The world of Karin Slaughter is dark, gruesome and a dangerous territory to trek in. Pretty girls, far from a summer read, is the story of two sisters, torn apart by a rift, who come together after nearly two decades. This is not a happy reunion. The truth does not set them free. Instead, the more they clear the cobwebs, the more they fall into an abyss of terror. How far do they go? How much do they dare to uncover? How much of a choice do they have?

Word after word, line after line, I was grinding my teeth and sometimes barely breathing while listening to Kathleen Early brilliantly perform the entire 19 hours of this book. I am an avid reader, but since I leave the world and its mundane chores when I pick up a book, my clever husband came up with the idea that we should get an audible account, so that while commuting and vacuuming and running around the neighborhood, I could still get my fix. Needless to say, I love audible. I have listened to books I cannot count on my fingers anymore. I have come across great narrators, most of them men. This was the first time a female narrator was so good, I felt the performance was as good as the book itself. Yes, that makes all the difference. Kathleen Early is simply superb! There is no other way to describe it. The intonations, the accents, the action, the highs, the lows, the urgency, the softness, the happiness, the horror all come together in a perfect symphony. I intend to hunt down her other performances and listen to them all!

The book juggles between the two points of views of the two sisters with an interesting epistolary view of their father from the past. This book tries to shake us into thinking_ how well do we know the very people we live with? What if one day you uncover that the person you are married to, has had a secret life and has fabricated a life with you to keep a perfect cover? Who are you going to blame? When you come out of the cave and are hit by the light, would you go back to the safety of the dark or choose to be blinded by the sun?

As the story pieces itself together, the crimes are delineated with more and more detail. This book is not for the weak heart, nor the queasy stomach. It is intended to mar the brain and, you might never fully get the images out of your head. I think the intention to lay bare such cruelty is so that it can disturb one to looking at the seriousness of the issue_ that such things do happen in real life_ that they are a real horror rather than just fiction.

On a lighter note, ruminating about Pretty Girls, Slaughter forced me to think about how much we lie to ourselves to keep peace in our lives. I, for one avoid confrontations most of the times. I would rather be an ostrich with a buried head than ram heads like a mountain goat. But what will being an ostrich get me? A kick in the behind. So while forcing conflicts down below the surface of your façade may be all well and dandy_ what goes down must come up. Isn’t that one of the laws of action, like every action has an equal and opposite reaction? Mmm… maybe time for me to revisit lighter topics_ like physics.

My verdict for this book: Simply loved it.

To get this on Amazon: Pretty Girls