I’ve had Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer on my shelves for far too long. I’m making sure to read one book from my shelves every month, and this was my pick in May. I’m so glad I finally picked it up! It was so fun to read.
When Paige Meyer gets an email from a DNA testing website announcing that her father is a man she never met, she is convinced there must be a mistake. But as she digs deeper into her mother’s past and her own feelings of being the odd child out growing up, Paige begins to question everything she thought she knew. Could this be why Paige never felt like she fit in her family, and why her mother always seemed to keep her at an arm’s length? And what does it mean for Paige’s memories of her father, a man she idolized and whose death she is still grieving?
Back in 1975, Betsy Kaplan, Paige’s mom, is a straightlaced sophomore at the University of Kansas. When her sweet but boring boyfriend disappoints her, Betsy decides she wants more out of life, and is tired of playing it safe. Enter Andy Abrams, the golden boy on campus with a potentially devastating secret. After their night together has unexpected consequences, Betsy is determined to bury the truth and rebuild a stable life for her unborn child, whatever the cost.
When Paige can’t get answers from her mother, she goes looking for the only other person who was there that night. The more she learns about what happened, the more she sees her unflappable, distant mother as a real person faced with an impossible choice. But will it be enough to mend their broken relationship?
Told in dual timelines, Little Pieces of Me examines identity and how the way we define ourselves changes (or not) through our life experiences.
Little Pieces of Me was so easy for me to get lost in. I love when a book just sucks me in and I don’t think about other stuff while reading it, and this one accomplished that for me. Really, how much more can you ask of a good story?
I thought the dual timelines worked really well in this book. I’ve definitely read some dual timelines that were just difficult to follow and not done very well, but this one was. The concept of jumping back and forth between mother and daughter stories was also something I don’t think I’ve read before (and if I have, it wasn’t memorable). I loved seeing Betsy as a young college student, and getting to know her as both a young woman and an older mom.
Paige was easy to like. Her world is rocked, and she has some very believable reactions to that, as well as some fun, banter-y moments with her friends that I enjoyed. The fact that she’s getting married at 40+ is also a unique aspect of the story, and that made it stand out for me, too. It’s not another 20-something on the cusp of adulthood going through hard stuff.
Paige’s friends were hilarious, supportive, and also easy to like. Really, all the characters in this book were believable and well thought-out, although I did feel like I didn’t know older mom Betsy quite well enough.
Overall I really liked Little Pieces of Me. It pulled me in, was fun to read, and I liked pretty much the whole thing. 4 stars!