The Girl Before by JP Delaney
The Girl Before by JP Delaney is a psychological thriller.
This is the story of One Folgate Street, an ultra-modern, minimalist, computer-controlled house which monitors your health and well-being. If you are lucky enough to pass the screening process to live there, your rent will be inexpensive, your security pretty much ensured, and even your preferred shower temperature will be immediately recorded. You also get a gardener and someone to clean the house on a weekly basis. One Folgate, and its renowned architect Edward Monkford, do, however, have some conditions. About 200 of them. Ignoring any of the terms of the lease is grounds for eviction. So, forget about hanging anything on the wall, putting down a rug, or hanging a curtain. Oh, and don’t bring anything that isn’t essential, like books, or plants, or pets or children. You will have to sacrifice a little if you want to live in this house.
Two women alternately tell their story of life within the walls of One Folgate Street. Emma, a past resident, met a mysterious ending at the bottom of the crazy floating staircase at One Folgate. Jane, the current resident, wants to learn more about Emma. They have a lot in common. Both needed a new inexpensive place to live. They both have something in their background that they are trying to forget. They look alike. They both fall in love with One Folgate….and with Edward Monkford. But Emma and Jane are different too. Maybe Jane will live.
I enjoyed The Girl Before. It wasn’t just about the women, or just about the house. It was about lies and manipulation, and control. There are also a few surprises at the end. It didn’t go in the direction I thought it might. I was pleased.
J.P. Delaney is a pseudonym. Hmmm, I’m wondering who this really is. Really enjoyed the writing style. Apparently Ron Howard may direct this in movie format. Not sure I want to see this one on film, although I am sure he could bring it to life.
ps…..I could never live in a house that wouldn’t allow books…could you?
Read: March 2017
Favorite Quotes from The Girl Before:
“There are about two hundred stipulations in all. But it’s the final one that causes the most problems.”
“You did do something, she says. You played possum. As an instinct, that’s perfectly valid. It’s like hares and rabbits—rabbits run, hares crouch. There’s no right or wrong response in these situations, no what-if. There’s just whatever happened.”
“You can make your surroundings as polished and empty as you like. But it doesn’t really matter if you’re still messed up inside.”
“Oh, hasn’t he told you? The ones before. None of them last, you see. That’s the whole point.”
About the Author: JP Delaney is a pseudonym for a writer who has previously written bestselling fiction under other names. Rumor has it that this is actually Tony Strong, who was born in Uganda, but moved to the UK as a baby. Strong has written four other novels. Nothing is confirmed.