I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley. This does not prevent me from providing an honest review.
The residents of the small farming community of Pine Valley, Minnesota are shocked when an unrecognizable corpse found in an abandoned barn turns out to be high-school senior Henrietta "Hattie" Hoffman. With a successful opening night of the spring school play, MacBeth, featuring Hattie as Lady MacBeth, no one would have expected such a thing.
The book's narration moves back and forth in time, taking the reader through the events that lead to Hattie's demise as well as the investigation that follows. There are three narrators.
Hattie's acting talent appears to be linked to her instincts about fashioning herself into whichever version of herself suits her situation--hence the title. She's an actress in all parts of her life and a people pleaser. The problem is figuring out her genuine self.
Naturally, Hattie has certain secrets. She forges an online relationship with a man she never expects to meet in real life. And by chance she realizes she already knows him. Drama ensues.
I kept thinking of the Fine Young Cannibals song: "Ever fallen in love with someone, ever fallen in love, in love with someone, ever fallen in love, in love with someone you should'n'a fallen in love with?" That's the catalyst for what happens. Both parties shouldn't fall in love with one another, but they do, and it's tragic.
I read most of this over the course of two days, becoming completely immersed in the book's world. One small criticism I have is that two suspects are sent to the Mayo Clinic to leave sperm samples in order to establish a match with semen found on the crime scene. Okay, in every single episode of Law and Order SVU where a match like that needs to be made, a cheek swab for a DNA test is sufficient. What the heck with requiring a sperm sample?!?!? Nonetheless, recommended for people who enjoy a mystery with some star-crossed lovers in the mix.