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Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review
THE EIGHTH GIRL – Maxine Mei-Fung Chung (Released March 17th, 2020)
Optioned by Netflix and a most anticipated book of 2020 from Bustle, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, and LitHub.
“The Eighth Girl is an exquisite exploration of childhood trauma and its impact on the psyche. Part thriller, part character study, I devoured this novel in one sitting, reflecting on each sentence, each passage, and each astute observation of humanity. A true gem!” — Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before
In this unsettling, seductive psychological thriller, a young woman with multiple personalities is drawn into London’s hellish underworld when she becomes entangled with a man who has an abominable secret, for fans of Caroline Kepnes and Clare Mackintosh.
One woman, multiple personas. But which one is telling the truth?
Beautiful. Damaged. Destructive. Meet Alexa Wú, a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her shrink Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella. The perfect trio of trust.
When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she catches the attention of its shark-like owner and is gradually drawn into his inner circle. As Alexa’s world becomes intimately entangled with Ella’s, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With no one to turn to and lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle.
Electrifying and breathlessly compulsive, The Eighth Girl is an omnivorous examination of life with mental illness and the acute trauma of life in a misogynist world. With bingeable prose and a clinician’s expertise, Chung’s psychological debut deftly navigates the swirling confluence of identity, innocence, and the impossible fracturing weights that young women are forced to carry, causing us to question: Does the truth lead to self-discovery, or self-destruction?
My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars
I’ve always loved books that had to do with multiple personality disorders because it’s absolutely fascinating to me. There’s always a new way to approach these books and they can span many different genres and I feel like not many topics can do that. Maxine Mei-Fung Chung’s debut novel, THE EIGHTH GIRL, doesn’t quite fall into the thriller category, so I think that’s good to know before starting. This is more of a character study with some suspense mixed in.
Alexa is a woman living with multiple personality disorder, and she refers to her other personalities as the Flock. Only a few people in her life know this about her – her stepmother, her therapist, and her best friend Ella. Ella has started her job at the Electra Club and the two woman quickly discover that this gentleman’s club is really a cover for a sex trafficking ring. Can Alexa and Ella stop them? Will the Flock take over Alexa due to the increasing stress and danger in the situation?
I think what I enjoyed the most about this book was getting to know Alexa’s different personalities and what brings them out. What they’re protecting and how they’re helping Alexa cope with the events going on in her life. I also really liked the sessions between her and Daniel, her therapist. I think the writing style and how the book flowed really worked! There were a couple slow spots for me but then it picked up again. I definitely wasn’t anticipating that ending!
Photo by: Sarah Cresswell
About the Author:
Maxine Mei-Fung Chun is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Trained in the arts, she worked as a Creative Director for ten years at Condé Nast, The Sunday Times and The Times. She lives in London with her son. The Eighth Girl is her first novel.
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