More Like Her

More Like Her

3.7 22
by Liza Palmer

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What really goes on behind those perfect white picket fences?

In Frances’s mind, beautiful, successful, ecstatically married Emma Dunham is the height of female perfection. Frances, recently dumped with spectacular drama by her boyfriend, aspires to be just like Emma. So do her close friends and fellow teachers, Lisa and Jill. But Lisa’s too

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What really goes on behind those perfect white picket fences?

In Frances’s mind, beautiful, successful, ecstatically married Emma Dunham is the height of female perfection. Frances, recently dumped with spectacular drama by her boyfriend, aspires to be just like Emma. So do her close friends and fellow teachers, Lisa and Jill. But Lisa’s too career-focused to find time for a family. And Jill’s recent unexpected pregnancy could have devastating consequences for her less-than-perfect marriage.

Yet sometimes the golden dream you fervently wish for turns out to be not at all what it seems—like Emma’s enviable suburban postcard life, which is about to be brutally cut short by a perfect husband turned killer. And in the shocking aftermath, three devastated friends are going to have to come to terms with their own secrets . . . and somehow learn to move forward after their dream is exposed as a lie.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chick lit favorite Palmer (Seeing Me Naked) dips into darker territory with her latest. Private school speech therapist Frannie’s most recent breakup opens her mind to the possibility that her romantic failures are due to a “fear that my defenseless heart and my unconditional love are a burden no one wants.” Frannie’s burgeoning confidence leads her to start a relationship with Sam, an “out of my league” architect working at the school. The novel takes a strange turn when the new headmistress’s controlling husband kills his wife on campus during a faculty gathering at which Sam, Frannie, and her friends are present. While the drama of the incident propels all the characters to honest reflection and action, the second half of the book suffers as the incompatible tones of the two story lines grate against each other. Nonetheless, Palmer’s dialogue is reliably natural and funny, and her insights into the way women betray their true selves in search of acceptance are keen and honest. Agent: Christy Fletcher, Fletcher & Co. (Apr.)
Mirror (London)
This is sharp, funny, clever and very romantic. The story, about a young woman downsizing her expectations in the wake of a tragedy, might not be new, but Palmer’s handling of it is surprisingly fresh and engaging.
Daily Mail (London)
The book is a well-plotted examination of domestic violence, chasing unattainable dreams and hiding one’s real self. The dialogue is sparky, the characters engaging and this is by all means a great read.
“Palmer takes what could be a standard chick-lit story about finding oneself and adds emotional depth through this shockingly violent act. While Palmer’s characters find happiness and closure by the final page, readers will ponder this surprising story for a good, long time.”
Library Journal
Frannie Reid is a thirtysomething speech therapist at a private school in Los Angeles, where her biggest problems include seeing her ex-boyfriend—a coworker—each day, dealing with a new boss, and deflecting her best friend Jill's constant matchmaking efforts. Frannie's bad luck with men continues as she stumbles into a relationship with Sam, an architect working on a team renovating the school. As the fall semester progresses, though, she and the new headmistress, Emma Graham, are forging a friendship, and things with Sam are heating up. The funny, sharp tale takes a dark turn when Emma's husband arrives at the school armed with handguns. What would have been a perfectly enjoyable chick lit novel is transformed as Palmer (Conversations with the Fat Girl; A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents) deftly shows the characters dealing with the aftermath of the shooting while navigating their continuing relationships and work issues. VERDICT The blend of humor and sadness is realistic and gripping, and watching Frannie figure out who she is and what matters is gratifying. This will appeal to those who enjoy Jodi Picoult along with chick lit fans willing to read something a little darker. Recommended.—Beth Blakesley, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman
Kirkus Reviews
After escaping death in a school shooting, a mild-mannered woman begins to demand a little respect. New headmistress at the Markham School Emma Dunham is beautiful and accomplished--a kind of Grace Kelly figure in the stuffy staff lounge. She is just the kind of woman speech therapist Frannie Reid would like to be, but that would require a kind of easy confidence she can't imagine. Frannie does have a cheering team--Jill, a fellow therapist at Markham, and Lisa, a new science teacher. Their relationship is palpable--they swear and joke and snipe like real friends--and the two encourage Frannie to date since pompous Ryan, head of the history department, dumped her. On a rare faculty night out, she meets Sam. An architect working on an expansion to the school, he is handsome, has a lovely Southern drawl and really gets Frannie. It feels like kismet until the night of Emma Dunham's birthday party at the school. Emma's creepy husband Jamie walks in and shoots Emma in the head. He spins around and begins aiming at anyone close enough, and then Sam gets hold of the gun and shoots. Afterward Sam goes home with Frannie to change out of their bloody clothes, and they have desperate, frightened, bone-shattering, love-inducing sex. And then, they don't see each other for a very long time. Sam is coming to terms with having killed a man (while being praised as a hero) and Frannie is wondering why the woman she wanted to emulate turned out to be an abused wife. Although the romance between Sam and Frannie has pull, Palmer spins a few enticing subplots: Frannie adopts Emma's beautiful dog, Lisa and fellow architect Grady decide to marry after the shock of the shooting, Frannie contacts Emma's estranged sister and finds that their childhood primed Emma for a life of abuse. All this has to happen before Frannie and Sam can decide whether their relationship can survive the shooting. Palmer brings wit and wisdom to her tale of love, damage and self-acceptance.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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More Like Her 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
A chick lit that took a bit to get into, but once the prologue's 911 call is explained, the story picks up and takes off. As the reader finds out in the prologue, there is a shooting involved, but it takes quite a few pages to get into where this fits into the story. I was intrigued by the prospect of a school shooting that is centered around adults instead of the students. It takes a whole new perspective on how adults react to a shooting that takes place among their peers. I wasn't immediately hooked to any of the female characters, but slowly I fell in love with each of the three main girls. Throughout the book there was a lot of internal dialogue that sometimes repeated things that the reader already knew. The boys in the book took a back-burner until the end when they became major players. I would recommend this for chick lit fans, those who enjoy a book that takes a new approach to women interactions through their work environment that spills into their personal lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Throughly enjoyed this book. Each character was relatable and well written. I truly enjoyed Frannie, the reader was able to sympathize with her without her coming off a whiney.  There were enough plot lines, but not too many that they got lost in the shuffle. Overall, well developed and I may consider more books from this author.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Approx 300 pages. Loved this book. So full of emotion, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, I couldn't put it down. It was a page turner with some twist! Liza Palmer is an excellent writer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This seemed to be one thing, light & beachy chicklit, and then BOOM it shifted entirely. The shift made it worth my time - til then the shallow whining was grating. The character needed to rise past herself, and did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed all the other Liza Palmer books, particularly the latest release...but I thought this book was all over the place. There was quite a large cast and I think the characterisation was underdeveloped. There was also too much dialogue! I think Liza Palmer really is worth reading if you are looking for chickit with a little 'bite', but wouldn't recommend this one at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was easy to read and I loved the relationship between the main female characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read 60 pgs still waiting for a sign of this character to stop complaining of being dumped
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are parts of this book that were good but it took a while to get into and to connect with the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly related to the main character in this book. Although the ending was wrapped up a little too quickly, I found it to be a compelling read. She has a very unique writing style and her characters are very relatable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book to be comical at times with a well-rounded story weaving its way thru that which we call life. The biting sarcasm made me an instant fan and crave to immerse myself in her other titles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a book club choice. Ms. Palmer is not anyone I have read but I believe that will change. I so enjoyed this book. The characters were deep and the conversations were real. The first pages cover a 911 call about a shooting. Interest is peaked. The next 100 pages are about relationships - all relationships - and how to find your true self. Sounds boring but it was quite fun. I laughed out loud at the bantering of good friends and the bantering with the lead characters self. Emma - dear Emma who is perfect in every conceivable way - is the new head principal of the elite school where the lead characters work. She is the perfect woman. Or so everyone thinks. When a young boy at school is bullied and she takes the side of the bully, I thought her less than perfect. Frannie - lead character and storyteller - takes the side of the victim and thus begins the true depth of the story. Nothing is what it seams. And - because I did not read the reviews - I didn't know who the shooter was - this went through my mind as I read the book. The aftermath of the tragedy is so well written and so well portrayed I'm feeling it alllll. And I love Ms. Palmer's writing. Did I mention that? Because she can write a book worth reading...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago