Author: Abigail Dean
Released: January 21st, 2021
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Abuse, starvation, imprisonment, severe injuries, psychological abuse
Abigail Dean’s latest novel, Girl A, is one that will stick to the memory of thriller fans all over, with a chilling tale of family and secrets.
Lex Gracie is the girl who escaped. Girl A, as the newspapers called her. In her mind, she calls her family home the ‘House of Horrors,’ and it is an accurate depiction. For a time, Lex thought that she had left that world behind.
Before her mother’s death dragged up all those memories again. Along with all of the secrets and lies that run through her family. Even today, so many years after she escaped and freed all of her siblings.
“You can endure an awful lot when you know that you’ll be fed at the end of it.”
In many ways, Girl A is one of the most twisted and disturbing reads I’ve picked up in quite some time. Lex’s story is dark and is not for every reader out there. Yet there was also something familiar about this story – I know I’ve heard of this before, but in reality and in fiction.
Lex’s narrative is split, jumping through points of time with little or no warning. While it fits her mental state and the overall feeling of confusion she carries with her, it does make it more difficult to read and understand.
While there are many jumps, I mostly tried to sort them into two timelines. The ‘before’ and the ‘now.’ The ‘before’ timeline is naturally fairly graphic at times. though it goes a long way in explaining everything that is happening in the ‘now.’
On that note, I should emphasize that this book is not for everyone. It contains many triggers, including abuse, starvation, imprisonment, severe injuries, and psychological abuse. There are also several other implications, but those are a bit harder to put my finger on.
“The past was one of the few foreign countries which neither of us wished to visit.”
Overall, I found myself wanting to enjoy this story, but I had difficulty connecting despite that. Which sounds crazy, given everything Lex and her siblings went through. You’d think it’d be easy to find that human connection. I’m not sure what went wrong there; perhaps it was simply all of the jumps in perspective. All I know is that it left me feeling slightly disappointed in Girl A.