The Girl Before by JP Delaney is another book in the trend of mostly unlikable characters.
Add a coldly efficient house to the mix. The chapters alternate between Emma and Jane, past and present. Each of these young women are willing "audition" to rent a clinically beautiful and technologically advanced house by a famous minimalist architect. First comes a long questionnaire of odd and personal questions.
Each young woman fills out the questionnaire which also requires three photos. Hmmmm. The weird questions and the photo requirement didn't set off any warning bells? If Edward Monkhouse, the architect and owner, likes the responses, then he grants an interview to decide who is appropriate for the house. Of course, both Emma and Jane get an interview.
There are rules--lots of them: no books, no rugs, no personal effects, no photos, no clutter. A computer "housekeeper" monitors everything in the house. Both Emma and Jane are unreliable narrators and willing to surrender their personalities to fit the house and the architect.
I have a thing about people who give up everything to satisfy another person or ideological belief. I know it happens, but it is almost impossible for me to imagine. It is one thing for it to happen gradually as in a Stockholm Syndrome situation or a domestic situation that develops over time as a matter of gradual reconditioning, but for an eager almost immediate surrender to someone else's dictates? Both women have had some traumatic events and want a fresh start, but still....
Definitely hanging on the trend of other "Girl" books, The Girl Before will hold your interest and provide a few surprises.
Read in September; blog review scheduled for Jan. 2, 2017
Mystery/Suspense. Jan. 24, 2017. Print length: 352 pages.