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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Big Little Lies meets 13 Reasons Why in this dark and suspenseful debut from a stunning new talent.

It all started with ... HIM.

Catherine has become mute. She has witnessed something so disturbing that she simply can't speak - not to her husband, her children, or her friends. The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past. Catherine needs to start with Him. L
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 23rd 2018 by Orion
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  272 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tried 😂 that’s all I’m going to say apart from, you may like it better than I did
Oh dear. I feel a defeatist.
I feel like I’m letting myself take the easy option and just........
Lay this book down.

I’ve picked it up I don’t know how many times and tried, really tried. It’s a persons work, it’s a debut. I love discovering new authors. I love debuts.

I feel guilty.

But I just don’t think I can carry on now as I’ve got just over halfway.

Too many characters. Too confusing it’s really stretching my mind and imagination.

I have dropped out the tour.

I’m sure there will be others that
Charlotte Annelise
DNF for now, I might come back to it another day.
Tracy Fenton
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Him is a story of obsession, love and guilt.  It's dark and uncomfortable and a great debut from Clare Empson.  Told through the two main characters, Catherine who is currently residing in a hospital in a state of elective mutism and Lucian, Catherine's first and only true love.

Something horrific has happened to Catherine to cause her to shut down entirely, unable to communicate with her husband and 2 children and in order to help her she has to delve deep in to her past to find a way back to he
Zoé-lee O'farrell

Wow! I really was not expecting that when I read the book. When I signed up for the book I was expecting a thriller of some kind but in fact what I got was such a powerful story of manipulation, heartbreak, loss, wasted time, friendship and love. I am broken at the moment. I was crying by the end of this book. I really could not see how it was going to end, and when I did realise it was too late. I wanted to go back into my bubble but it was too late, way too late, what I had read could not be u
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Firstly this book took me 5 days to read ( inc weekend where I dont read as much mind you ) and thats the longest a book has taken me to read for months...however I did want to finish it and at no time, even when it frustrated me, did I contemplate not finishing it...this book had ‘something’.......
Its NOT a full on mystery/thriller as is billed but more of a modern day Romeo and Juliet set in opulence and ‘old money’,there are elements of mystery and thriller in it but basically
Julie Lacey
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will take you through a roller coaster of emotions and all the while, you’ll be desparate to know what happened to Catherine.
The story is told during different time periods - four months before ‘it’ happened, from two points of view, fifteens years ago and now.
We learn that Catherine is in hospital as she is unable to speak since ‘it’ happened. Her family and best friend visit her but nothing seems to help.
We’re given an insight into Catherine’s thoughts and you really do feel for h
Roman Clodia
I don't think the publishers are doing themselves any favours by packaging this as a kind of thriller - it's not: really it's a 'love gone wrong' story, that uses thriller-ish elements, not always particularly well. For example, we start with Catharine in hospital having decided not to speak (selective mutism) though the narrative is told by her so she's 'speaking' to us. Then we inevitably start flipping around in time: 15 years ago when she was at university, 4 months before; then we have anot ...more
Mandy White
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley
Not for me I am afraid - very confusing
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would. I was expecting a psychological thriller and while it does have some of the elements of that genre and a bit of a mystery to solve, at its core Him is a love story gone badly, oh so badly, wrong.

Catherine doesn’t talk. She suffers from elective mutism after witnessing a traumatic event. It all has to do with “him” but the why takes a while for the reader to discover.

Fifteen years ago, Catherine met the dashing Lucian at university. Theirs wa
Amber Myott
2.5 stars ..... I ended up being quite disappointed with this book. I’m not sure what it was trying to be ....a love story ,thriller or an observation on the troubles of the young and rich . Felt little empathy for the main character . Repetitive and I’m not sure why the author chose 4 months & 15 years as the flash back time frames.
Christina McDonald
This is a thoughtful character-drawn book, a tragic tale of love, obsession and guilt. My only problem with it was it's one of those books that's packaged as a psychological thriller and it just isn't. But once you push that expectation aside, the writing is good, fluid and intelligent, with a protagonist I mostly liked.

Something so horrible has happened that Catherine has stopped talking. The story then goes back to the past. Catherine and Lucien fall in love. Something happens that makes her a
Liz Barnsley
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Theakstons proof 5 was this one and I loved it for its considered engaging characters, the beautifully done past/present vibe and it's strong emotional core.

A love story with a dark dark heart.

Rachel Bridgeman
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: april-2019
'Him' takes place over 15 years in the lives of a group of people bound by class, social standards and expectations-they all move in a stratosphere which I found hard to keep up with. However, their privilege, entitlement and self regard did not protect them from loss and harm done.

15 years ago,Lucian blew into the life of Catherine, beginning a torrid and frantic love affair based on mutual sexual attraction and desire. Something happened which made Catherine run away rather than explain it to
Stef L
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intense & profoundly moving.

This is an astonishing debut. Character driven, intense and profoundly moving.

Catherine is suffering from Elective Mutism - unable to speak, she tells us her story through her memories. Memories of a time fifteen years before when she first meets Lucian and they enter into a relationship that is all-consuming. With breathtaking prose and more than a hint of nostalgia Catherine’s recollections show us exactly what Lucian means to her and the impact this has on th
Joanne Robertson
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I first saw the blurb for Him, I was reminded of The Silent Patient but let me tell you now that the silence of its main protagonists is the only thing those two books have in common! Both are brilliant books but in very different ways.

Him is an all consuming and heartbreaking story with a mystery at its heart. Why is the beautiful Catherine mute? What could have happened to cause such an extreme reaction and will her doctors ever be able to cure her? We watch her husband and two children c
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loved-it
Well done to the author on her debut novel, a novel that will stay with people for quite a while.

The story is told through two points of view. Catherine and Lucian.

After a traumatic event Catherine has become mute. We don’t know what the event was until much later. While reading this I felt it was like one big puzzle... the more you read of it the more the pieces start coming together.

After reading the blurb I couldn’t wait to read this. I did think it was dragged out but I still enjoyed it.
Chantelle Hazelden
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Without a doubt my favourite read of the year so far.

Head to the blog to check out my full review now
This book was incredible, I read it months ago now and have put off reviewing it because it’s impossible to put into words what I thought of it. In the present day Catherine has elective mutism, something traumatic has happened to her and now she can’t speak. It’s heart-breaking knowing the pain she’s in, and the struggle she’s having while knowing she can’t articulate what she’s thinking. In the past, fifteen years previously we slowly get to see Catherine and Lucien’s story. Lucien is from a d ...more
Aimee Walker Editorial
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The previous reviews had me doubting that I would enjoy this book. I do agree that it shouldn't be marketed as a thriller, it is more of a romantic suspense – ultimately, a love story. The other reviews saying it is confusing are, in my opinion, harsh. It does go back and forward in time but that is the nature of a plot! If the story was told in a linear way it wouldn't be a page-turner, which it most definitely is.
I thought the characterisation was great, there was an element of social comment
Karen Cole
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To the casual onlooker, Catherine would seem to have it all - an adoring husband, two beautiful children and an idyllic country cottage in Somerset. However, something has caused her to become an elective mute, something so traumatic that she has become dissociated from everything around her as she retreats into the memories of her past with Lucian.
The book alternates between the present, four months ago and fifteen months earlier, with the chapters detailing what happened in the recent past als
Dee-Cee  It's all about the books
I was a little bit confused at the start of this book if I'm honest, told over multiple timelines it took me a little while to get the hang of this book. We're told the story by two characters, Catherine and Lucian and it's told in the present, 4 months ago and 15 years ago and it took a little bit of getting used to but once I got into it, I was totally hooked.Catherine has suffered a great trauma, what that trauma is, we don't find out until the end but it has caused selective mutism. Part of ...more
alex saunders
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This proof arrived care of Orion - to whom very many thanks - yesterday morning, and had me filling and re-filling my bubble-bath with hot water as I raced through it, candles lit, glass of wine on the side: a real Saturday afternoon indulgence. I'm not going to bore you with a plot summary, as there's one of those up above, but I loved the way it juxtaposed memories of university with the more recent past and the present day: a master-class in how to build and maintain suspense which reminded m ...more
Fiona Mitchell
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With a romance at its heart, this mesmeric book is a window into the world of the uber-wealthy. Centring around a circle of mostly rich friends, it has echoes of Donna Tartt’s Secret History - think stately homes, butlers and a cast of flawed characters. In the present day, Catherine is a traumatised mute, and the book flashes between scenes in the past to help us make sense of what has happened to her. It is a tense and taut experience, and all the narrative threads are tidily and most satisfyi ...more
Louise Beech
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, haunting thriller of a love story. The writing captivated me from the start. Yes, this is a psychological thriller, but for me it's much more - it's a dark love story, a character-led mystery, an old-fashioned what-really-happened rather who-dunnit. Loved it and highly recommend.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book me just over 6 days to finish, and it left me with mixed feelings. This was a new author for me and I started reading this book with an open mind and by end I thought it was an ok read and here are the reasons.

Firstly, this is another book where in each chapter the story jumps to past and present. I don’t know why but recently I have found that a majority of the books that I’m reading are like this and particularly like books written like this, as I get tend to get confused as to what
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Him as a love story. Catherine meets wealthy golden boy Lucien at Oxford and they fall in love. Lucien is the figurehead of a small group of bright young things and Catherine never quite fits in. When something happens that causes her to drop Lucien she offers no explanation and instead marries another student, Sam, with whom she has two children.

When the story begins Catherine lies mute in hospital, it turns out as a result of a shocking event that is revealed near the end (and it was an
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this book to be very slow and repetitive and I thought the story went round in circles. It did not really grab my attention but I kept reading to find out what the " great reveal " would be.
All I can say is that I was extremely disappointed and I would not recommend this book.
Nicola Smith
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I have had for far too long. You know how it is, you mean to read a book and then another one comes along and pushes it out of the way. Well, I wish that hadn't happened with Him as it's absolutely wonderful. Still, I got there in the end.

First of all, Him is not in a million years what I was expecting. I thought I was in for a dark, psychological thriller, one of mind games and revenge. In fact, it's actually a love story, albeit one with some distressing undertones.

This is
Amanda Sayer
Catherine can’t speak. She has witnessed something so traumatising that the only way to look forwards is by going back into her past.
Fifteen years ago Catherine met Lucian and they had a passionate love affair, they were going to be together forever but something happened and destroyed them. Catherine is now married to Sam with two children and has moved on, or so she thought because Lucian is back and her life can still be very different. Will going back change anything?
The story is told throu
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