13,111 book reviews and counting...

Girl A Reviews

Girl A by Abigail Dean

Girl A

Abigail Dean

4.88 out of 5

4 reviews

Category: Thrillers, Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 21 Jan 2021
ISBN: 9780008389055

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. 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 House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.

Beautifully written and incredibly powerful, Girl A is a story of redemption, of horror, and of love.

  • The BooksellerEditor's Choice
5 stars out of 5
Alice O'Keeffe
3 Jan 2021

"Absolutely gripping, this is also more nuanced and emotionally complex than a brief synopsis might suggest."

Lex, the Girl A of the title, is successful lawyer who survived a horrific upbringing in northern England, her home dubbed the "House of Horrors" by the press. Her father committed suicide before he could be arrested, but her mother was convicted of terrible crimes against her children and has now died in prison, bequeathing Lex and her six siblings the family home. Lex must now make contact with her adult siblings-all were adopted by different families. Absolutely gripping, this is also more nuanced and emotionally complex than a brief synopsis might suggest.


4 stars out of 5
16 Jan 2021

"A much-hyped debut novel deals with the worst thing imaginable: imprisoned, tortured children hidden in plain sight"

The writing is clean and compelling, the choices interesting and fully fleshed out. The flashbacks are upsetting but not torture porn. More affecting are things in the outside world Alexandra cannot understand: why people would ever stop eating at a buffet; why they wouldn’t enjoy being in hospital, or why the nurse has to keep her face turned away.

It seems odd to describe such a book as profoundly entertaining, but stories have always dealt in gore and death and this is no exception. It’s terrific: finally, an Oxbridge graduate succeeding in doing something really, really well.

5 stars out of 5
3 Jan 2021

"In the traditional new year battle between much touted first thrillers it’s the clear winner."

It was Lex, the protagonist of Abigail Dean’s debut Girl A... whose escape fromher parents’ “house of horrors” as a child led to the freeing of her chained-up siblings, her monstrous father’s suicide and her mother’s arrest. Now a New York lawyer, she returns to the UK to oversee the family home’s conversion into a community centre, a project necessitating visits to her fellow survivors to get their consent. These encounters allow Dean to reveal gradually the grisly denouement of the children’s shared ordeal in a novel that’s psychologically astute, adroitly organised and written with flair. In the traditional new year battle between much touted first thrillers it’s the clear winner.

5 stars out of 5
Nina Pottell
1 Jan 2021

"A powerful read"

A powerful read. Lex Gracie — Girl A — survived a horrifying childhood in what was dubbed the House of Horrors by the media. Having known no other way to live, she and her siblings scrabble to make it through life after escaping form the nightmare. This astonishing debut has quite rightly been snapped up for TV.