Finished Looker by Laura Sims. I received a copy for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“A dazzling, razor-sharp debut novel about a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge.
I’ve never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence—placed there as a sort of screen, I’m sure—and have a direct line of view into the kitchen at night. I’m grateful they’ve never thought to install blinds. That’s how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they’re probably right: except for me.
In this taut and thrilling debut, an unraveling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbor—the actress. The unnamed narrator can’t help noticing with wry irony that, though she and the actress live just a few doors apart, a chasm of professional success and personal fulfillment lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with her face on the side of every bus, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and their three adorable children, while the narrator, working in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.
When an interaction with the actress at the annual block party takes a disastrous turn, what began as an innocent preoccupation spirals quickly, and lethally, into a frightening and irretrievable madness. Searing and darkly witty, Looker is enormously entertaining—at once a propulsive Hitchcockian thriller and a fearlessly original portrait of the perils of envy.”
Have you ever met someone (hopefully in a book, but maybe in your real life) and they seem totally normal but the more time you spend with them, the more you think, “This person is not well?” That’s the narrator of Looker.
She’s very fascinated by the actress who lives across the street, and I cut her a lot of slack for that, because if Blake Lively or Keri Russell or anyone famous lived near me, I would probably also be That Person, at least at first. But here’s where we differ: the unnamed narrator is a whole other level. People in their neighborhood tend to put things out for others to take and she takes everything the actress puts out. EVERYTHING. Including kid clothes (she does not actually have a kid).
So there’s that. But she’s also starting to unravel in her personal life. Her husband is divorcing her and he wants his cat back (she doesn’t even like the cat, but it’s become this Thing for her) and her job is also not going super well.
This is a short book, but I think everyone would fly through it anyway. It’s one of those things that’s impossible to put down and I had to see just how wrong things would go. I cannot wait to see what Laura Sims writes next, because this one was intense and amazing.