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Girl A by Abigail Dean – a review

Girl A is the debut novel by Abigail Dean. It was a book I had seen all over social media so when browsing the lovely Fox Lane books recently I purchased a copy.

Girl A tells the story of Lex who is Girl A and is one of the survivors of a horrific family abuse scandal. Lex has moved away to New York and has a successful career as a lawyer having put her past behind her. However, when her mother dies she has to return to the UK and it seems the past is something that can’t be escaped.

I thought this was an astonishing debut story. It flits between present day Lex who is trying to deal with her mother’s estate as well as her elder brothers upcoming wedding, and a young Lex living at home with her brothers and sisters as their father slowly descends into madness.

This genuinely was a novel that I couldn’t put down (luckily I was on holiday when I read it) The skill of the writing meant that every time I thought I had a handle on what was happening something threw me off kilter. The story was excellent and the backwards and forwards timeline was handled really well. The character of Lex was an interesting one and even now I can’t decide if I like her or not, clearly she had survived a horrendous childhood but some of her actions made her hard to like.

This was a story that was heartbreaking at times, yet within the darkness there were also moments of humour that lifted the story. To me the quality of the writing was superb, all the characters were well rounded and believable.  The twist at the end was both upsetting but somehow fitting as the story concluded.

I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone and it’s one that will stick with me for a long time to come.

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