GIFTED / Today I want to talk about a book I absolutely loved. Looker was published on July 25th 2019 by Tinder Press and it has 224 pages.
I want to thank Becky Hunter for sending me a physical ARC of the book, in an exchange for an honest review.
About the book:
FROM GOODREADS / A dazzling, razor-sharp debut novel about a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge.
I’ve never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence—placed there as a sort of screen, I’m sure—and have a direct line of view into the kitchen at night. I’m grateful they’ve never thought to install blinds. That’s how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they’re probably right: except for me.
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.
Trigger warning: This book talks about one’s inability to have children and in detail pictures IVF process with failed result.
Looker is one book that surprised me in the most positive way. Going into it, I didn’t expect to like it so much.
To be fair, I have already watched some people talk about in on Booktube and it has pretty low rating on Goodreads, so my expectations weren’t too high to begin with.
I think why many readers get disappointed in the book is because, at first glance, it leaves an impression that it is a thriller or mystery, when in reality it is pure literary fiction that explores one’s character development.
The story follows our main (unnamed) character as she’s slowly sinking down in her madness.
Her life is falling apart, after many failed IVF attempts and her husband leaving her. She is having hard time to make piece with the fact that she won’t be a mother even though that is all she ever wanted, and it is even harder to know that her husband who left her can have a family with another woman at some point in his life, that he has a chance she never will.
In her depression her escape is the hope her new neighbour and famous actress gives her by just living near her. Our main character sees her as someone who can she be friends with, and obsessively is trying to make connection, always watching the actress and her children, and even at some point of the story, she crosses the line.
The story is written in first person and it is one beautifully written piece of fiction.
The author used to write poetry, and it surely effected her writing in a good way.
It is a short book (American version has even less then 200 pages) but it does not read quickly.
However, I enjoyed taking my time with this novel.
I understand some people would complain that not much happens in the story, and I would agree with that, but at the same time, I don’t think that’s a fault.
Literary fiction is famous for not having big plot but big character observation, and this is exactly what this novel provides.
I would recommend this book to lovers of literary fiction and once again I want to stress out: this is not a thriller!