... engrossing and powerful ... The novel is written in alternating timelines and perspectives, with well-researched nods to the 1970s-1980s Manhattan art scene and keenly felt deep dives into Miranda’s unraveling mental state as she contends with her husband’s increasing jealousy and resentment...Sligar prompts readers to muse on the ways in which artists often suffer greatly for their creations, especially if they are women. She also, with great empathy, explores the potentially devastating effects of untreated mental illness and the downsides of ambition, success and fame ... rife with fascinating dichotomies—gossip is corrosive but sometimes useful; trauma is torturous but may inspire powerful art; success is desirable but exhausting to maintain—and offers a fresh look at the legacies we leave behind, in all their painful and powerful humanity.
Like any good noir, Take Me Apart has frequent flashes of fine art, and many passages sparkle with Sligar’s style ... Through the stories of Kate and Miranda, Sligar explores the sticky territory of power dynamics between men and women, whether boss and employee, teacher and student, or husband and wife. She threads a scathing feminist critique throughout both narratives, nailing all the right talking points of the current discourse ... The riskier parts of Take Me Apart are when Sligar opens up the more ambiguous spaces of the #MeToo conversation ... Sligar avoids an easy cliché, changing what could have been a caricature [of Kate] into an authentically complex character ... Exploring this ambiguity may make readers uncomfortable, even upset ... But that’s okay. As Miranda Brand writes in her diary, 'Art is supposed to upset you. Art is supposed to make you feel afraid.'