Girl A: A Novel
At fifteen, Girl A, Lex Gracie, escaped from a hellish child abuse situation in which she and her six siblings were restrained in their bedrooms, starved, and abused by their parents. Once Lex escaped, her siblings were liberated by the authorities, and each was adopted by a different family. Now a successful lawyer, Lex has managed to overcome her sordid childhood with the help of an unconventional therapist, though not all of her siblings managed to transcend their roots so successfully. Lex is summoned from her home in New York back to England when her imprisoned mother dies, naming Lex as executor of the estate. The family house is still standing–and Lex must figure out what to do with it. Revisiting that house of horrors, and reconnecting with her siblings, shakes Lex’s core, and the darkest demons of her life reemerge.
Girl A is structured as a dizzying back-and-forth between past and present, which feels correct for a book about childhood trauma: memory triggers are everywhere. The specific abuses that the Gracie children suffer are never spelled out entirely, and they’re all the more horrific for being left to the imagination. Novels don’t get much darker and more disturbing than Girl A. It’s unforgettable.
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