The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Psychological thriller

Synopsis: Laura is a woman who seems to have it all – a satisfying career, a beautiful house, a loving son about to start medical school. But when her son Daniel brings home Cherry, lower-class yet sharply ambitious, something just doesn’t feel quite right. After an unforgivable lie, both mother and girlfriend find themselves drawn into a dark game of lies and manipulation.

Review: We’ve all been there – after a couple of rather wordy classics, I was tired of ‘high-brow literature’ and looking for something just a little…lighter. Family members recommended The Girlfriend to me and it turned out to be just the ticket! I became utterly hooked, and I’m pleased to say that it has left my reading brain well and truly revived.

There is something about this book that is incredibly addictive. The storyline, although at times a touch predictable, is otherwise gripping and tense. Full of suspense and intrigue, The Girlfriend is one of those books that have you itching to pick it back up. It kept me on tenterhooks right up until the ending, which is tense if a little rushed.

Another thing that kept my nose in this novel is the way the characters gradually develop as the story progresses. Initially the two women seem fairly normal, but chapter by chapter we watch them become just a little more paranoid, more manipulative and frankly quite twisted. In this way, a situation that many mothers and girlfriends may recognise at the beginning quickly spirals out of control. I found this initial feeling of normality helped keep the story within the realms of believability, which makes it even more disturbing. The psychological tension between Laura and Cherry will no doubt mess with your head and send shivers down your spine.

Favourite quote: “A mother thought their child more perfect than anyone … but mothers also knew their children better than anyone else did.”

 The Girlfriend Quote

Read if: you enjoy chilling, taut psychological thrillers

I think it would be really interesting to hear what other people thought of The Girlfriend’s characters, in particular the two women. Personally, I sided with Laura (the mother) who is obsessive and over-protective but seems to have good intentions, motivated by her love for her son. Who did you sympathise with most? Do share your thoughts in the comments!

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