People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper is a unique work. It goes from the present and then flows to the past in alternating chapters telling the distinctly different lives of Emily and Connie. They are in fact the same person but a decision directly after the events of September 11, 2001 split them. I enjoyed the tale of Connie, ahard-working single mother, and understood her motivations, but Emily was a spoiled young woman who took advantage of a tragedy to reform her life. This was a read that I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did. Hooper writing style embraced the two distinct characters and really shaped the worlds they lived in.
The plot of People Who Knew Me was an interesting look at what a person will do to escape their current situation. Set with the backdrop of 9/11 as a catalyst, the plot ebbed and flowed from past to present in a very logical way. The writing of Kim Hooper left little out. She was able to bring an understanding of a person who most would dislike from the get go. I enjoyed that she kept the reader at a distance as it made me continuously guess at the outcome. The pacing had a few small glitches with the back and forth but nothing that disturbed my overall reading. The world built was strong in NYC and more nebulous in California. It actually worked in the scope of the story as a whole as the CA chapters were meant to lead you and not show you. The emotions were a bit lacking as the main character was a bit cold and calculating. She rationalized her decisions very well, but that left little room to really feel with her. The characters were an interesting mix. Emily was very distinct from Connie and I enjoyed their differences. However it also made it a little difficult to connect with her on a deeper level.
People Who Knew Me was an interesting read. I never fully connected with the main character, but I totally knew where she was coming from and understood her motivation. It was like looking into her life as an impartial observer. I enjoyed Kim Hooper’s style of writing, she was able to blend the past and present in a cohesive way that never made me wonder the why of what was happening. This is Hooper’s début and it was a very strong one. I expect great things in the future from her, and will be sure to check out her next book.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.