I can’t remember where or why this popped up on my to-read list, but it ended up on my Audible account, and so I started listening to it last week, as I was driving the three/four hours from Sheffield back down to London. Touted as a psychological thriller, this was more of a story of two utterly despicable women fighting over a totally bland man, both in obsessive and frankly disturbing ways.
The addictive Number One bestselling thriller, perfect for fans of Into the Water.
A girl. A boy. His mother. And the lie she’ll wish she’d never told.
The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.
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 unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.
There was plenty that was admirable in this book. Cherry and Laura were both terrible people, but they were certainly believable. Unfortunately, I saw nothing worth fighting for in Daniel himself, so both women’s obsession with him, whether because he represented the perfect family life, or because he was a ticket out of the drudgery that Cherry’s early life had been, was utterly bewildering to me.
The blurb says that Frances locates this power struggle between two women in an extreme but believable setting, but honestly, I don’t believe it. From the off, this book was predictable, with the cover and early hints showing exactly what was going to happen in the end.
Cherry’s and Laura’s power plays were interesting enough, but they didn’t exactly draw me in. Besides that, the blurb makes it sound like the whole story stems from an unforgiveable lie, and we come in right before that happens, but actually, the lie only appears about half-way/two-thirds of the way through the book, so the majority of the story, I actually spent waiting for it to get going.
The slowness of the start of the story meant that I spent much of the book waiting for something to happen, because I felt like the massive lie (which was huge, and ridiculous) was the real starting point of the story, so everything which came before that was preamble.
Boy, though, that was a lot of preamble.
While enjoyable, I think this book had some serious pacing issues, and predictability issues, as well as being difficult to believe a lot of the time. locating a story in the world of the superrich means that some things have to just be glossed over (the lift from the garage to the living areas, for example), but there were other aspects of it that stretched the bounds of believability, and aspects of it that were too coincidental to be true.
Not a terrible read, but the more I think about it now, the more I roll my eyes at it. Definitely not something I’ll be reading again, but it was enjoyable enough at the time!
PS I may have to cut myself down to two blog posts a week at this rate. I am BUSY, and running out of time to blog. Or read!