Her, Here is the story of Elena who is hired to find Ella, a woman who is missing and presumed dead, by reading her diaries and turning them into a narrative. It seems a dangerous task for a woman who has lost part of her own past, remembering nothing of the months that followed her mother’s death. The woman who hired her was her mother’s best friend in college and Elena hopes to learn more about her mother by getting to know her.
She is set up with an apartment in Paris, an odd choice when Ella disappeared in Thailand. As begins reading the several journals that Ella wrote and writing a story from them, he seems to channel Ella, adding details that she found through research and imagination. Sometimes she even dreams as Ella. Is it possible that in finding Ella she could lose herself?
I nearly put Her, Here down during the first chapter. Fortunately, I have a fifty pages rule, allowing every book that much time to catch my interest, so I stuck it out and fell in love with the story and the writing. The first chapter, well, it is the present tense. I dislike it intensely other than in conversation. It always feels pretentioous. Thankfully, the rest of the book takes pity on readers and is written in more natural language.
The sense of place is rich and sumptuous. Dennis describes the environment using all the senses, the softness of the earth, the smells, the sounds, the feel of the atmosphere. It’s fascinating to see Elena taking the bones of the diary and construct a living being with her imagination. I loved it.
I received an ARC of Her, Here from the publisher through LibraryThing.