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2.83  ·  Rating details ·  9,295 ratings  ·  1,690 reviews
You don’t remember her—but she remembers you.

On the face of it, Emma and Nina have very little in common. Isolated and exhausted by early motherhood, Emma finds her confidence is fading fast. Nina—sophisticated, generous, effortlessly in control—seems to have all the answers.

It’s easy to see why Emma is drawn to Nina. But what does Nina see in her?

A seemingly innocent
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Little, Brown and Company (first published June 12th 2014)
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Cynthia Sheeler I had the same impression. There was such a sinister thread woven through it that it did hold my interest, but I kept expecting more. As a result, I…moreI had the same impression. There was such a sinister thread woven through it that it did hold my interest, but I kept expecting more. As a result, I found the ending unsatisfying. (less)

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Average rating 2.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,295 ratings  ·  1,690 reviews

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Celina Grace
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it
I was comfortably poised to give this psychological thriller five stars. I loved the beautiful prose, the gradually increasing sense of menace and tension, the examination of how a woman's identity and sense of self can be utterly subsumed by motherhood.

Then I finished it.

I believe the words that came out of my mouth were something approximating the phrase ARE YOU XXXXING KIDDING ME????!!!

Seriously, seriously, the most ridiculous motive and the most 'ran out of ideas' ending I have had the
Paul Bryant
Jun 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels

It’s not a long book but it drags drags drags drags drags drags drags drags drags, it drags more than Priscilla Queen of the Desert multiplied by Some Like it Hot, because not only does nothing much happen (a dinner party, a bit of babysitting, a family holiday, it’s not Die Hard, that is for sure) each time something mild does happen you have to go through it twice, because everything is narrated by Emma and then by Nina or Nina and then by Emma, two versions of everything. We've come across
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

^^^That's me . . . well, you know, only less deliciously humpable.


What can I even say about Her? Maybe I should just let one of the MCs speak for me . . .

"I don't think I like these characters."

The problem is I didn't actively dislike them either. They were
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2015
I don't remember where I first heard about this book - maybe a People magazine blurb? - but it sounded intriguing so I ordered it from the library. I was excited when it came in, but I made the mistake of looking at the Goodreads reviews before I started it. Wow. A 2.9???? I don't think I have ever read a book rated that low on Goodreads. I was disappointed and put it aside for a while, but curiosity got the better of me and I picked it up again and gave it a shot - and am I glad I did! I loved ...more
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Got this as a Goodreads Giveaway. Here's my honest review. I was loving this book... until the 2 last chapters came along. They ruined the whole experience for me. The second to last chapter we finally discovered how Nina knew Emma. How come Emma doesn't remember Nina? and Nina's motive is just plain ridiculous. She didn't seem crazy in any other aspect of her life, so why is she so mad at Emma??? I just didn't get it. And the last chapter... What can I say... I hated the ending. And I usually ...more
Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

(Warning: because I wanted to discuss this book in detail, my review below contains more spoilers than usual. Not with regards to specific plot points, just general developments, but you may want to avoid reading it in full if you are planning to read the book and want to be surprised.)

Her is the second novel from Harriet Lane, author of the wonderful Alys, Always. It is the tale of two women, Nina and Emma, who tell their own stories in
Jan 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Buggering Book-selling Blurbs
Most of the Novel Moves Like a Mini through Mississippi Mud Bottom

I fell for laudatory plugs for this novel from other authors, words I casually glanced over in the bookstore. This novel is the perfect exemplary of why I now distrust as patently biased nearly all flattery by other authors.

Until the last eighth of this short novel, the story moves like a Mini through a Mississippi mud bottom.

No doubt, this story is chilling, about a pair of friends, the first of
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: public-library
I have never been one who has to have a tidy ending. Am all for leaving it out there for the reader to use his or her imagination as to how things shake out. However, this one slammed me with an "ending" that seems completely beyond the pale - to the point of not even belonging to the same story I just read.

On the other hand, the writing was good. '...handwriting that turns into spiders', a restless cat 'compelled by his own mysterious affairs'. Mind pictures of an exhausted mother, everyone
*I won a copy of this book through goodreads first reads.

What starts off as too mysterious to put down, but with characters too dull to care much about what happens to them quickly proves to want to be more mysterious than actually being mysterious. I'm sorry, but you can't just have one of your two narrators make vague references to something she knows, you don't, and the other narrator may or may not and expect that to count as making the entire plot a mystery. Even so, my rating was going to
Liz Barnsley
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely brilliant psychological thriller this one – and also an INCREDIBLY difficult review to write without spoilers. Which in itself should tell you just how good it is.

When Nina catches a glimpse of Emma on the street, she is overwhelmed by memories – of what and when we are not sure. As she insinuates herself into Emma’s life, Emma has no clue who she is…but Nina wants something from Emma…but even Nina herself is unsure of what that might be.

This is possibly one of the most
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I definitely didn't love it... It had me on edge the whole time and when I finally reached the last page.. it did not compensate for all the time I spent reading the book. I was hoping for more but the plot was so vague. Don't want to spoil the book for anyone... but I just felt like telling Nina.. GET OVER IT!!! Definitely something is wrong in both these women's heads.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
Huh! That was...different.

A three star book is not one I am recommending. It’s better than okay but I’m not suggesting anyone read it as there are so many great books to read instead. With that said, this did hold my interest and managed to ratchet up the tension despite relatively little going on, but the explanation and “ending” didn’t live up to the rest of the book for me. 3 stars
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wheee, my first Goodreads giveaway win in forever!

I didn't enjoy Her as much as Harriet Lane's previous novel, Alys Always, but it's clear after reading both in a short span of time that she is becoming the master of very quiet thrillers that creep up on you. In fact, I'm hesitant to even officially call either of them thrillers due to their subtlety, but Her especially has such an underlying feel of menace that it just has to fall into the category.

Instead of the marriage dramas that have been
Cleopatra  Pullen
This intriguing and well-constructed thriller starts when Nina recognises Emma on a street near her London home more than twenty years since she last saw her. As the reader you can’t help but wonder why Nina is so obsessed with Emma especially as Emma doesn’t appear to recognise her at all when they first meet. What connects these two women and why Nina wants to insert herself into her life is the crux of the whole book.

We have Nina and her poised life as an artist, mother of the teenage Sophie
Deborah Markus

This book was beautifully written and masterfully creepy. Quietly terrifying -- it reminds me a lot of Rebecca in that respect. Gorgeous prose. A strong premise. A swift read.

I have to give it a full three stars for all of that.

The ending, however, was a huge disappointment to me. It's not just the ambiguity, though I'm human enough to be annoyed by that aspect of it. It's the abruptness. It felt rushed. It also felt utterly unrelated to the rest of the story. What I could understand I just
Dannii Elle
I have no idea if this was extremely clever or merely underwhelming...

I can see both why this has garnered so much love and why I have also seen so many negative reviews. This is an extremely quiet thriller. There is a suspenseful story-line that meanders through this split-perspective story. There are no scenes of extreme excitement or high-stakes action. There is interest created, as to why the characters are behaving as they currently are, but the intrigue never reaches heart-palpitating
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
this reads as revenge noir. it has moments of brilliance (oh, but the apprehension!) but then is followed by tedious blah, blah, blah. and suddenly it is chilling and sinister. and then more blah, blah, blah. the parts about being a new mom and the adjustment one goes through are spot-on. overall though this was an unsatisfying read. the ending will make most want to scream. so consider yourself warned.
Scott Rhee
Harriet Lane’s second novel “Her” is a horribly cruel, creepy little novel that leaves one with a sour aftertaste and a heart full of hatred and disgust for humanity. It is, nevertheless, an edge-of-the-seat page-turner and a sharp examination of the almost-invisible and subtle---yet vicious---misogyny that some women exhibit toward other women.

My wife calls it “Girl Code”. She acknowledges that most, if not all, men have no clue about its existence, and those that do are mentally incapable of
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, e-read
This one requires some thought before rating...


Her was a haunting story of obsession. The story is based on the two main characters, Nina and Emma, having an encounter in which Nina recalls an incident from the past and “befriends” Emma, in deceitful and disturbing ways. All the while Emma is clueless of their past together...

Some fans of psychological thrillers and dark character studies may love this. I loved the writing, loved how creepy it was with the subtle details, and how
Joanne Preisser
Jan 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
Hated this book. It was well-written, but the plot was just ridiculous. Nina harbors a secret, obsessive hatred for Emma and when she meets her again after many years she begins a plot of subtle revenge. We don't find out until late in the book WHY Nina hates Emma. It is then obvious why Emma does not even remember Nina. There is absolutely no reason Nina would hate Emma and no reason to suspect that Nina is actually crazy, which she would have to be to blow up this non-event into a reason for a ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
‘Her’ is depicted as a psychological thriller about two very different women and revenge. We get perspectives from both Emma and Nina, throughout the novel. Very early on, we start to understand that something links these two women, artist and mother from the past. Nina wants revenge and slowly she starts to disrupt Emma’s world.

I found this book incredibly hard to get through and extremely dull. I actually gave up reading at 60%. Getting the same scene narrated by both characters just
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
*3.5 stars

I think reviewing this book is hard to put into words. I haven't read Harriet Lane before so I had no expectations going into reading this. It's a psychological suspense between two women that kept me turning the pages. I liked how it was written: told by two alternating pov's by Emma and Nina. I liked "seeing" how both sides of the story were told. Yes, because of this most points of the story were re-hashed but it made you see their story differently. I can definitely see why a lot
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harriet Lane’s second novel – like her first – is clever, subtle, cool and compelling.

it tells the story of Emma and Nina, two women of the same age who are near-neighbours in north London.

Nina is a successful artist, and she lives with her older husband and with Sophie, the 17-year-old daughter of an early, failed marriage. She is independent – her husband’s successful career as an architect means that he is often away – she is poised, and she enjoys the fruits of her success.

Emma is the
What if the accidents of everyday life as a mother of young children aren't just accidents?

As soon as Nina spies Emma, you know something happened between these two very different women sometime in the distant past, but what was it? Nina knows, but isn't telling. Emma doesn't even recognize Nina. In alternating, overlapping chapters that relate different events from each woman's perspective, you watch as the two form a tenuous and unexpected relationship though it is absolutely clear that while
Feb 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do not read this book.

If you started to read this book, then do not finish it. You might think you should finish it because the writing is sometimes lovely, if slow. You might assume that all that slowness will build up to something, that somebody with such nice prose would never attempt to write a thriller that seems to only address the minutiae of everyday life. You might also assume that since the author made the choice to show us nearly every scene twice (same dialogue, often the same
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I adored every second of reading this psychological thriller Her by Harriet Lane. I was so totally into reading Her that I read it all in a day and a half.

In the book Her the story centres around the fact that two women in the story have a story about their lives to tell.

While Nina is out Nina recognizes pregnant Emma with her little boy.

Nina remembers what Emma did to upset Nina many years ago, but has never forgotten it. Now Nina has found Emma at last, now Nina has a plan.

I enjoyed
Karin Slaughter
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Holy crap, what a perfect ending! I really loved this book. The glimpse into Emma's claustrophobic motherhood was like seeing a foreign (and terrifying!) world. (I always think of myself more aligned with the maternal instincts of Carol from the Walking Dead.) And Nina was a perfect creepy balance. She reminded me of everything awful about being a teenage girl. Highly recommended!
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was ok, I didn’t particularly warm to any of the characters and whilst I understood the repetition for different view points it’s made the whole book feel ver repetitive.
Ann Rawson
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Spoilers, spoilers everywhere...

I very much enjoyed Harriet Lane's previous novel, Alys, Always, and was expecting to enjoy this one. The promised theme of a toxic friendship between two women seemed likely to suit her very subtle style of storytelling, and to have all the makings of an excellent psychological thriller.

The alternating first person narrators worked well, up to a point. Although there was a lot of overlap, there was far more than that - and seeing the same scene from different
Bill Kupersmith
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I quite loved the characters & the settings of Her. Nina & Emma are the kind of late 30-somethings who live in north London & shop @ Waitrose & work in the ‘creative’ or ‘cultural sector’ - tho’ Emma has been forced to abandon TV to become a full-time mum. Nina is a painter with a 2nd husband who’s an architect who designs the kind of buildings you see in magazines. She has a 17 y/o daughter Sophie by an ex now in America as well as a mother who lives in the country & keeps ...more
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Harriet Lane has worked as an editor and staff writer at TATLER and the OBSERVER. She has also written for the GUARDIAN, the TELEGRAPH and VOGUE. She lives in north London.
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“I turn my back and look out to sea, the sun so low and molten that my eyes fill with tears, and yet I can feel it: a cooler wind is coming in, the edge of evening approaching. Dusk is gathering along the coast, in the coves and quaysides and marinas, where in an hour or so the long strings of coloured bulbs will twinkle and sway; and then it will pass over us-like a visitation: a plague or a blessing....” 4 likes
“Emma is the engine of this home, the person who propels it forward, keeps everyone fed and clothed and healthy and happy—and yet she’s entirely alone within it, and getting lonelier with every item ticked off her checklist. This is what it comes down to: the flat-out invisible drudgery of family maintenance, the vanishing of personality as everyone else’s accrues.” 2 likes
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