Thursday, 2 February 2017

Review: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

The Girl BeforePlease make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

Shona's review 3 of 5 stars

I loved the way we saw both Emma (then)  and Jane's (now) stories unfold at the same time, despite there being a three year gap between them. Seeing how they both interact and adapt to their new house and watching them both begin a relationship with the architect Edward, realising how similar not only the relationships were but how similar the women are you cant help but feel like perhaps someone is being manipulated here. It took me until the end of the book to realise that I was the one being manipulated. 

We essentially have 4 main characters in this book, Emma, Jane, Edward and the House (which is this amazing state of the art digital masterpiece, lights, showers, internet, even mood enhancing, it's all controlled by the Housekeeper) someone isn't being 100% truthful, and Delaney keeps the truth from the reader for as long as possible. However, this means that in the beginning it's a little slow. At one point I thought I was going to put it down and never pick it up again, but they story was intriguing. I needed to know what had happened to Emma, what was going to happen to Jane and I definitely needed to know who was responsible.

The suspense and pace of the story really builds towards the end, however I felt like the climax was rushed, it definitely didn't feel as fleshed out, it wasn't as believable as the rest of the book. 



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