The Girl Before by JP Delaney
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
**I received my copy via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for this opportunity.**
“In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.
Please 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.
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.
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.” – Summary from Goodreads
I am a big fan of the psychological thrillers, including The Girl on the Train, so the description on this one naturally intrigued me…Trust me this book definitely did NOT disappoint. You should pick up a copy! The two female storylines parallel each other in such a way that I felt a pit in my stomach almost from the very beginning, as if something is looming, watching …
The different POVs allow you to experience each woman’s immersion into a life located in what you might call a smart house, just with extreme rules. This is no ordinary home setting. Can you imagine living without books? I can’t even fathom it and don’t think I could give up all my material possessions just for the opportunity to live in such a place. Perhaps that is why it’s so fascinating to see how Emma and Jane are both tested by these house rules, tested by the tightly controlled environment. Can they really survive this lifestyle?
It is in this house that Delaney is able to masterfully strip the characters of their materialistic needs to better examine the meaning of integrity – all while keeping you in suspense. I found myself thinking how would I live like this? You start wondering would you be true to yourself; could you handle it? Then you will struggle with whom to believe in this minimalist world – keeping you deep in thought until the very end…wondering, who is really in control here?
Four Stars from Me!