Book Review: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 352 pages

Published: February 2 2021 (UK: January 21)

Publisher: Viking (US) and HarperFiction (US)

Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Fiction, Literary Fiction


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, the eldest sister who freed her older brother and four younger siblings. It’s been easy enough to avoid her parents–her father never made it out of the House of Horrors he created, and her mother spent the rest of her life behind bars. But 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 siblings–and with the childhood they shared.

What begins as a propulsive tale of escape and survival becomes a gripping psychological family story about the shifting alliances and betrayals of sibling relationships–about the secrets our siblings keep, from themselves and each other. Who have each of these siblings become? How do their memories defy or galvanize Lex’s own? As Lex pins each sibling down to agree to her family’s final act, she discovers how potent the spell of their shared family mythology is, and who among them remains in its thrall and who has truly broken free.

Girl A is unlike any thriller I have ever read. Not only did it keep to the tropes of the genre, but with this work, Dean decided to go outside the box and take the road less travelled and did something that made this story different from the rest. However, it still keeps its intense writing with its mysterious nature. Instead of discussing the crime while it takes place, readers look at the victims after the crime occurs. We are on a ride on the emotional impact that this horrific event has had on each child. This radical change may deter the reader, but I am saying that this should make readers want to read this more. 

The nonlinear storytelling may frustrate readers, especially thriller lovers who like straightforward and consistent plots. But this plot device makes this horrific tale a compelling and engaging read. Each character has their version of what happened, and this type of storytelling allows readers to decide the truth. However, it also gives you a chance to know each character individually, especially Father and Mother. You somehow sympathize with them, but that doesn’t condone their actions—just a deeper look into their dark and haunting souls. The novel may not be quick, but its reading journey is one that readers should embark. 

The writing is stunning. The plot insanely gripping that is just so gripping and breathtaking that this book will stay with you always not only because of its horrific storyline but the unique chance Dean took to write such an impressive and unmissable debut. This book is another mystery that is so innovative and chilling that it will leave readers speechless and astounded. Make sure to read one of the highly talked about book of 2021. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Published by karma2015

I was born and raised in New York. I still live in New York but kind of sick of the city and one day I wish to move to the UK.I have a Masters degree in Library Science and I currently work in a special collections library. I loved books ever since I was a little girl. Through the hard times in my life, my love for books has always gotten me through. Just entering another world different from my own intrigues me. As long as I am entering in another universe, I like to create my own as well. I love to write and hopefully I will be able to complete a novel.

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