Friday, July 6, 2018

Her Pretty Face

Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding
Gallery/Scout Press: 7/10/18
eBook review copy; 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9781501174247

Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding is a recommended domestic thriller.

Frances Metcalfe has low self-esteem and feels like a pariah to the other mothers at Seattle's exclusive Forrester Academy. Her son, Marcus, eleven, who was recently accepted into the elite school, has ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder. After an incident at the school, Frances and Marcus are now shunned and looked down on by the other mothers and students. Then Kate Randolph steps up, befriending and supporting Frances. Kate's son, Charles, even makes friends with Marcus.

The two women are very different, but share a common scorn for the arrogant snobs from the school.  While acceptance with the others might be nice, it is even better to have a confident friend by your side. The problem is that both women are hiding secrets. One of them is hiding her real name, Amber Kunik, and she was involved in a murder in 1996. Can people change their essential personality and character? Can all past actions be forgiven?

The narrative is told through the alternating voices of Frances and Daisy, Kate's fourteen-year-old daughter, who is going through some problems and not telling anyone about them. Additionally, there are flashbacks showing Amber Kunik's role in the 1996 murder. The big questions are who is Amber and what is happening to Daisy. The characters, Frances, Daisy, and D.J., are basically well developed and their storylines are interesting.

The writing is okay. I had a few issues with some of the descriptions and remarks made by characters. The problem for me was that the big questions were easily figured out early on in the novel so the plot needed to be interesting enough to hold my attention as the characters all figure things out or have their big secrets revealed. It is an okay mystery/thriller. It is not a stay-up-all-night to finish book. Certainly it fits the airplane book rating - it is interesting enough to pass the time but you aren't going to cry if you lose it, misplace it, or never finish it - which is fine.  Be forewarned that the ending is weak and anticlimactic.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of
Gallery/Scout Press.

No comments: