Synopsis from Simon & Schuster:
In this taut and thrilling debut, an unraveling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbor—the actress. The unnamed narrator can’t help noticing with wry irony that, though she and the actress live just a few doors apart, a chasm of professional success and personal fulfillment lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with her face on the side of every bus, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and their three adorable children, while the narrator, working in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.
When an interaction with the actress at the annual block party takes a disastrous turn, what began as an innocent preoccupation spirals quickly, and lethally, into a frightening and irretrievable madness. Searing and darkly witty, Looker is enormously entertaining—at once a propulsive Hitchcockian thriller and a fearlessly original portrait of the perils of envy.
About: Looker is a mystery thriller written by Laura Sims. It was recently published on 1/8/2019 by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, paperback 192 pages. The genres are mystery, thriller, and fiction. According to the publisher’s website, Scribner was founded “in 1846 by Charles Scribner. Scribner was originally a publisher of religious books. Today, under president Susan Moldow and publisher Nan Graham, Scribner has a distinguished list of writers that includes #1 bestselling author Stephen King.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Looker on 12/5/2018 and finished it on 1/24/2019. (Please ignore the date in this case because it has nothing to do with the book being good or bad. I experience the worst reading slump ever.) This book is a great read, though more on the depressing side. I enjoy reading the IVF process. I like the realistic feelings of a woman wanting to have a baby but couldn’t. It’s interesting to follow a scorned woman feeling like she has nothing to live for and unworthy of love and looking at someone else, an actress neighbor who seems to have the world in her hand. The realistic jealousy makes this book a page turner even though readers can foresee that nothing positive will come to this unnamed woman when she begins to tell readers that she obsesses over the perfection of her neighbor and continue to live in negativity, constantly viewing herself as less than.
This book is told in the first person point of view following an unnamed woman as she observes an actress and her husband with three children at a distance through their window. She lives alone with her ex-husband’s cat. Further along into the story, readers will learn that this unnamed woman is angry because she wants to have a baby but couldn’t. She underwent many IVF treatments but still couldn’t get pregnant and her marriage ended in the result of that. She becomes angry and obsessive at other women who are able to easily have children, especially the actress neighbor, who seems perfect in every way. In her depression, she often fantasize herself living a better life, more similar to the actress. She imitates the actress from her movie roles when she goes to teach her poetry class to increase her self confidence level.
Looker is well written. It depicts a scorned woman perfectly. The reasons for this unnamed woman to feel unhappy and unloved are right on point. It shows how far an unhappy person will go and unexplainable reasons for her actions. She continuously making bad decisions because she has nothing good going for her and the constant pressure from her ex and judgement from nosy neighbor just doesn’t help at all. The ending, I understand why she did it. She doesn’t want to lose it when she finally grow fond of something. So she did that as a way to win, as a way to have control over something than not having control of everything else that fail in other areas of her life. The other ending, I was expecting something spectacular with the actress she obsesses over, but it didn’t happen. Though this book doesn’t give a positive image of a person, it reminds readers that comparing ourselves to someone perfect is too high of an expectation. That’s why there are groups of people with common grounds to get together and support each other. This unnamed woman should have done that instead of surrounding herself with people who have everything she doesn’t.
Pro: fast paced, IVF process, obsession, scorned woman
Con: a bit depressing to read
I rate it 4 stars!
About the Author:
Laura Sims is the author of Looker, a novel; four books of poetry, most recently Staying Alive; and the editor of Fare Forward: Letters from David Markson. She lives outside of New York City with her family. (Photo and info obtained from Simon & Schuster’s website).
More Information about Scribner
Website: http://www.simonandschusterpublishing.com/scribner/index.html | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScribnerBooks | Twitter: https://twitter.com/scribnerbooks | Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scribnerbooks
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Scribner for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.