DARK THRILL REVIEWS: A thriller for photography lovers, Take me Apart by Sara Sligar

Take me Apart

If you are into photography, this book is a dream. If not, this is still sophisticated, psychological suspense that is brimming with original prose, stimulating, and compelling. 
This is a story of two women, Miranda Brand, a famous photographer, think Diane Arbus, or Cindy Sherman. And Kate Aitken, the one hired to archive her personal effects.
I loved the flashback parts; they follow the famous photographer Miranda and are written in diary form; they are frenzied, saturated in alienation, and Miranda's utter dedication to her art. Miranda left New York to move to with her painter husband. Whereas her passion, depression, and artistic consumption were fitting in New York, it becomes a problem in Callinas, California. Miranda doesn't fit in, and once her son Theo is born, and she suffers a debilitating Postnatal depression and ends up in a mental institution, and her life grows out of control. The irony is that her mental illness makes her even more famous; even her husband profits from it. The one that seems to suffer the most is her son. And then Miranda commits suicide. At least that is the story.
Decades later, Kate Aitken, an ex-journalist, is hired to archive Miranda's personal effects. Having fled New York herself, after an embarrassing workplace incident, she feels as ill at ease, mimicking Miranda's isolation. And it doesn't help that Miranda's son, Theo, is always lurking in this big house and is somewhat menacing and disagreeable.
And there are rumors that her then-teenage son Theo might have killed Miranda. 
As Kate delves deeper into Miranda's life, she risks getting dragged down with it. Putting her amateur detective skills to use, she confronts all the men in Miranda's life, the ones that turned her life into a living hell. 
One of them might have even killed her. And might do it again to hide that fact.
What blew me away in this too tightly woven, intricate, gorgeous book was the style in Miranda's diary. It is hard to breathe life into such a creative talent, but Sara Sligar let us believe it by executing the tone flawlessly; the prose is a rupture of artistic genius. Miranda lived on another plane of existence, with a mind that longed to be free but had to deal with the constraints of a competitive marriage, the lack of freedom and understanding for a woman of her caliber, motherhood, and society as a whole. The characterization is done so convincingly, letting Miranda transcend her restricting life, making her voice still feel alive decades later. Creating a true artist. And the main story, led by a sympathetic, nosy, precise woman, is heartfelt and suspenseful.
This is a superb, tense, ingenious masterpiece and one of my favorite books this year.