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Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times best seller

“Pitch-perfect ... Dean tells this story with such nuance and humanity, you’re desperate to step into its pages." (The New York Times)

“Heart-stopping psychological drama … A modern-day classic." (Jeffery Deaver, New York Times best-selling author)

“A gripping story about family dynamics and the nature of human psychology.” (Good Housekeeping)

She thought she had escaped her past. But there are some things you can’t outrun.

Lex Gracie doesn't want to think about her family. She doesn't want to think about growing up in her parents' House of Horrors. And she doesn't want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped, the eldest sister who freed her older brother and four younger siblings. It's been easy enough to avoid her parents - her father never made it out of the House of Horrors he created, and her mother spent the rest of her life behind bars. But when her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can't run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the home into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her siblings - and with the childhood they shared.

What begins as a propulsive tale of escape and survival becomes a gripping psychological family story about the shifting alliances and betrayals of sibling relationships - about the secrets our siblings keep, from themselves and each other. Who have each of these siblings become? How do their memories defy or galvanize Lex's own? As Lex pins each sibling down to agree to her family's final act, she discovers how potent the spell of their shared family mythology is, and who among them remains in its thrall and who has truly broken free.

For listeners of Room and Sharp Objects, an absorbing and psychologically immersive novel about a young girl who escapes captivity - but not the secrets that shadow the rest of her life.

©2020 Abigail Dean (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

Hailed a Best New Book of 2021 by Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, LitHub, Good Housekeeping, O Magazine, Woman's Day, and Redbook

"Nothing short of astonishing.... Rarely does a novel offer up such unique plotting, such heart-stopping psychological drama, and such a rich portrayal of its inhabitants. A modern-day classic." (Jeffery Deaver, New York Times best-selling author of The Goodbye Man and The Bone Collector

"Sensational...gripping, haunting and beautiful written." (Richard Osman, international best-selling author of The Thursday Murder Club)

"A haunting, powerful book, the mystery at its heart not who committed a crime, but how to carry on with life in its aftermath...the suppressed tension acts like the winding back of a slingshot, which about halfway through the novel suddenly rockets forward, propelling the story through scenes of genuine fear to its moving, pitch-perfect ending.... Dean tells this story with such nuance and humanity, you’re desperate to step into its pages." (Flynn Berry, The New York Times)

What listeners say about Girl A

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • kendra l kramer
  • 2021-02-09

Disappointing...

I had high hopes for this book...come to find out it's just a rip off of the Turpin child abuse case from CA. I didn't feel connected with the characters at all and I kept waiting for something to happen but the book overall was very lackluster. Definitely would not consider it a suspense genre. Disappointing overall.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Wendi
  • 2021-02-28

Well Written, But..

I am glad I listened to ' Girl A.' I was surprised by a few things though.

The good surprise- 'Girl A' is an extremely well written book. Dean's writing brushes against some finer literary voices and 'Girl A' is not a typical British psychological thriller. This is a novel with grit and teeth.

The bad surprise- 'Girl A' is not a typical British psychological thriller.

If you're looking for a 'what's going to happen next' or 'who has done what' type of enjoyable read where the main character has a few secrets, you aren't going to find it with 'Girl A.' What you will find, however, is an involved piece of literature that spans decades of the lives of five children who were grossly abused and taken from their parents when young. The problem that I found while listening to the book is that the author goes back and forth in time often, and so it can lead to confusion, I found myself wondering if I was in 'way past' or the 'near past' or the present several times. Also, this is not a psychological thriller. This is the telling of a terrible story of sorrow and sadness.

If you are willing to listen carefully to 'Girl A.' you will find a remarkable story, along with beautiful prose and wonderful writing. It takes a little time to get through, and you may have to listen to some pieces more than once, but I personally found it well worth the effort.

-Wendi

8 people found this helpful

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  • Laura E. L. Moore
  • 2021-09-01

Excellent but Difficult

Very adult content.
Not for minors, but even as an adult a tough listen. And yet I listened to the entire book in two days because it’s also very good. The narrator is excellent, the writing very vivid so sometimes very beautiful and sometimes truly awful. I really love the non linear storytelling.
Overall I would recommend but brace yourself a bit before you dive in.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mark D
  • 2021-02-14

I don't know

I don't know how I feel about this one. First, I don't know what part of the story had "heart pulsing" part. Not a story with action sequences. It's a slow moving story told a little weird. Each chapter is a different sibling and intertwined with flashbacks.

This is basically the stories of each survivor. Following what happens to kids after that. The summary makes it sound like a borderline horror story. It is, but in a depressing way. Yes what happened was horrible. In this case I'm glad it wasn't detailed.

All that being said, not all the stories were complete. You only get chunks of the life some had afterwards. It's just not the parts you need to know. I still don't know how one ended up where he did. The whole family was horrible to him just because he'll believe anything you say.
The "twist" you can see coming if you pay enough attention to it.

It's well written and a little different than most of what I've gotten lately. It would make more sense if I could have written this without worrying about spoilers.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Phillip A.
  • 2021-02-19

deep

makes one wonder at the things humans can do to each other, and what we can survive.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Becky
  • 2021-08-24

Superb

Definitely a difficult book at times, but overall a wonderful story. No spoilers, but I will say that the author does not go into graphic detail about the child abuse. I was appreciative of that.

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  • DocShasta
  • 2021-08-06

The story gets bogged down in details

I saw some good reviews on this book, so I was excited to read it. I like psychological thrillers, however this was not a psychological thriller at all. It was a psychological downer. Most of the storyline occurred in the past, and we traveled with the narrator through every depressing, mundane detail. There were some concepts that were connected tenuously by gossamer threads, but never were actually explained or tied together. This left the reader discombobulated and confused at times. The only “plot twist“ was already evident from the beginning of the book. Well I thought the performance of the audiobook was very good, the writing of the book left this reader underwhelmed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elyse
  • 2021-04-09

Too drawn out and slow

Painfully boring .... I can’t even get through the first half. Too much information that isn’t really interesting and very hard to follow. Good story idea but just not for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • HH
  • 2021-02-25

Blah

I kept waiting to find out what happened... Like there was a mystery underneath the surface. But then the book ended... What?!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Breta
  • 2021-02-21

Sooo boring

A waste of a credit. So boring and never got to a point. I finished it hoping that there would be a big reveal to get to the point but nope. It took forever to finish.

1 person found this helpful