Her by Garry Disher | ARC Review

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Cover of Her by Garry Dishner on a glass table with a potted chive plant

3 stars.

“Out in that country the sun smeared the sky and nothing ever altered, except that one day a scrap man came by with his wife, who had cost him twelve shillings once upon a time, and a wispy girl, who had cost him ten.”


Her is definitely not my usual genre of reading, so it took me some time to get into it. That being said it was also a very quick read and I finished in a couple of days.

“Out in that country the sun smeared the sky and nothing ever altered, except that one day a scrap man came by . . .

Her name is scarcely known or remembered. All in all, she is worth less than the nine shillings and sixpence counted into her father’s hand. She bides her time. She does her work.

Way back in the corner of her mind is a thought she is almost too frightened to shine a light on: one day she will run away.” – Summary from Goodreads

This was an interesting read, however, the story felt quite aimless and disjointed, it didn’t have regular chapters, every so often, it would give a year, or an event (like war) to let you know time had passed but that was it.

So at times it was hard to really get into the story, also the majority of the characters weren’t likable. The scrap man was horrible and the way he treated the girls was disgusting, the abuse (physical and sexual) was hard to read at times. Especially considering there were few redeeming moments in the story. Big girl and Wife were also rather flat characters, not much is known about them so it was hard to connect to them.

It was definitely an easy read, however, it didn’t feel like much happened, things were pretty linear after Lily is sold to the swagman. That’s the other thing only two characters have actual names; everyone else just has ambiguous nicknames, which I wasn’t particularly fond of.

The ending also felt very flat, anti-climactic and inconclusive. I wish there had been an epilogue that showed what happened to Lily, whether she was taken by the state, ever went to school etc.

Overall, it was an okay read, but I was ultimately disappointed.

“All in all, she was worth less than the nine shillings and sixpence the scrap man had counted into her father’s hand.”

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