Author: Alison Hammer
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Following her acclaimed debut novel, You and Me and Us, Alison Hammer offers a deeply moving story of family and identity. When a DNA test reveals a long-buried secret, a woman must look to the past to understand her mother and herself.
When Paige Meyer gets an email from a DNA testing website announcing that her father is a man she never met, she is convinced there must be a mistake. But as she digs deeper into her mother’s past and her own feelings of being the odd child out growing up, Paige begins to question everything she thought she knew. Could this be why Paige never felt like she fit in her family, and why her mother always seemed to keep her at an arm’s length? And what does it mean for Paige’s memories of her father, a man she idolized and whose death she is still grieving?
Back in 1975, Betsy Kaplan, Paige’s mom, is a straightlaced sophomore at the University of Kansas. When her sweet but boring boyfriend disappoints her, Betsy decides she wants more out of life, and is tired of playing it safe. Enter Andy Abrams, the golden boy on campus with a potentially devastating secret. After their night together has unexpected consequences, Betsy is determined to bury the truth and rebuild a stable life for her unborn child, whatever the cost.
When Paige can’t get answers from her mother, she goes looking for the only other person who was there that night. The more she learns about what happened, the more she sees her unflappable, distant mother as a real person faced with an impossible choice. But will it be enough to mend their broken relationship?
Told in dual timelines, Little Pieces of Me examines identity and how the way we define ourselves changes (or not) through our life experiences.
Little Pieces of Me is an excellent novel about family where the main character finds out her dad isn’t her biological father. A DNA test reveals Paige’s biological father while she is still grieving her father. She is left questioning everything and wondering what is the truth. Paige has a difficult relationship with her mother which makes it hard for Paige to discuss her paternity. Paige ends up trying to find the truth with the help of her friends by sneaking around to trying to find out about her father and eventually meets him. The story is told from Paige’s perspective in the present day and in the past from Betsy and Andy’s perspectives. The chapter switched off between past and present in a way that made it impossible to put down this book. Paige’s mother, Elizabeth, and her college self, Betsy are very different, and I enjoyed learning what caused Betsy to change. Mark is very different in college compared to Paige’s impression of him. Andy was in a difficult situation in college but made some bad choices and didn’t handle things well. However, in the present Andy is very friendly and kind. Paige’s Aunt is a very interesting character with a lot of personality. Little Pieces of Me is an emotional read that caused me to consider what I would do if I was in Paige’s position. I felt like how Paige handled things was realistic and relatable. This book really focuses on family with Paige’s father but also with her mother. This book brings up great discussions, so I highly recommend for book clubs. I read it with LoveARCtually and we discussed Little Pieces of Me with Alison Hammer.
Thank you William Morrow and NetGalley for Little Pieces of Me.
About the Author
Alison Hammer has been spinning words to tell stories since she learned how to talk. A graduate of the University of Florida and the Creative Circus in Atlanta, she lived in 9 cities before settling down in Chicago. During the day, Alison is a VP Creative Director at FCB Chicago, but on nights and weekends you can find her writing upmarket women’s fiction.