Looker by Laura Sims
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live someone else’s life? But how far would you go?
The Professor lives in Brooklyn and following failed fertility treatments, her partner Nathan has left her. The failed cycles have a devastating affect on the Professor, as she grieves alone for the loss of the life she had always anticipated as a mother.
All she has left is her dead-end teaching job and Nathan’s cat, who she doesn’t even like! She is haunted by an empty nursery in the apartment that was meant to be their family home. Gradually, the empty room, takes on another role, where she hides her bitter grief.
When a famous actress moves into the neighbourhood, the Professor is fascinated with her daily life. Not only is she beautiful and successful, she has three children and a husband who appears to adore her. She often leaves toys and household items outside for charity collection. There’s no harm, the Professor thinks, in collecting these items.
The actress also leaves her windows open, even at night. The Professor believes there can’t be much harm in gazing at the happy family either. Though the two women live only doors apart, their lives couldn’t be any more different. At a neighbourhood party, the Professor attempts to connect with the actress.
This is a brilliant, unflinching portrayal of obsession. It is also a perceptive exploration of coping, when fertility treatments fail. Looker is just 185 pages, which guarantees a gripping, single session read!
Laura Sims is the author of four books of poetry and this is her debut novel. She lives near New York City with her family.
Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Hachette, RRP $29.99