Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
Release Date: August 21, 2018
My Rating: 🍪
I couldn’t get enough of the first few chapters of this book. It opens with Andrea (Andy) and her mother, Laura, experiencing a shooting at the mall, during which Laura seems to totally change into a different person, a trained, stone-faced killer who takes down the shooter with no hesitation. From there, she shuts out her daughter, eventually giving her instructions to flee to a storage unit hours away where she will find everything she needs to lay low and survive. Andy’s experience uncovering the provisions her mother has left for her, including clothing, a car, and thousands of dollars, makes her realize perhaps she does not know the woman she grew up with at all. The storage unit also reveals photographs from her mother’s past, illustrating a history of intense physical abuse.
I was totally intrigued by this part of the novel, and excited to learn the secrets surrounding Laura’s identity. At this point, the book abruptly switches to flashbacks set in 1986, letting the reader in on Laura’s young adult life, and just how filled with trauma it truly was. This is where the story lost me. The chapters set in the past focused on a group of radical youths prone to outrageous acts of violence. Honestly, I didn’t care about any of the characters in these parts of the book, and I didn’t understand what the reader was supposed to connect with. There wasn’t a clear driving force behind the group’s actions, and the premise of their terrorism was so different from the present-day parts of the book, that I had trouble seeing how the same reader could be equally invested in the two. I stand firmly behind my decision not to finish the book. I read about 400 of the nearly 500 pages, and then realized I really did not care how this story ended.
The saving grace for me were these unreal PMS Bars (despite the quirky name choice). These bars are filled with m&ms, pretzels, peanut butter chips and a graham cracker crust, all glued together with sweetened condensed milk that gives them an unbelievably chewy, gooey texture even once they’ve cooled. Best of all, they’re crazy easy to make — there are only a handful of ingredients, and no mixing bowls needed! Even if I can’t get behind the book, this recipe is a five star read.