*Featured on Best of Lists in Vogue, People, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple, Southern Living, and more*
In this “wicked slow burn” (Entertainment Weekly) of psychological suspense, a woman becomes fixated on her neighbor—the actress.
Though the two women live just a few doors apart, a chasm lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with a charmed career, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and three adorable children, while the recently separated narrator, unhappily childless and stuck in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.
As her fascination with her famous neighbor grows, the narrator’s hold on reality begins to slip. Before long, she’s collecting cast-off items from the actress’s stoop and fantasizing about sleeping with the actress’s husband. After a disastrous interaction with the actress at the annual block party, what began as an innocent preoccupation turns into a stunning—and irrevocable—unraveling.
A riveting portrait of obsession, Looker is “a sugarcoated poison pill of psychological terror” (The Wall Street Journal) and an immersive and darkly entertaining read—“by the end you’ll be gasping” (People).
Jealousy rears its ugly head in Sims's chilling and riveting debut. The unnamed narrator is a middle-aged evening school professor who recently separated from her husband, Nathan, after their prolonged inability to become pregnant. She lives in an unnamed city but probably Brooklyn down the block from a famous actress (referred to as "the actress" throughout), her screenwriter husband, and their three young children. The narrator can't help comparing her drab life to the actress's glamorous one and is constantly fantasizing about her fairy tale lifestyle. The narrator leads a lonely existence, but there are a few others who populate it, including Mrs. H, her nosy neighbor; Bernardo, her poetry student whom she thinks is coming on to her; and Cat, Nathan's pet that he left behind. She does odd things such as stealing castoff objects (Birkenstocks, a child's bike) left outside the actress's townhouse and using them to build a shrine to her in her apartment. Then, at a block party, the narrator tries to make meaningful contact with the actress, but events conspire disastrously against her, and it's all downhill from there, bottoming out in a tragedy. In this tightly plotted novel, Sims takes the reader fully into the mind of a woman becoming increasingly unhinged, and turns her emotionally fraught journey into a provocative tale about the dangers of coveting what belongs to another.
The book has no chapters which was an interesting way for the writer to present the story. I suppose it is good enough to want to read.... The final twist at the end is a good one.