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More Like Her – Liza Palmer

April 18, 2012

Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
336 pages
ISBN: 9780062007469
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

If you take Liza Palmer’s More Like Her  at face value, it comes off as an all out chick lit extravaganza.

What you’ll find inside, however, is a different story.

Well, to be fair, it does start out a bit chickie.

Frannie and Jill, accomplished speech staff at a prestigious Pasadena private school, have had their share of drama, each.  Add in their newly adopted Jersey gal, Lisa, the latest addition to the science department, and you’ll certainly have tales to tell.  These tiny traumas (career building, promotion seeking, man finding, etc.) are the consuming plot of the first half of the book. this is, again, expected given the cover and title of the book and also, that lovely reputation Southern California has for being, oh, a little vapid. Much of the girlish tittering is made of school gossip and lusting after the picture perfect life of their new head mistress, Emma. Emma is academic and social elite at its finest with the accolades, title, accomplished husband and house to prove it. She is kind but firm, beautiful yet understated in her appearance and an all-round role model for the other women at the school.

Things begin to take slightly shadowy turn, along with Emma’s arrival, however.  Though her husband is a slight, quiet, learned man, he does not give us that “warm fuzzy feeling” that most of the men in the book seem to exude. After only a few brief run-ins with him, our ladies think he’s more than a little odd. All strangeness is swept under the rug, however, as Emma, in her beautiful confidence, never gives off the slightest air of anything amis.

Things continue at, what did I say? Oh, yes, a vapid normalcy, gossip and matchmaking in full effect. They continue, that is, until the night of Emma’s birthday party when her husband brings their home life to the public eye.  With earth shattering tragedy rocking the small community, our ladies are forced to shelve their petty issues and look at relationship issues much darker than they’re used to. The focus of the second half of the book was much more intense as it dealt with social reaction to domestic violence and its repercussions. Much analysis and parallel is made between domestic violence and the age-old issue of school bullying.

Liza Palmer does well in addressing the emotional complexity of abuse on all levels and while it was a disturbingly tragic topic, it’s not all that rare. Unfortunately, this reads incredibly similar to a personal event that occurred a little over a year ago.  A friend from one of my myriad mom groups, also a teacher, strangely, and a mother of two beautiful little kids, was shot dead in her home by her husband. No one knew that anything was lurking below the surface (though after reports came out, it was made public knowledge that phone calls had been made by my friend, to the police, in the weeks leading up to the tragedy) until the news started reporting on it.

Because of that hitting so close to home, this book was incredibly emotional for me, even more so than it would have been before my experience.

I do recommend this book but it is a hard read as the action takes off.

Just as a strange note: I think that the summary blurb on the back is one of the most misleading blurbs I’ve ever encountered. I know that’s a weird statement but it just didn’t seem to follow the action or emotion of the actual book.

About Liza Palmer

Liza Palmer is the author of the international bestsellerConversations with the Fat Girl, as well as Seeing Me Nakedand A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and is hard at work on her next novel in addition to several film and television projects.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Liza’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, April 17th: A Bookworm’s World

Wednesday, April 18th: Iwriteinbooks’ blog

Thursday, April 19th: Kritters Ramblings

Monday, April 23rd: A Musing Reviews

Tuesday, April 24th: Seaside Book Nook

Wednesday, April 25th: Walking With Nora

Thursday, April 26th: A Bookish Way of Life

Tuesday, May 1st: A Soul Unsung

Wednesday, May 2nd: Into the Hall of Books

Thursday, May 3rd: Melody & Words

Tuesday, May 8th: Knitting and Sundries

Wednesday, May 9th: The Book Chick

Thursday, May 10th: Peeking Between the Pages


5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2012 1:01 pm

    This book does sound like it has two very seperate and divergent halves to it, and I would be curious to read it and see what I think about the melding of the two parts and the impact that the second half has on the reader. I can also relate to your story, as a friend just told me something similar about a woman he went to high school with. Great review today!

  2. Luanne permalink
    April 20, 2012 10:42 pm

    I so agree with you on the blurb Pam. And I don’t think the cover suits either.

  3. April 22, 2012 6:29 pm

    Wow, I can’t imagine reading this book after having experience the loss of a friend as you did. I’m so sorry for your loss, and for the children of the woman. What a tragedy!

    Thanks for reading and reviewing this for the tour.

  4. April 23, 2012 3:17 pm

    Whoa — I would never have guessed something so deep and heavy was lurking in the pages here! I’m actually glad for the heads-up. Misleading blurbs/covers are pretty much the worst . . . I actually get angry when I’m blindsided by something crazy in a book. Being a skittish reader, I like to know something bad is going to happen. It gives me time to emotionally prepare for it.

    Also, I’m so sorry about your friend — that is sickening and truly awful.

  5. April 25, 2012 12:12 pm

    I totally agree with you about the blurb and what was with that pic for the cover – none of it matched the book! Definitely wasn’t what I expected.

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