“Kim Hooper’s debut novel, 'People Who Knew Me,' is not about the terrible events of 9/11 and how people reacted to them. It is instead a close and affecting study of how the choices we make, both the altruistic and the most selfish equally, expose life’s tragic truths... Refreshingly raw and honest, 'People Who Knew Me' invites us deep into the world of degenerative illness. Ms. Hooper captures the intimate details with edgy, dark humor... Written as a series of interwoven flashbacks, 'People Who Knew Me' has a sharp edge of emotional trauma and disappointment. It is very easy to love Emily—she is like any of us, struggling to make the best decisions she can. Ms. Hooper reminds us that control is an illusion, that the past offers no pardons and the choices we make, in turn, make us.”

―Jessica Lakso, Wall Street Journal

“Hooper's debut novel poses the evocative question, have you ever thought about what it would be like to start your life over? Emily Morris answers that question in the most extreme way possible. On 9/11, while the U.S. is experiencing its first wave of mass terror as the World Trade Towers collapse, Emily, who would have died if she had gone to work that day, makes the rash decision to let her family assume that she was killed so that she can disappear from her life for good. However, as she learns, such a selfish, desperate act rarely leaves the actor truly free, especially when there is a child involved. Readers will ponder Emily's difficult situation and often disturbing choices as they are glued to this compulsively readable tale. Hooper does not shy away from human nature's less attractive qualities but rather engages with them head on, asking ever more demanding questions: what must one sacrifice in a marriage? What does it take to care for someone who is chronically ill? What does it mean to love yourself?”

―Alison D. Spanner, Booklist

“Emily Morris married her college sweetheart, Drew. Like many young couples, they planned to live on love while they both went to graduate school. But life does not always turn out as planned. As they struggle with their professional lives and with Drew’s sick mother, their relationship becomes strained. Connie Prynne is a single mother living in California who has just received a devastating diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer. With death as a probable outcome, Connie realizes she needs to stop hiding. For Connie is Emily. A pregnant Emily had planned to leave Drew, but then her lover died in the September 11 attacks. Since Emily worked in the World Trade Center, everyone thought she had died, too, and she lets them believe that lie. VERDICT While Emily’s choices may seem selfish to some, the author does a great job of making them believable in this debut. Emily is a flawed, relatable character. The structure of the book—alternating between Emily in the past and Connie in the present—helps readers see how the protagonist has grown. Warmly recommended for women’s fiction fans.”

―Lynnanne Pearson, Library Journal

"Kim Hooper’s 'People Who Knew Me' (St. Martin’s Press, NY) begins with a terrific, engaging and suspenseful first chapter, setting up the key questions in the book: Why does Emily Morris flee her life in New York to become Connie Prynne in California? And what will the consequences of her action be? Throughout this very readable debut novel, Hooper keeps up the tension and the pacing, teasing the reader as she reveals more and more details about Emily/Connie’s life before her decision to disappear, leaving friends and family to believe that she died when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. Then Hooper creates a new challenge in her protagonist’s life fourteen years later in California: Connie is diagnosed with a potentially terminal disease, and must decide whether to tell her teenage daughter Claire the truth about her New York father, or let Claire continue to believe that he died in a car accident. Two diseases, Parkinson’s and breast cancer, are central to the plot and character development in 'People Who Knew Me.' Hooper’s searingly honest depiction of the challenges faced by those with these illnesses—and their caregivers—can make for uncomfortable reading at times. On the other hand, it is rare that a novelist is brave enough to provide such realistic scenarios, which makes the difficulties of her protagonist believable and ensures a thought-provoking read. Hooper is clearly a writer who wants to tell it like it is. As Connie notes, 'The looming thought of dying makes you take stock of who you are (or were). You ask yourself if you could have been a better, kinder person. It’s a pointless, masochistic question because, no matter who you are, the answer is always yes.' Not everyone will agree with the choices that Connie makes, but I’m sure everyone will want to find out what happens to her and her daughter, and will read to the end of this compelling book."

―Lynette Brasfield, Stu News Laguna

From Authors

"Kim Hooper's stunning debut novel sucks you in from the first page and doesn't let you go. Part portrait of a marriage, part suspenseful ‘what would you do?’, People Who Knew Me will leave readers reeling―and yearning for more."

―Colleen Oakley, author of Before I Go

Would you take the chance to disappear from a disastrous life? In People Who Knew Me, Kim Hooper deftly explores the consequences of such a drastic decision―and the risky revelation, down the line, that your past self might offer some salvation after all.

―Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet

“Kim Hooper skillfully portrays a courageous woman facing a grave diagnosis, who must confront her difficult past for the sake of her teenage daughter. Absorbing, riveting and utterly realistic, this heartfelt debut novel had me turning the pages late into the night. People Who Knew Me is a perfect book club read.”

―A. J. Banner, international bestselling author of The Good Neighbor

"Kim Hooper's People Who Knew Me hooked me with its first sentence, and from there this excellent debut novel threw surprise after surprise my way. And all of it is anchored by Hooper's spot-on depiction of a relationship between a mother and the daughter she'd do anything for. This one will touch your heart as you turn the pages faster and faster."

―David Bell, author of Somebody I Used to Know and Since She Went Away

From Readers

“In a simple but carefully thought style, author Kim Hooper constructs and delivers a story that feels real… I believe this is going to be one of the most talked books of the year.”

―Renata (Goodreads)

“People Who Knew Me is one of the best books I've read in a long time. As other reviewers have said, it drew me in on the first page and held my interest all the way to the end. The characters are superbly, amazingly well drawn and the story is compelling. A really stunning debut.”

―Nancy (Goodreads)

“The storyline was intriguing and hooked me from the very first page. The book is incredibly well-written with excellent character development. This is by far one of the best books I've read this year.”

―Lisa (Goodreads)

“This story had me gripped with all its power and would not let go. Anything could have happened around me and I would not have known. That's how much I was into this book.”

―Debbie (Goodreads)

“I can't remember the last time I read a book this fast. Every page held my attention and it was hard to put down, right through to the end.”

―Ashley (Goodreads)

“What made this book so enjoyable is the fact that you can totally relate to the characters. The book was interesting throughout every chapter and I felt sad to have it come to an end.”

―Helen (Goodreads)

“For me this book highlighted that sometimes life leads you to have to make difficult choices. This great debut novel is honest, very moving and highly recommended.”

―Laurel (Goodreads)