I decided to start my summer reading with an audiobook. Whether I’m reading or being read to, it counts! My eyes have been tired and my hands needed to get busy finishing a king-size crochet blanket. My ears were primed for listening and my imagination longed to create visualizations.
Using my Overdrive app, I selected my county library system and filtered for it to “try something different” for title suggestions. I was not disappointed!
The Girl Before, by JP Delaney, exceeded my expectations! This psychological thriller chronicles the intriguing relationships between One Fulgate Street and those fortunate enough to live there. Designed by an architectural genius, the technologically advanced features of the house not only monitor the health, habits, and mood of it’s occupants, but it could very well be controlling them in ways they’d never know. Its minimal furnishings, hidden cabinets, and banisterless stone stairs add to the mysterious tone.
Undergoing a rigorous application process is only the beginning. “Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.” Minimalism is required. Those who make it to the next round must interview with the architect, Edward Monkford, personally. A contract with 200 conditions; a list of “don’ts” to be more accurate. Who can live in a place with so many rules?
Emma Williams and Jane Cavendish both find comfort and serenity in a home that intuitively customized to put your mind at ease. Albeit, the women lived there at different times, the pulse of death and deceit binds their experiences together. Could there be a connection between personal tragedy and the willingness to start over with a literal clean slate? Only Monkford knows why he chose them; nevertheless, each is confronted with her own shortcomings in a house designed to purge imperfections. Each lady gives us the benefit of her point of view of One Fulgate Street and the man who is just as controlling as the house he designed. Jane leads us to discover who killed the girl before in this fortress of safety and intrigue.
Fuzz Take Aways:
I love perspectives, so this thriller allowed me to view each character from multiple angles. The very human struggle to control our impulses by subduing our environment is starkly illustrated when we begin to conform to social constructs like image and brand.
I listened to the Peguin Random House Audio version. The narration of Emilia Fox, Finty Williams, and Lisa Asgaard Knudsen provided the right enunciations, inflections, and clarity for me to develop a full mental image of each character. Their tones were distinctive and engrossing.
Recommendation: Great read! Easy listening. Excellent narration.
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