This story is going to make me seem really ignorant, but I promise you, I’m not. I’m just stupid 🙂 😉 Now that we clarified this I can go on knowing that you will find this funny and not outrageous.
Okay, so, last week I finished Landline, my last Rainbow Rowell book – I know, sadface :(. And after such a cutesy book I was ready for a new mystery. So after careful research I decided that the next book on my list was The Girl Before, by J.P. Delaney. I’d read the plot and it seemed interesting enough. All good and well. Only I wasn’t paying attention at all to the author’s name, so in the end, instead of acquiring The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney, I purchased The Girl Before by… Rena Olsen.
It seemed strange at first, but I kept waiting for the plotline I’d read about (the J.P. Delaney one) to happen and I was like “Well maybe they’re easing us into the story”, haha. When it was clear that this was not going to happen I Googled the book again and only then did I realize that I had acquired the wrong one. I became aware of my stupidity, but the fact that I was enjoying the “wrong” book make me feel better.
The action starts right on the first page – no intro, no anything. Clara is just sitting brushing the hair of one of her daughters when her home is invaded by armed men and she is taken into custody. The last thing that her husband tells her before he is taken as well is to say nothing. She is then kept in a psychiatric ward where two agents – who keep calling her Diana – come daily to question her. As the story progresses we find out the strange love story between Glen and Clara and the shocking fact that the girls she kept calling her daughters are not her daughters at all, but girls brought into their home to be “trained”. As the authorities pressure her to find out more about Glen’s business, it becomes more and more difficult for Clara to keep quiet. As Glen put it, she has the power to make or break them, although she doesn’t quite know it just yet – or better yet, why.
The book is pretty easy and entertaining – I was drawn in from the start. I’m very curious to know all about Glen’s “family business” and how the girls get into their custody and more about Clara – who she was before all this. However, what I find kind of inconsistent and maybe a bit implausible is Clara’s intelligence (or lack thereof if you will). On one hand she is completely naïve when it comes to Glen’s shady business, the reason she is training the girls or where they come from, thinking that the situations she was involved in are perfectly normal, but on the other hand her thoughts, observations, internal devices and tactics are those of a very intelligent person. Spotting even the subtlest details, analyzing personalities and motives based on actions and reactions alone seems like something a very rational person would do. However a rational person would’ve deduced certain things easily and would’ve been able to at least decide for ones’ self – unlike Clara who believes what Glen tells her and follows his orders like a loyal dog.
Despite this, I’m enjoying the book – like I said, it’s easy to read. The chapters, written in first person, are very short and go back and forth between timelines – then and now. Overall I don’t regret the mistake I made of reading the wrong book. I’ll just have to read the other one after this to decide which one was better.
Till next time! Have a great week!