Classified as a psychological thriller, I think this did not do this book any favors. I kept reading expecting suspense and tension to be built in the mystery, but it wasn’t there.
Take Me Apart is about Kate going through the records of a famous artist, Miranda Brand, as she begins to unravel the hidden true story of Miranda’s life. Kate is running to the west coast to escape the trauma of her previous job, she looks to her new job as an archivist as a way to start anew and reclaim her life.
I wouldn’t consider this a thriller, it was more literary fiction with an exploration of women in art and what their art is and means. I feel like Miranda’s story carried this book and I found myself far more interested in her chapters than Kate’s. The mystery element was anti-climatic, so many red herrings that would have been exciting ends, but the end was just a fizzle.
In both timelines mental illness is used as a plot device and character traits. These women who are allowed to be complex, are boiled down to their mental illness and not just by the people in their lives, but by the author too. The plot twists and unreliableness of the narrators were based on the mental illness… it just seemed like a cop-out to their characters which were built up to be so much more. It’s a weird feeling for me to have since clearly these women were given complex stories and lives that, in the end, meant nothing to the story.
A big part of me hopes that in Sligar’s future novels, the complexity of the women will be more of a focus than any conditions they may have, and that she won’t rely on mental illness to create tension.