Title: Pieces of Her
Author: Karin Slaughter
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Andrea Oliver and her mother, Laura Oliver, have a close relationship. Laura is a pillar in the community of their small, Georgia beach town with a normal life. Andrea thinks she knows everything about her mom until she apprehends a shooter in the mall with ease and serenity. This starts a series of events that force Andrea to flee town and along the way discover the secrets of her mother’s past. Can Andrea reconcile the dark, criminal history of her mother with the friendly, loving woman who raised her? And can she stay out of danger long enough to do so?
This book was a new adventure for me not because of the genre but because it was my first audiobook. I didn’t have high hopes for the format because I often have trouble focusing when something is just audio like podcasts. BUT I found I was able to concentrate and take in the story surprisingly well. I’ve had to take a few out-of-state trips this month and used that drive time to embark on this adventure.
What I disliked about the audiobook: I felt like I could read faster than it was narrated, and I didn’t feel as close of a connection to the book as I usually do when reading a physical copy of one.
But here’s my review of the story itself:
This was my first Karin Slaughter novel, and I have to say I am impressed. I liked the way the relationships were handled and the characters were developed. I liked the setting switching back 30 years to Laura’s past so you saw first-hand what happened. I liked the plot overall – how a person isn’t always what they seem, how their past truly shapes their future, and how it’s possible to get swept into a bad situation or fall for a bad person.
Laura and Andrea’s relationship and personalities are pretty clear on the surface, but once you dig into Laura’s past you see how similar they really are and why Laura has made the choices she has for her daughter. You see how and why Laura’s character developed over the years, and you see her passion for her family then and now. Andrea’s character development on the other hand is ongoing throughout the novel. You see her develop confidence and strength – two things she was severely lacking in the beginning and which made her character quite annoying (to me).
Unlike with many novels, I enjoyed the ending. Slaughter wrapped things up nicely and tied together the past and the present neatly. The pieces did come together to make a whole, dysfunctional picture.