Category Archives: Alison Hammer

Review: Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer

Title: Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


Following her acclaimed debut novel, You and Me and Us, Alison Hammer offers a deeply moving story of family and identity. When a DNA test reveals a long-buried secret, a woman must look to the past to understand her mother and herself.

When Paige Meyer gets an email from a DNA testing website announcing that her father is a man she never met, she is convinced there must be a mistake. But as she digs deeper into her mother’s past and her own feelings of being the odd child out growing up, Paige begins to question everything she thought she knew. Could this be why Paige never felt like she fit in her family, and why her mother always seemed to keep her at an arm’s length? And what does it mean for Paige’s memories of her father, a man she idolized and whose death she is still grieving?

Back in 1975, Betsy Kaplan, Paige’s mom, is a straightlaced sophomore at the University of Kansas. When her sweet but boring boyfriend disappoints her, Betsy decides she wants more out of life, and is tired of playing it safe. Enter Andy Abrams, the golden boy on campus with a potentially devastating secret. After their night together has unexpected consequences, Betsy is determined to bury the truth and rebuild a stable life for her unborn child, whatever the cost.

When Paige can’t get answers from her mother, she goes looking for the only other person who was there that night. The more she learns about what happened, the more she sees her unflappable, distant mother as a real person faced with an impossible choice. But will it be enough to mend their broken relationship?

Told in dual timelines, Little Pieces of Me examines identity and how the way we define ourselves changes (or not) through our life experiences.


Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer is a marvelous family-centric novel with a dual timeline.

Paige Meyer is already questioning who she is after losing her job when she learns another man is her biological father. She absolutely adored her dad, Mark, and two years after his death, she is still grieving his loss. She and her mom, Elizabeth, have never been close and as always, Elizabeth avoids discussing the hard stuff with her. Paige is relieved to finally understand why she has so many differences from her parents and twin sisters. But, will decide to meet her DNA Dad?

Paige is in her early forties and engaged to be married to Jeff Parker. Although he would drop everything to be there for her, she insists he continue concentrating on the promotion he is competing for.  Luckily, her two best friends, Margaux and Maks, are there to support her. Paige first tries to convince herself the DNA match is wrong, but her mom’s reaction confirms there is no mistake. Paige does not know who she is anymore and even worse, she keenly feels the lack of a DNA connection to her beloved dad.

In 1975, Elizabeth is known as Betsy and she and her best friend Sissy are attending college. Betsy is in a serious relationship with her future husband whereas Sissy is happy to play the field. One evening, Mark introduces her to Andy Abrams who has a reputation as a ladies’ man. After meeting Andy, Betsy wonders if maybe she is moving too fast with Mark.  Realizing that she might be settling for security over passion, she seizes the opportunity to act a little more like Sissy and a lot less like herself.

Andy is a football player whose looks and good manners make him very popular with the ladies on campus. He is very self-contained and keeps the most important parts of himself hidden away. Andy is a genuinely kind man who feels a bit of kinship with Betsy. Their evening of acting recklessly out of character has unintended consequences that remain hidden until Andy decides to upload his DNA to an ancestry website.

Written from three points of view, Little Pieces of Me is a multi-layered novel that is emotionally compelling. The characters are vibrantly developed with relatable foibles and unexpected strengths. The storyline is well-written and moves at a brisk pace. With Paige facing a difficult decision, Alison Hammer brings this heartfelt novel to an uplifting conclusion. I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this emotional novel to readers of the genre.

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Filed under Alison Hammer, Contemporary, Little Pieces of Me, Rated B+, Review, William Morrow Paperbacks, Women's Fiction

Review: You and Me and Us by Alison Hammer

Title: You and Me and Us by Alison Hammer
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 422 pages
Book Rating:

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


The heartbreaking, yet hopeful, story of a mother and daughter struggling to be a family without the one person who holds them together—a perfect summer read for fans of Jojo Moyes and Marisa de los Santos.

Alexis Gold knows how to put the “work” in working mom. It’s the “mom” part that she’s been struggling with lately. Since opening her own advertising agency three years ago, Alexis has all but given up on finding a good work/life balance. Instead, she’s handed over the household reins to her supportive, loving partner, Tommy. While he’s quick to say they divide and conquer, Alexis knows that Tommy does most of the heavy lifting—especially when it comes to their teenage daughter, CeCe.

Their world changes in an instant when Tommy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Alexis realizes everything she’s worked relentlessly for doesn’t matter without him. So Alexis does what Tommy has done for her almost every day since they were twelve-year-old kids in Destin, Florida—she puts him first. And when the only thing Tommy wants is to spend one last summer together at “their” beach, she puts her career on hold to make it happen…even if it means putting her family within striking distance of Tommy’s ex, an actress CeCe idolizes.

But Alexis and Tommy aren’t the only ones whose lives have been turned inside out. In addition to dealing with the normal ups and downs that come with being a teenager, CeCe is also forced to confront her feelings about Tommy’s illness—and what will happen when the one person who’s always been there for her is gone. When the magic of first love brings a bright spot to her summer, CeCe is determined not to let her mother ruin that for her, too.

As CeCe’s behavior becomes more rebellious, Alexis realizes the only thing harder for her than losing Tommy will be convincing CeCe to give her one more chance.

You and Me and Us is a beautifully written novel that examines the unexpected ways loss teaches us how to love.


You and Me and Us by Alison Hammer is a bittersweet novel of loss, grief and ultimately, love.

Alexis Gold is a workaholic business owner whose best efforts to be present with her family often fall short. But luckily for her, her partner Tommy Whistler is always there for their daughter CeCe. But in one stunning moment, Alexis and CeCe’s world is upended after Tommy is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Although Alexis is slow to accept Tommy’s plans for the time he has left, she eventually relents and agrees to return to the family’s beach house Destin, FL. Letting go of the reins of her and her friend’s Becky’s business is easier than expected. But Alexis still finds it impossible to envision a future without Tommy. At the same time, she is working hard to become the mother CeCe is going to need by summer’s end.

Alexis prioritizes her career over  her family which has damaged her relationship with CeCe. But Alexis convinces herself that Tommy makes up her shortcomings as a mother. Her husband is her rock and he is supportive and loving.  Unmoored by the diagnosis, Alexis is initially quite resistant to what Tommy wants, but realizing she will not change his mind, she soon capitulates. Although not all happy about spending the summer in Destin, Alexis is grateful for her longtime best friend  Jill’s support once they are settled in at the beach house.

CeCe adores her father but she is quite angry with her mother for putting her career first. CeCe has always been easygoing and co-operative with her parents, but she becomes a little rebellious following Tommy’s diagnosis. CeCe dreams of becoming an actress so she is delighted to discover a streaming show is filming in Destin.  Unbeknownst to CeCe, her parents have an unexpected connection to one of the stars.

You and Me and Us is a captivating novel that is poignant, heartfelt and emotional. The characters are well-rounded and vibrantly developed. The storyline is compelling and deeply affecting. The beach setting is the perfect backdrop for Alexis, Tommy and CeCe to come together as a family. Deftly balancing sorrow with love, Alison Hammer brings this heartfelt novel to an uplifting, hope-filled conclusion. An absolutely heartwarming debut that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

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Filed under Alison Hammer, Contemporary, Rated B+, Review, William Morrow Paperbacks, Women's Fiction, You and Me and Us