Saturday 1 May 2021

Girl A

Finished April 30
Girl A by Abigail Dean

This was a novel that I couldn't stop reading. Girl A, real name Alexandra or Lex, is at a women's prison in England as the book opens, called there to meet with prison authorities. Her birth mother was incarcerated there and has named Lex, her oldest daughter as the executor of her will. Lex must decide whether she wants to take on this burden.
Lex now lives in New York City and travels all over the world for her job in corporate acquisitions. She loves the work and is good at it. She hasn't seen her siblings in years. One isn't even aware of his birth family. 
The book gradually reveals what happened to this family and the children who were traumatized by their experience. There were four boys and three girls in the family. They lived in a small town in a house remote from others. The abuse started with control and slowly, so slowly escalated to some of them being chained in their rooms. Girl A was the one who escaped, the one who brought help that freed the others. She was the one that led to them all starting with other families. 
Now she must talk to them all to get them to agree on what happens to what their mother left behind. The house they were held captive in, and a small amount of money. 
Lex and Edie have an idea to repurpose the house to give it a new and better meaning. But can she convince the others? 
This is a book that reveals its story gradually, with chapters for each child that Lex meets with, labelled with their assigned letter and their real name. There are some missing and we find out why. Each one has a story, some worse than others. This is a story of love gone wrong, of psychological and physical abuse, and of recovery. Lex got lucky with the couple that took her in, and with the psychologist, Doctor Kay, who was assigned to her. She doesn't like to look back, but she must now. 
Her oldest brother is getting married soon too, and that event also lurks on the horizon. Will she go? How will she react to that. 
This is a story masterfully told. So well done.

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