Friday, 21 July 2017

Book Review: The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

A girl. A boy. His mother. And the lie she'll wish she'd never told.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn't had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura's life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she's not all that she seems

When tragedy strikes, an unforgivable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

I was pretty sure, as soon as I read the blurb, that I knew what the awful lie that was told was going to be. But I couldn't have been more wrong. As it turned out, the lie told was by Laura, not Cherry as I'd initially thought. And it was darker, and more twisted, than even I could imagine.

The Girlfriend was totally gripping, right from the off. Watching the relationship form between Cherry and Daniel's family. Learning about Daniel's family; their standards. It may have been a little slow to start, but that's because Michelle Frances was setting the scene; setting us up for the drama that was to unfold.

As tragedy struck, the novel picked up pace until I felt as though I was holding a grenade in my hand, and the pin had just been pulled out. Reading Cherry's chapters felt like reading the diary of someone losing their mind. Her justifications, her reasoning, her irrationality. And before long, I could see where things were heading. And I knew it wasn't going to end well.

That ending, though! Definitely not what I expected. In fact, The Girlfriend was nothing like I expected. It surpassed my expectations, and was totally unpredictable. Buuuuut, something was missing. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I couldn't immerse myself in the story as fully as I usually do. I think it might have been the writing style. Or maybe, the jumping around between different characters. I don't know exactly what, but something held me back from giving The Girlfriend a high star rating, sadly.

Rating: ***

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