Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer, 2021
Her friends Maks and Margaux
Her boyfriend Jeff
Betsy (Paige’s mom) and Sissy, her best friend
The Plot (from Goodreads):
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 straight-laced 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?
Little Pieces of Me is told in dual storylines: Paige in the present trying to figure out who she is once receiving the DNA results, and Betsy in the past during her college years. Both timelines converge to tell the story of Paige’s parentage. I thought this was very well done, and kept the pages turning quickly. Usually in dual timeline books I’m more interested in one POV than the other, but this wasn’t the case with Little Pieces of Me.
The dual timelines also helped paint a picture of how Betsy, Mark, and Andy had changed between college and adulthood. At some points I forgot that innocent, kind Betsy was the same cold, distant person that was Paige’s mother. Even her descriptions of her loving dad didn’t match the descriptions of boring Mark from college. No adult is the same person as they were in college, so I thought this was very well done.
I was shocked to realize that Paige was in her 40s. I thought she acted much younger, maybe my age at mid-twenties. I don’t think this detracted from the story at all, I just didn’t think she acted like a 40 year old woman in her interactions with her mother and her friends.
Overall, I found Little Pieces of Me to be an interesting look into how one defines their identity.
Little Pieces of Me will be available on April 13, 2021. Many thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for providing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.