HIM - Clare Empson

HimHim by Clare Empson

This is a thoughtful character-drawn book, a tragic tale of love, obsession and guilt. My only problem with it was it’s one of those books that’s packaged as a psychological thriller and it just isn’t. But once you push that expectation aside, the writing is good, fluid and intelligent, with a protagonist I mostly liked.

Something so horrible has happened that Catherine has stopped talking. The story then goes back to the past. Catherine and Lucien fall in love. Something happens that makes her abruptly leave him. She marries someone else. Years later she tells Lucien what happened to make her leave all those years ago. Then something happens that causes her to become mute, disassociating from everything.

The pacing is very slow as the author fully explores each character, but I was so intrigued to find out why Catherine stopped talking it propelled me through the story. Structurally the story goes back and forth between past for both Catherine and Lucien and present for Catherine when she’s not speaking and everything’s in her head. The past/present storyline was well done, even if it did slow the plotting down a bit.

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