Her: A Novel

Her: A Novel

by Harriet Lane

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316369886
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 10/06/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 470,203
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Harriet Lane has worked as an editor and writer at Tatler and the Observer. She has also written for the Guardian, the Telegraph and Vogue. Her debut novel, Alys, Always, was published in 2012. She lives in north London with her husband and two children.

What People are Saying About This

Christina Schwarz

Compelling and chilling. Like all good thrillers, HER creeps up on you. You can't stop lapping up the rich domestic details, the astute observations about modern motherhood and female friendship, but you're skittish, aware of the growing shadow. What happened in the past? Which one is the psychopath? The end will make you yelp. --Christina Schwarz, author of Drowning Ruth

Tom McNeal

A spellbinding book. Think of Virginia Woolf under the influence of Claude Chabrol. Just beneath the smooth, beautiful sentences lies a world alive with terror. --Tom McNeal, author of To Be Sung Underwater

Koren Zailckas

This book knocked the breath out of me in the very best sense. Her is mesmerizing, nail-biting, deeply atmospheric and, ultimately, haunting. Harriet Lane has crafted an intoxicating interplay between friendship and betrayal, mothering and memory, vulnerability and opportunity. Watching the story unfold is like watching the perfect storm gather at sea and roll in toward the coast. The creeping sense of inevitability, combined with warning signals that foretell something dangerously wrong, adds up to a suspense novel that's all kinds of right. --Koren Zailckas, author of Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

Lori Roy

In her captivating new novel, HER, Harriet Lane crafts a tale of suspense that seeps slowly and inevitably between the cracks of two otherwise ordinary lives. Writing with a quiet confidence and an eye for the most perfect details, Ms. Lane lures her readers into the lives of Nina and Emma, two women at opposite ends of raising a family. Ms. Lane finds the extraordinary in the ordinary, and this gift will keep readers enthralled until the novel's thrilling end. --Lori Roy, author of Bent Road and Until She Comes Home

Vendela Vida

Suspenseful, boundary-pushing, and very difficult to put down. --Vendela Vida, author of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Lovers

Ann Leary

Never have I seen the angst and vulnerability of early motherhood so vividly portrayed. Harriet Lane explores the tyranny of domesticity and the almost primitive bonds that link women to their children and also to other mothers. HER is at once funny and terrifying. I read it in one sitting and when I was finally able to put it down, my heart was pounding. --Ann Leary, author of The Good House

Chris Pavone

A gripping, chilling, powerful novel of unintended consequences and undeserved retributions, youthful innocence and middle-aged regret, parental guilt and filial obligation, all played out on the dangerous edge of rationality. --Chris Pavone, author of The Expats

Customer Reviews

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Her: A Novel 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I spent the entire book waiting for something to happen. Wondering the reason for Nina's actions. When the big 'reveal' happened, it wasn't so big after all. Kinda feel like my time was wasted reading this book. I guess I like more substance in my book, not just suspense. Well written but ultimately unsatisfying for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the twists and turns and question as to why. Great characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the structure and the impending bad acts I often found the descriptions of the bordom of motherhood spot on
sadiesb More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended.  From the beginning I anticipated something to happen......actually never did and then the ending was totally ridiculous.  I would not recommend this book.  It was boring and only reason I continued reading was expecting something that never materialized.  Actually disgusted I read it to the non-finished end.  
PeggyReads More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued by this book - at the beginning.  But the more I read, the less I liked it.  The author did a wonderful job of making the characters seem real - so good, in fact, that I dislike the book because I dislike one of the characters so much!  I also prefer books that have a conclusion - not just end - and where evil is punished, not accepted. When I wrote that (a week ago) – I gave the book 1 star.  However, after spending over 2 hours discussing this book with my bookclub, I have decided I have to raise my rating.   Any book that can stir the feelings that were expressed today has to be better than I at first thought.  It took me a while after reading it to get past my feelings about the main character – and realize how well written the book must be to stir these feelings.  My bookclub has been meeting for a year and a half – and this was the longest, most animated discussion we have had.  So, while I still don’t like Nina (one of the main characters), and I have decided it is a good book. It is the story of 2 women, who seem to be total opposites.  Nina is the highly polished, sophisticated career woman, while Emma is the “typical” stay at home mom of 2 small children.  Their lives seem to intersect because of where they live.  Nina seems to develop a strange obsession with Nina, and begins stalking her.  As the story unfolds, we learn that there is another connection.  The author tells their story by alternating chapters from each of their points of view, thus drawing you into both of their stories. This is a great book for bookclubs – it brings out so many emotions in readers that it leads to a great discussion.  It has been a long time since a book made me feel so many emotions. My bookclub was given the book by the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.  I have tried to do that!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great until the end.  I was hooked and couldn't put the book down!  But I was very disappointed in the end.  No closure and too many 'what its' that it actually made me mad!  I wonder if there will be a sequel?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Promising, but doesn't really deliver. Very slow-moving and anticlimactic. Reasoning behind the antagonist is weak, as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great plot, depth of character development is compelling yet the same story is told through each characters eyes without adding new insight so you feel you've paid for the author to fluff the book instead of developing the story further .....the end delivers nothing but a moments shock and feels lazy in its lack of conclusion.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But I do agree with the others who were disappointed by the ending. It was a cliffhanger and as such disappointing. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book but it was beyond dull. The writing itself was fine but the characters never connected in any real way. I kept reading because other reviews hinted at a big end reveal or twist which, when it came, was an incredibly small infraction. The revenge that followed was awful but it seemed like it was written in to shock rather than because it made sense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I try very hard to find something good about each book I read. This time I came up with nothing positive, waste of time and $$ money spent. Sorry!!!!! Can not recommend!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was book boring and the ending was ridiculous
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this. Quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This page turner is true to its theme that defining yourself only via relationships as is expected of bourgeois women is close to psychosis. The mix of cosiness and dread is terrifying long after you put the book down to check on the laundry. If you want likeable characters and / or sweeping events look elsewhere. If you love beautiful writing, you are in luck, for once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was drawn into this book in the beginning, but as I read more I was very disappointed in the "secret" that connected these 2 women. I expected much more of a "secret" and kept hoping for there to be more. When I finished the book, I just sat there going, "Huh?" and wondered why the book had such hype prior to its release. Don't buy the book until it comes out in paperback as it wasn't worth the money I spent on it when it was first released. I'm glad I was able to sell it to recoup some of the money spent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very well written book, but it totally leaves you hanging at the end. I was so let down AND FRUSTRATED!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LeliaPiet More than 1 year ago
“’Will you step into my parlor?’ said the spider to the fly.” “(I) pick up the Spectator, and read a column about first memories: how shock acts as a fixative, preserving fleeting and otherwise insignificant moments of childhood distress (falling down the stairs, leaving a favorite teddy in a taxi, losing a parent in a crowd).” Nina Bremner thoroughly recalls her worst childhood memory, as well as who she sees as responsible for it – HER. Harriet Lane brings us this domestic thriller through two alternating voices; Nina Bremner and Emma Nash. Though both women are very near the same age, they are at very different points in their lives. Nina is an accomplished painter, chic and refined, raising a teenage daughter in a middle-class neighborhood of modern London. She is everything Emma is not. Emma Nash's days are littered by the chaos of motherhood. She left her career (days long gone that seem exotic by comparison now) for the unanticipated doldrums and taxing daily activities of motherhood –“All this buttoning and unbuttoning.”  Early on it is understood that Nina vividly remembers Emma although Emma has no recollection Nina. What is unclear, however, is what memory triggers such a malicious grudge? One hot July afternoon, Nina spots Emma across a crowded London square. “Emma. It’s you. I’ve found you.”  Rather than approach her Nina, slinks away to mull and stew over this breakthrough for months. When Nina finally orchestrates a meeting, her actions aren’t entirely clear. However, as she slowly snakes herself into Emma’s life: chance meetings, lunches and evenings out, it becomes evident the events are calculated and chilling. Emma, who is having a difficult time coming to terms with her new life status as a caregiver and is overtly insecure with her ability to perform her duties to par, is flattered by Nina’s attention but hesitant to form the friendship. They seem such an unlikely pair to find anything in common to share. When Nina continues to be placed in her path, Emma gradually allows herself to believe that she could be interesting enough to be this fascinating woman’s friend. Without giving specifics on the ominous proceedings that have the reader flipping page after page, Nina plots incidents to be certain that Emma will lose all confidence in herself. “Over time, I’ve come to see that so much of a personality boils down to confidence: whether you have it, or not. In many cases, it’s really all that counts. All there is.” As Nina intended, Emma envies, and grows more intrigued by, Nina’s confidence while mourning the loss of her own.  The story unfolds slowly but deliberately, unfurling a thick tension that draws readers deeper into the web of Nina’s intent. Akin to horror movies, readers will undoubtedly find themselves cajoling the characters from taking the next action. Lane’s philosophy on thrillers seems to be shared by her character Nina who delivers her own opinion on novels classified as thrillers: “I don’t say that I’ve read it and enjoyed it, though I found the final plot twist unsatisfying, as plot twists often are: nothing like life, which-it seems to me-turns less on shocks or theatrics than on the small quiet moments, misunderstandings or disappointments, the things that it’s easy to overlook.” Sinister may be the adjective to describe the book at finish but regardless of the term the reader chooses, all will most likely find themselves saying “Oh no, she didn’t!”
doody More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting read, but I agree with those who expected a bit more at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a waste of time and money. You spend most of the book wondering what the connection is, and expecting a big ending which never arrives.