Book review | Girl A by Abigail Dean
Author: Abigail Dean
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense
No. of pages: 336
Published on: 21st January 2021
Published by: Harpercollins
My rating: ★★★★☆
Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.
Beautifully written and incredibly powerful, Girl A is a story of redemption, of horror, and of love.
Lex Gracie was named Girl A. She was the first girl to escape from the House of Horrors in Moor Woods Road. The first child amongst the seven Gracie children to notify the world about the House of Horrors' existence. When their mother dies in prison, Lex is the only one to go and sort out her mother's funeral and the gift she left for the Gracie children - the House of Horrors.
Girl A is a sick and twisted tale. The book is divided into chapters dedicated to each of the Gracie Children - Girl A, Boy A, Girl B, and so on. When Lex visits each of her siblings after their mother's death, it unlocks the dark memories of her childhood - the days her Father bound the children, the days when the seven of them shared one single bread, the days of torture, the day they stopped going to school. Each of her siblings has some grim memory attached to them. And as she unearthed them, we readers get to know about their Father's grand scheme, the psychological superego that made him act that way.
Girl A is supposed to make you explore the dark side of the human psyche. As one revelation happens after another, the story shocks you to the core. It was interesting to read how unimaginable things happened to the siblings and yet they coped it in their own way.
Even though the writing is super complex (I had to reread certain paragraphs) and the narration goes back and forth between the past and the present (which was kinda confusing), the book does absolute justice to explore the psychological growth and the familial ties between the siblings. This book is not for everyone. If you can take in the complexity of the book and the explicit narration style that has sparse dialogues, then it might be for you.
Abigail Dean was born in Manchester, and grew up in the Peak District. She graduated from Cambridge with a Double First in English. Formerly a Waterstones bookseller, she spent five years as a lawyer in London, and took last summer off to work on her debut novel, Girl A, ahead of her thirtieth birthday. She now works as a lawyer for Google, and is currently writing her second novel.
I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review