TAKE ME APART
When the famed photographer Miranda Brand died mysteriously at the height of her career, it sent shock waves through Callinas, California. Decades later, old wounds are reopened when her son, Theo, hires the ex-journalist Kate Aitken to create an archive of his mother’s work.
From Miranda’s vast maze of personal effects, Kate pieces together a portrait of a vibrant artist buckling under the pressures of ambition, motherhood, and marriage. As the summer progresses, Kate navigates vicious local rumors and her growing attraction to the enigmatic Theo, all while unearthing the shocking details of Miranda’s private life. But Kate has secrets of her own, and when she stumbles across a diary that may finally resolve the mystery of Miranda’s death, her curiosity starts to spiral into a dangerous obsession.
With breathtaking and haunting imagery, Take Me Apart paints a vivid picture of two magnetic young women, separated by years, but bonded by shared struggles. Sara Sligar draws readers into a web of secrets and lies, alternating between the present and the past and revealing the truth about Miranda’s death through the objects she left behind. A brilliant take on art, illness, and power, from a fresh, seductive new voice in suspense.
Praise for Take Me Apart
“An ambitious, intelligent, and ridiculously readable literary thriller that takes on art, sexism, violence, and mental illness—all set against an evocatively rendered Northern Californian landscape.”
—Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye Vitamin
“What a clever, visceral thriller. A raw, unfiltered twist on gaslighting that challenges how society treats women. It made me sad, angry, and fired up.”
—Araminta Hall, author of Our Kind of Cruelty
“Take Me Apart is a stunning debut. In gorgeous prose, Sara Sligar creates a haunting and decidedly feminist literary thriller that explores mental illness, violence, and the nature of obsession. I loved this novel so much that I blew off all my responsibilities, turned off my phone, and blistered through the whole thing in one sitting. Unforgettable and thought-provoking, Take Me Apart has my highest recommendation.”
—Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek
Sara Sligar is an author and academic based in Los Angeles, where she teaches English and creative writing as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in History from the University of Cambridge. Her writing has been published in McSweeney’s, Quartz, The Hairpin, and other outlets. Take Me Apart is her first novel.