Little Pieces of Me
By Alison Hammer
** This review contains spoilers**
At the age of 42, Paige Meyer has pretty much figured out who she is. She’s engaged to Jeff, in between jobs, and daughter of Mark and Elizabeth Meyers. Until she gets an email informing her that her DNA matches someone else as her father. If her beloved father isn’t her real father, who is he? And who does that make her?
Her mother is no help and refuses to acknowledge that anyone else could have fathered her. Paige doesn’t quite believe her, although it would explain why they’ve never had a close relationship, unlike the one her younger sisters and her mother share. It might also explain why Paige is the only member of the family with red hair and any artistic ability.
With her dad deceased, her biological father not answering her emails, and her mother refusing to discuss it, Paige needs to find the answers on her own. With the help of her fiance and closest friends, Paige will discover what actually happened surrounding her conception and in the process, reconnect with her current family and discover a new one.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. It’s written as a time slip, in the present with Paige and in the 1970s with her mom and biological father, Andy Abrams. Paige was fairly well fleshed out, but a lot of what she was able to accomplish came through her friends. Andy was portrayed sympathetically as a gay man trying to hide his sexuality by playing football and dating constantly – but never more than two or three dates with the same girl.
My problem was with Paige’s mother, Elizabeth. In a nutshell, she was unlikable. She’s presented as having a strained relationship with Paige so her personality was understandable in Paige’s POV, but she was also so unhappy and complaining in her own sections while she was at college, I couldn’t figure out how anyone wanted to date her, much less marry her. She’s like that girl you know who can’t say anything that’s not negative. It didn’t surprise me that she tricked her husband into marrying her, passing off Andy’s baby as his own. While I felt for her in that situation and understood why she would do it, plus it made it plausible that she never wanted to admit to the deception, I couldn’t bring myself to care about her. I think the author tried to explain Elizabeth’s personality by hinting at a mostly absent mother, but it wasn’t enough for me. She needed something redeeming and I never found it.
Despite not connecting with Elizabeth’s character and feeling like some of the “real life” events were a bit too easy, it was hovering around 2.5 stars until the last scene. The entire premise of why Andy didn’t react to Paige’s initial emails claiming his paternity was that he’s gay so it was highly unlikely that he sired a child. And he seemed genuinely shocked and pleased to discover that he did have a daughter. All very believable. Until the scene when Elizabeth takes an infant Paige to the Hillel House on campus and Andy arrives, sees the baby’s red hair and blue eyes (just like his sister’s), does the math and realizes the baby is his. But he chooses to keep Elizabeth’s secret since she didn’t tell anyone when he confessed to being gay. Call me picky, but that scene probably should have been left out of the book since it negated everything that happened between him and Paige in the present. I’d have to imagine you don’t just forget you fathered a child.
I’m definitely in the minority on Goodreads, but I gave this book 2 stars.
My rating system:
5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.
4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.
3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.
2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.