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Her by [Lane, Harriet]
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Her Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Product Description


Another taut, tense psychological thriller from the author of the acclaimed 2012 debut novel Alys, Always... A compelling revenge drama that will make you think twice about getting too chummy with the neighbours. (Sebastian Shakespeare TATLER)

Harriet Lane's first novel Alys, Always was widely praised for combining sharply observed everyday life with something a lot more sinister. Her second now pulls off the same trick with equal aplomb... The result is a novel that becomes increasingly - and at times excruciatingly - tense as it approaches its devastating final chapter (READERS DIGEST)

With a forensic eye for domestic detail, Lane sets up a riveting series of vicious snares (SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE)

Her is another psychological thriller, every bit as compulsive as the first one... The menace here is the sort that lurks right at the edge of consciousness - something unsettling that you can't quite put your finger on, that builds and builds until the last chapter by which time I was holding my breath. Don't miss. (Alice O'Keeffe THE BOOKSELLER 'Book of the Month')

The exquisitely sinister psychological thriller that is going to take us all by storm this summer, Harriet Lane's Her, has a Notes on a Scandal-type relationship between an exhausted young mother and her rich sophisticated neighbour. (Amanda Craig THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Harriet Lane's Alys Always was one of the most memorable fictional debuts of recent years, a seemingly simple story that discovered subtle ways to unsettle, and which found elegant, disturbing insights into familiar English obsessions with class and status. Lane's new book, Her, due in June, promises to be this year's unmissable summer novel. Among Lane's antecedents is the pin-sharp prose of Patricia Highsmith (Tim Adams THE OBSERVER)

A fabulously creepy thriller from the author of Alys, Always. Nina recognises Emma on the street from 20 years ago, but doesn't reveal this, and Emma treats Nina as a new friend. But what happens when it comes out that Nina remembers? (Viv Groskop RED magazine)

Her is a superbly taut, intensely gripping domestic drama... The tension is held beautifully throughout in this excellent second novel from a writer clearly at the top of her game (DIVA)

This spare, tense psychological thriller opens when a wealthy woman finds a struggling young mother's purse in the street of the London suburb they live in. Returning the purse marks the start of an unlikely friendship (HARPER'S BAZAAR)

Driving the plot are the reciprocal forces of revenge and provocation: we want to know what Nina will do next and what Emma has done to deserve it. Lane inspires a terrible dread as Nina's threat looms larger, combined with a slender hope that Emma might realize the danger in time. Lane also intrigues her readers with the puzzle of Emma's past... a fine mistress of suspense. (Emily Rhodes TLS)

Struggling young mum Emma is grateful when her glamorous neighbour Nina befriends her. What Emma doesn't realise is that Nina recognises her from the past and has a score to settle. In HER, Harriet Lane keeps the reader on the edge until the last page. (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING)

Struggling mother of two Emma doesn't recognise Nina, but Nina recognises her. She infiltrates her way into Emma's life gaining her trust. But what is it that she wants? The story is told by both women, with an underlying tension that builds and builds until the last horrifying scene. I loved this slow-burning tale of revenge. (Fanny Blake WOMAN & HOME)

Emma struggles with life's demands when Nina breezes into her world and makes it better - but what does she really want? This tense page-turner will make you look at kindly strangers with suspicion! (PRIMA)

A sharply observed relationship with a sinister plot line of hand-in-the-mouth proportions... psychologically nuanced novel... Lane excels at everyday detail. Emma's total absorption by motherhood is rendered with beautifully stinging observations (METRO)

Harriet Lane's debut, the subtly unsettling Alys Always, was a chilling psychological drama of power privilege and manipulation. In this, her equally compulsive follow-up, similar sinister shenanigans are spun out in Lane's elegant, poetic prose... Unlike conventional thrillers, the perverse pleasure of this compelling novel is not a big reveal but the pin-sharp unpicking of personality (Eithne Farry SUNDAY EXPRESS)

Harriet Lane is a deft conjurer of menacing middle class scenarios, and her second novel, a taut revenge drama with a shattering endgame (i NEWSPAPER)

tautly written psychological thriller... there is forensic social observation here. Her London is recognisably real. Both Emma and Nina feel like women you might pass on a leafy Islington street. She has a sharp eye for telling detail... Then the endgame, when it comes, is shattering. (THE INDEPENDENT)

Nina's a control freak, Emma's a mess. What happens when their paths cross - and is it really the first time? Psychological page-turning follow-up to Alys, Always, Ms Lane's best-selling debut (GRAZIA)

Like a fly caught in a spider's web, struggling naive mother Emma is drawn further into sophisticated Nina's life. The ultimate frenemy thriller. (NOW)

When frazzled mum Emma encounters sophisticated Nina, she thinks their meeting is down to chance. But, as this cool, controlled thriller reveals, the truth is far more sinister. With wonderfully fleshed out characters, this is a chilling study in revenge. (SUNDAY MIRROR)

Harriet Lane has created a taut, unnerving thriller in Her that will keep you in its hold until the devastating conclusion... Her is a beautifully put together novel which fans of Deborah Levy's Swimming Home or Helen Walsh's The Lemon Grove will enjoy. (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)

Harriet Lane made a memorable debut in 2012 with novel Alys, Always and her second book is another superb psychological thriller... that slowly unfurls, layer by tantalising layer, in this riveting revenge drama (HELLO!)

As seductive as it is chilling, Her is quality literary fiction meets psychological thriller, the devil of which is in the detail (Lucy Scholes THE OBSERVER)

Emma and Nina inhabit very different words. Unknown to Emma, they have met before... Wangling her way into Emma's home is the easy part - but how can Nina ensure she finally gets her revenge for what happened in the past? (BELLA)

Book Description

You don't remember her . . . but she remembers you. 'The ultimate frenemy thriller' NOW and smash critical hit from the publishers that bought you GONE GIRL.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 711 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (12 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HRXQ15Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,323 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
SPOILER ALERT. This review mentions key plot points from late on in the novel.

Harriet Lane can write. Most of her sentences are a pleasure to read, and for that, I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy work for the perfection of the prose alone. She's wonderful on visual detail and puts this to excellent use in the creation of Nina, a painter, whose notations on light and sky really are worth the page space they take up. She's very strong too on that bleak dismantling of personality that happens for so many women when they abandon the life they know to surrender to the gruelling physicality and lack of headspace that descends during the pre-school years of child rearing. She absolutely nails the dark and bitter humour that emerges from Emma in these moments. Her comments on her in-laws are laugh aloud. I ached for more of Dirk and his Sunday supplement gadgets. Haven't read Alys, Always yet but will in the hope that Lane's brilliant humour is present there too. There wasn't much of it in this book and it deserves a wider hearing.

But the plot? Lane is a bit cheeky here. She has a character read thrillers and uses this to riff on the nature of suspense plots where too much happens and the end is far from believable . (So why, I wondered, is the final scene of the novel so utterly, crassly high drama with the ultra cheap trick of putting an innocent babe's life in jeopardy at the hands of a Wicked Woman. Was this an authorial flounce, because agent or publisher demanded higher stakes?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a shame. I enjoyed the first book - sort of Brookner lite (what's wrong with that?) However 'Her' is (for me) fatally flawed.

The writing is good and sense of place beautifully rendered but in a way this made my disappointment even greater.

Its central premise simply doesn't work. As a result, the inner workings of artist narrator Nina (why are there so many artists in fiction? The Woman Upstairs/ What I Loved are both superior books but also indulge in quite a bit of ekphrasis) and downtrodden mum Emma simply don't ring true. The riffs on new motherhood and envy are good but not unusual. The ivory tower life of Nina reveals none of the cracks that would/should gradually hint at the real 'her'. Both women remain infuriatingly hidden. One can be charitable and argue that this is ok in a first-person narrative where people suppress truths and see what they want to see but try as I might (and I did try having invested time in this book), I felt tricked. As a reader, I had to do too much work to make sense of the baffling denouement. Of course people do all sorts of things, for all sorts of reasons but writers of novels have a certain duty to create a credible world even if that world is made of butter and everyone in it speaks backwards.

In fact for me, the ending is shocking mostly because it has been so poorly set up in the preceding pages. No clues are given about Nina's singular psychological make-up. It's a cheap move and I think beneath a writer as good as Lane.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I very much enjoyed Harriet Lane's first novel, Alys, Always; it is a tightly-written and effective thriller that I would highly recommend. However, with her second novel, Her, I think she has outdone herself. Her is both beautifully-written and incredibly convincing. Rather than amping up the drama with a series of significant events like even the most subtle of thrillers - including Lane's debut - tend to do, Her instead bravely explores a relationship in which nothing of much consequence seems to happen or, crucially, to have happened, and yet rackets up the tension nonetheless.

Like Alys, Always, Her is focused on the interplay between two women; however, this time, the object of the obsession is very much still alive, and narrates half of the novel. Emma once had a high-flying career in TV, but now finds herself submerged in stay-at-home motherhood, chasing after her two-year-old son Christopher while heavily pregnant with her second child. When Nina, a confident and successful painter with a teenage daughter, re-encounters Emma, she realises that Emma remembers nothing of their previous acquaintance. Nina, however, remembers every detail acutely - and she is determined to make Emma pay. However, if Frances, the manipulative narrator of Alys, Always, was, as she put it, 'making pastry' as she inveigled her way into Alys's old life, Nina is making choux buns to Frances's shortcrust, so lightly and imperceptibly does she trouble Emma. Nina's delicate interventions are matched by Lane's precise prose. She's good at both description and social observation. As Nina looks through the contents of Emma's purse, she notes 'A green prescription form, scrawled over with a GP's hurried initials, for an entry-level anti-depressant.
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