Thursday, December 23, 2021

#64: Girl A by Abigail Dean

 A teenager breaks her chains and escapes from the family home, revealing a literal house of horrors to the world; several decades later, the surviving siblings cope with their lives in various ways in Abigail Dean's Girl A.

The Girl A of the title is now a lawyer, who reluctantly inherits the abandoned childhood home and desires to turn it into a community center; but she has to--even more reluctantly--gather up her brothers and sisters, among them a brother who is a headmaster at a school, a sister who has found religion, and another brother who has descended into drugs.

Although the flashbacks to what happened at the hands of their father, who seemed to be slowly and then quickly going mad, are short, they are very potent, and based on that alone the book cannot be recommended to anyone with even a modest history of childhood trauma.

But the novel is really about the complicated connections between siblings, and is a sharp, literate novel in that regard.  More of an examination of a shattered family than a thriller, but a few twists and turns in the latter third--one I saw coming and one I didn't--could land it in a couple of different categories on the bookstore shelves.

Recommended for those with a high tolerance for harrowing storytelling.

I checked this out from the New Castle-Henry County Public Library in New Castle, Indiana and read it quickly.

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