Look at Me by Jennifer Egan

Having really enjoyed A Visit From The Goon Squad last year I thought I’d have a go at this one by the same author.  I was helped along in this decision by the fact that Kobo had it for about $2 for the download so that was the decision made, very quickly and smartly.  It was off to a cracking start.  We meet Charlotte, a model who is getting a little long in the tooth for her job, she has been in a car accident and after extensive plastic surgery and rebuilding her face is being held together with 80 screws, on the outside as she slowly heals she looks like a totally different person to the model in her portfolio.  She is recovering in her hometown which puts her into contact with her sister, who is married to a man she cannot get along with and the location also stirs lots of childhood and teenage memories of her friend and the brother of her friend.  This brother becomes a central character in the story, as does another Charlotte, the daughter of the friend.   We will meet a detective who is researching a guy Charlotte knew before her accident, a shady character with murderous intentions.  Somehow these disparite characters will tell the story of how Charlotte (the younger) and Charlotte (the more senior) are linked and we will witness the soul searching of all the characters.

I hadn’t read a single thing about this book before I started it, and I’m pleased I hadn’t because I think that I would have read the book with a different eye if I had read the reviews which focussed on the terrorism factor in the book.  Yes I saw it but it wasn’t the main thing I saw in the novel which it does seem to have been for many of the reviewers.  I was interested in the two Charlottes, the journey back to wellness for one and into self awareness for the other.  There are some great scenes in the book, particularly I liked the interactions with Charlotte (the younger) with her friends.  I could also see lots of ideas in the book which are further explored and developed in Goon Squad.  It is a good read!  It could have been a great read.



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