Good morning my loves!
I am very much looking forward to today’s post. The lovely folk at Tinder Press sent me an early copy of this book quite some time ago and I read it on my most recent holiday. Fortuitously, the ever lovely Anne Carter then sent out an invitation to take part in the blog tour!
About the book
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 unravelling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbour—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 fulfilment 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.
Considering this is a tiny 208 page debut, it doesn’t half pack a punch! I have realised that I really, really love having a single narrator – who by the way remains anonymous throughout the entire book, that is somewhat unreliable. Laura Sims is a poet, and that it clear from the vivid prose.
There are two primary plot lines to this novel; one being the narrators overwhelming and all encompassing obsession with a famous actress who lives just a couple of doors away and the life that the narrator shared with her husband Nathan, before they split. It explored the expectations that she had of her life, the path that she expected to follow, which comes crumbling down around her when she struggles to get pregnant and the relationship falls apart – Nathan moving out and leaving only the cat behind.
Looker was darker and more unsettling than I expected. It provoked a physical response within me in and left me feeling claustrophobic and clammy (in a good way, if that’s at all possible.) While she manages to outwardly maintain some semblance of normality when her life is falling apart around her, we know, from the thoughts that she shares with us as a reader, that she is far from okay.
There were many questions I asked myself while reading Looker; What were her motives? Did she see this famous actress as living the life that she felt owed to her? Did she want to be her or just be friends with her? The narrators obsession with this actress and the subject of voyeurism is one of the primary pulls of this novel, and it’s done so well.
I don’t want to give much more away because while Looker isn’t a thriller, it very much reads like one – it’s a compulsive page-turn that I would highly recommend, particularly on a warm summers day.
If you’re looking to get your hands on this one, fear not, Looker publishes TOMORROW! Available from all places what sell good books!
Peace and pages