Her by Christa Parravani


Christina and Cara Parravini were identical twins.  Raised in a poorish home by a single struggling mother the girls made their own world between themselves eventually making their way to college, careers, and marriages.  While Christa kept moving forward, Cara seemed to get stuck in the past.  Unable to shake the happenings in their younger home life of revolving door “father figures” and rape, Cara struggles with depression, drugs, and inappropriate relationships with men.  Eventually her self-destructive behavior spirals out of control causing Cara to die at a young age.

As Christa deals with her sister’s death, she wonders if she too will fall into the same destructive behavior that took her sister.  She had battled so long and hard to keep her sister moving forward that without Cara to care for now, she hadn’t noticed that she had the same demons to fight.





*sigh*  I have really struggled with this review.  First let me say I can not imagine the bond between twins and especially twin girls.  I in no way mean to discount that, or the fact of the immense crushing loss of someone you are so close too.  I lost a sister when she was 5 years old and I know that pain, so I can imagine that losing someone you were with from the moment of birth into adult hood sharing so much has to be all that much more painful and for that, I extend my deepest sympathy.

I listened to Her on audio, which is narrated by the author, Christa Parravani.  I found the narration to be very monotone.  Very matter of fact and never really changing throughout the entire book. 

As far as the book itself, I struggled immensely with the self-destructive behavior not only in Cara, but eventually in Christa too.  The whole thing was extremely depressing like I could never catch a full breath as I waited for something light-hearted to happen – between the monotone narration and the all-consuming sadness of the book, it never came – or if it was there, due to the monotone narration, I missed it as “exciting” or “moments of lightness and humor” are not things you would say to describe this book.  In fact I would find myself using words like:   heavy, depressing, overly sad, confusing….

I wish I could say something more positive,  There was really nothing I enjoyed about this audio.  I remember thinking I was so glad I was an upbeat, fairly well-adjusted happy person as if I was a person prone to depression and read this book I think it would have been overall too much to handle.  In fact, it almost was. 


Now please do not take only my opinion on this book/audio.  Amazon and Audible.com both have great reviews posted about it.  It was just not a fit for me.

8 thoughts on “Her by Christa Parravani

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this book. I wonder if the narrator’s monotone delivery added to the depressive feel to it? I know you like audio, but sometimes books must be read, IMO, unless the narration is excellent.

    While I didn’t “enjoy” the book, per se, I did find it inspirational, in that the author moved beyond the depressing events of her life.

  2. I’ve found in my experience with audio books, the narrator can make or break your experience with the book. Sometimes, it’s so much more real when the author reads it. I found that with the Bill Bryson books. The one that was not read by Bill itself had something missing for me. The opposite would be Under the Tuscan Sun. I loved the book itself. It was well written and I wanted to be there in that landscape with the author. However the author was the one reading and I think if I had been there I would have strangled her. Her voice, her delivery drove me crazy! It’s so strange that way. Sometimes though, even a wonderful narrator can’t save a book that’s driving you crazy. I had Adrian Kronaur reading Moby Dick…couldn’t make it past the halfway point with that and he has one of the best reading voices ever. Oh yeah…spoiler alert…it really isn’t a white whale…just has a spot on it!

  3. This does sound like a deeply troubling memoir. I always go in to memoirs a little skeptical. Especially dark ones. It is hard because you always want to find the silver lining but sometimes that silver lining isn’t there. Some people don’t come out of the darkness. It doesn’t necessarily make their stories any less meaningful but it can make them incredibly difficult to read.

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