The Professor lives in Brooklyn; her partner Nathan left her when she couldn’t have a baby. All she has now is her dead-end teaching job, her ramshackle apartment, and Nathan’s old moggy, Cat. Who she doesn’t even like.
The Actress lives a few doors down. She’s famous and beautiful, with auburn hair, perfect skin, a lovely smile. She’s got children – a baby, even. And a husband who seems to adore her. She leaves her windows open, even at night.
There’s no harm, the Professor thinks, in looking in through the illuminated glass at that shiny, happy family, fantasizing about them, drawing ever closer to the actress herself. Or is there?
When her husband files for divorce following their struggles to have a baby, a no-name professor goes into a downward spiral. For years she dreamt about having her own child, raising it with Nathan, watching it grow and learn. Having the perfect house and the perfect family to slot inside. Now, everything she wanted has crumbled. Nathan has gone and is asking for a divorce, even demanding she return the cat. And the Professor is left with painful memories and two empty spaces.
Her only consolation is the woman across the street. The Actress. A bright, beautiful, successful starlet with the perfect house AND the perfect family. A clutch of sweet, well-mannered children, a handsome adoring husband, a luxurious house adorned with all the best and most expensive possessions. And a career that is exciting as it is full of possibility.
The Professor watches through their open window, waits on the street for the smallest glimpse, desperate for a scrap of the actress in her perfect world. She has everything the Professor wants and although seeing her makes those empty spaces more raw, she can’t stop. With her job hanging by a thread, the Professor’s obsession grows worse and worse and soon her grasp on reality is on the point of snapping.
Looker is an intense and fascinating portrait of one woman and her obsession for a stranger. It makes you wonder if she has always possessed an obsessive streak or if it’s the result of grief. If she’d been able to have a baby, if her husband hadn’t left her, would she even have spared a glance for the actress? Or would an obsession have formed regardless? Perhaps even for someone else? This gritty, compulsive read really made me ponder the character and the events that made her the person she is. A fascinating book! Loved it!
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About The Author
Laura Sims is the author of four books of poetry, and LOOKER is her debut novel. She lives in Brooklyn.