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In February the Ballymena Book Club will be reading Her by Harriet Lane. The bookclub meets on the first Wednesday of each month is Waterstones bookshop in Ballymena and head off for a coffee and good old chat about books. Last month the group enjoyed reading the Waterstones best book of 2014 – The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. Some love the whole thing and cant wait for her next book while other enjoyed the read but were left frustrated by the end.
This month the group have pick up one of the Waterstones Book Club titles – Her by Harriet Lane.
At the Waterstone blog Harriet Lane introduces Her;
The thrill for me has been discovering an undercurrent of unease beneath all this…
I’m never sure how to respond when people ask me what kind of books I write. “They’re sort-of psychological thrillers,” I say. Or, “They’ve been described as as crime novels where the crimes are psychological.” Recently a critic suggested I wrote “everyday horror” which made a certain sort of sense, too.
You won’t find any bodies down alleyways in Her or Alys, Always. You won’t find any bodies, come to that. No police tape strung across doors, no screwed-up detectives drinking bad coffee, no alibis that come unstuck at the eleventh hour. Just people living apparently unremarkable lives: going to the office or the supermarket, having people over for supper, taking the kids to the swings.
The thrill for me has been discovering an undercurrent of unease beneath all this: the potential for catastrophe in the domestic, the commonplace, the everyday. It feels like rich and comparatively unexplored territory; a safe way, perhaps, of investigating some of the things I fear most. While writing Her, I was thinking about home, trust, friendship, the legacy of adolescence, how one’s identity shifts with parenthood. So no serial killers here, but a different kind of jeopardy.
Her has two narrators, Nina and Emma, who are the same age and live in the same part of London, but otherwise appear to have little in common. Emma is struggling with two very young children while mourning the end of her professional life; Nina has some success as a painter and a teenage daughter who no longer needs her so acutely. Though a chance meeting (Nina finds Emma’s wallet and returns it) they become friends, and the novel tracks the development of this friendship.
Click here to read more about this book. It sounds like a real page turner! If you haven’t been to a book club before then grad a copy of Her by Harriet Lane, have a good read and then join the group as they meet in Ballymena on the 4th March at 7pm. Everyone is welcome at Ballymena Bookclub
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