Book Review: Girl A by Abigail Dean

‘Girl A,’ she said. ‘The girl who escaped. If anyone was going to make it, it was going to be you.’

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. 

This book was brilliantly written and gripping to read, I wanted to keep doing back to the story to find out what would happen next.

It wasn’t an easy read though – the subject is a hard one (and although I obviously knew that before I started reading) I was still suprised by how down I felt at the end of the book. The first half almost felt quite hopeful but as the story progressed the real darkness came out.

I liked the style – often in the present but with flash backs to how things got to the point they did. Knowing what was coming it was easy to see how things would progress from the lower level abuse but also easy to see how those in the centre of it wouldn’t see it coming.

Lex was a likeable and resilient character and the author did a fantastic job of depicting a ‘realistic’ recovery for her and her siblings – it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. I think Gabriel was the sibling who tugged at me the most. There were so many points when you as the reader just wanted to sweep him up and protect him.

I had anticipated some of the revelations as the story progressed but not all of them at all.

All in all a superb novel that deserves the praise it is getting but not one to read if you are in a place of needing a happier story. Obviously lots of trigger warnings for this one as well – that I think are fairly obvious from the blurb but this contains, child abuse (physical and mental), cult tendencies, spousal abuse.

With thanks to Harper Collins and Netgalley for a copy of the book in exchange for honest review.

Girl A is available 21 January 2021