Review: The Girl Before

The Girl Before
The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really fast read for me, it hummed along! You have two parallel stories, both from the point of view of a different young woman. One has lost a baby at full term in a terrible birth story that I found very moving, the other has been badly mentally damaged by being the victim of a home invasion. They both at different times live in a house which is austere, minimalistic and which demands a great deal of sacrifice by those who live there. You must pass a complicated test, take regular re-testing and allow architecture students access to the house. There is a mystery surrounding the house, rumours that there was a terrible accident involving the architect’s wife and that she died on the premises. The architect is an enigma, compellingly attractive but also complicated and apparently very available! The house has secrets, the architect has secrets, everyone is unreliable, nobody can be trusted.

If you analysed this from a feminist perspective this is a book about abuse in lots of forms, it is a book full of characters who should have known better, who behave badly and who are a bit pathetic. I had annoyances in how the author portrayed the women, I looked up to see if this was written by a man or a woman, turns out this is a pseudonym for a man, colour me unsurprised! No woman would have written these women this way. But when you are reading it and you suspend your disbelief and cynical eye, it is a really good read. It is pacy and compelling. The movie rights have been sold and I can understand why. I’d go and see it.

Thanks to Netgalley for offering me this book.

View all my reviews


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