People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper

People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooperon March 8th 2016
Pages: 304
Everything was fine fourteen years after she left New York.

Until suddenly, one day, it wasn’t.

Emily Morris got her happily-ever-after earlier than most. Married at a young age to a man she loved passionately, she was building the life she always wanted. But when enormous stress threatened her marriage, Emily made some rash decisions. That’s when she fell in love with someone else. That’s when she got pregnant.

Resolved to tell her husband of the affair and to leave him for the father of her child, Emily’s plans are thwarted when the world is suddenly split open on 9/11. It’s amid terrible tragedy that she finds her freedom, as she leaves New York City to start a new life. It’s not easy, but Emily---now Connie Prynne—forges a new happily-ever-after in California. But when a life-threatening diagnosis upends her life, she is forced to rethink her life for the good of her thirteen-year-old daughter.

A riveting debut in which a woman must confront her own past in order to secure the future of her daughter, People Who Knew Me asks: “What would you do?”

This book had my attention the whole way, but I still found the ending less than satisfying. It was still an interesting story. I liked the story, but the main character was hard for me to enjoy.

Emily Morris married her college sweetheart but the demands of adulthood soon became such an albatross on their marriage that Emily soon sought comfort in the arms of another. Emily found herself pregnant and caught up between two men when Sept. 11 happened. Emily used the event as a catalyst for a rebirth. She ran from New York City and reinvented herself in California as Connie Prynne.

But the past has a way of coming out. How will Connie’s 13 year old daughter deal with her mother’s choices? What will be the consequences Connie has to face?

The author did a great job setting up the characters. I also liked the shift in POV going from past to present as the protagonist reflected on the choices that brought her to the current quandary. The writing was interesting, but I was hoping for more in terms of character development. I never really connected with Corrine or Emily. While I am trying not to be judgemental, but I never really felt remorse from her. She was at a crossroads in her marriage, and she made a selfish choice. There were some wrongs that she never made amends for. She had a very astute child, and now her daughter is dealing with two major events at the same time. I like that Sept. 11 helped many people turn their lives around, but I don’t like it being used as an excuse to avoid making hard decisions. I was waiting for Emily to be strong enough to face her past and cancer instead forced her to sort of take a step. Life is like that sometimes, so I don’t mind that.

I guess I needed more information about what happened in NYC with those she left behind. The ending was a step in right direction, but I want more. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy a good suspenseful novel.

*Special Thanks to St. Martin via Netgalley for the advance reading copy.

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