only way to change the world was to destroy it.” If you didn’t know before, you certainly will now—I’m a Karin Slaugh...

  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...4.5 Stars!! Can you ever truly escape your past? Andrea Cooper and her mother, Laura are having lunch and celebrating Andrea's...

  • Emily May

    Karin Slaughter has been a relatively recent discovery for me. I really enjoyed her dark gritty The Good Daughter, especially the way she slowly paints in the relationship and backstory between the tw...

  • Debra

    3.5 StarsHow well do you know someone? Andrea Cooper thought she knew her Mother, Laura. Her mother is a speech therapist who is a pillar of the community. She is liked and known by most people in the...

  • Paromjit

    Karin Slaughter gives us a thriller that explores the role of the mother and the mother-daughter relationship. Andrea 'Andy' Cooper is an unambitious woman who has largely gone through the motions of ...

  • Crumb

    Explosive, Hair-raising, and Fast-Paced!Karin Slaughter is a master at suspense.Be prepared to get goosebumps..I was first introduced to Karin Slaughter when I read her grizzly, suspense novel, The Go...

  • Larry H

    It seemed like any other day. Andy was having lunch at the mall with her mother, Laura, celebrating Andy's 31st birthday. They were briefly interrupted when the relative of a former patient of Laura's...

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Andy squeezed her eyes shut. Immediately, the images started scrolling like one of Gordon's vacation slide shows. Laura holding up her hand. The long blade slicing into her palm. Wrenching th...

  • Emma

    This was not at all what I expected. Instead of the usual clever, multilayered plot with deftly drawn characters, there's this overdone, disconnected, extremely unlikely tale that's more like an airpo...

  • Sandy

    3.5 starsWhen we first meet Laura Oliver & her daughter Andrea, they seem to have a close, dependent relationship. But make no mistake. These are 2 very different women. Laura is an elegant, self assu...