Book Talk: Take Me Apart: A Novel by Sara Sligar
The BookWalker's Top Pick titles includes works of bestselling authors and emerging writers. Titles were selected and voted by our staff. Please note: the selection process is heavily biased but fairly influenced by personal preference and the editor's opinions.
" What a clever, visceral thriller. A raw, unfiltered twist on gaslighting that challenges how society treats women. It made me sad, angry, and fired up."
—Araminta Hall, author of Our Kind of Cruelty
About the Book
A spellbinding novel of psychological suspense that follows a young archivist’s obsession with her subject’s mysterious death as it threatens to destroy her fragile grasp on sanity.
When the famed photographer Miranda Brand died mysteriously at the height of her career, it sent shock waves through Callinas, California. Decades later, old wounds are reopened when her son Theo hires the ex-journalist Kate Aitken to archive his mother’s work and personal effects.
As Kate sorts through the vast maze of material and contends with the vicious rumors and shocking details of Miranda's private life, she pieces together a portrait of a vibrant artist buckling under the pressures of ambition, motherhood, and marriage. But Kate has secrets of her own, including a growing attraction to the enigmatic Theo, and when she stumbles across Miranda's diary, her curiosity spirals into a dangerous obsession.
A seductive, twisting tale of psychological suspense, Take Me Apart draws readers into the lives of two darkly magnetic young women pinned down by secrets and lies. Sara Sligar's electrifying debut is a chilling, thought-provoking take on art, illness, and power, from a spellbinding new voice in literary suspense.
Reviews and What Readers Say
“ In Sligar’s moody and atmospheric debut novel, Kate Aitken has recently left her journalist job in New York under unhappy circumstances, prompting a move to her aunt’s house in a small Northern California town. Theo Brand, the grown son of famed photographer Miranda Brand—whose mysterious and sudden death still inspires town gossip—hires Kate to sort through his mother’s work and personal effects. As Kate untangles the ephemera of Miranda’s life, she uncovers a largely unknown public figure dealing with the pressures of career, marriage, and motherhood—all while herself becoming more entrenched in the lives of Theo and his two young children. This psychological thriller will make you slightly uncomfortable—in the way only the best thrillers do—and the reader is rewarded with a satisfying ending. A uniquely feminist twist on a well-known and loved genre. ”
—Sarah Gelman, Amazon Book Review
“ My favorite debut crime novel of 2020 . . . just spot on about transforming life into art and who gets sacrificed ― particularly women ― as a result.”
—Sarah Weinman, The Crime Lady
“ A juicy thriller.” —Entertainment Weekly
“ Kate and Miranda are vividly rendered, and an entire novel could easily be crafted out of Miranda's fascinating diary, letters, and other ephemera, snippets of which are sprinkled liberally throughout. Sligar delivers an intriguing mystery while tackling big themes, especially sexism and the societal restraints placed on women's bodies and minds. The results are spellbinding. A raw and sophisticated debut. ” —Kirkus
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Sara Sligar is an author and academic based in Los Angeles. Her debut novel, Take Me Apart, is a literary thriller about an archivist who becomes obsessed with her subject's mysterious death. Sara holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and currently teaches at the University of Southern California.