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Find out what Mumsnetters thought of psychological thriller The Girlfriend

(59 Posts)
UrsulaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Jun-17 12:12:39

Looking for your next thriller? Our final book in the Thin Blue Spine Writing Blog's Crime & Thriller book club is for you.

Laura has it all – a successful career, marriage to a rich husband, and 23-year-old son, Daniel, who is handsome and talented.Then Daniel meets Cherry, who is young and beautiful, and wants what Laura has...

We can’t choose our children’s partners. We can only hope to like them…

We ask all winners to share their thoughts about the book on this discussion thread. Everyone who gives detailed feedback about The Girlfriend by midday, Wednesday 16 August will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher:

Buy the book on Amazon

This giveaway is sponsored by Thin Blue Spine

Book giveaway T&Cs apply

horseyrider Wed 21-Jun-17 12:31:28

Have applied as it looks good!

By the way, why hasn't been a mumsnet books newsletter this week?
I always look to reading mine. Has something happened?

UrsulaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Jun-17 16:59:28

Hi horsey - don't worry, the Books newsletter is still happening and you won't miss out on any giveaways or competitions! We're just switching it up a bit so that it will now be going out fortnightly on a Friday starting this week

We put a little note at the bottom of last week's newsletter but definitely wouldn't blame you for missing it!

horseyrider Wed 21-Jun-17 20:12:53

Thanks for that!

bloodypassword Mon 10-Jul-17 14:47:24

Yes please - I've never applied before. Do I just leave my details here? hmm

SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Jul-17 15:12:11

Hi bloodypassword - thanks for your interest in book giveaways! Sadly this one is now closed but if you like thrillers, we're giving away three books by Megan Abbott. To apply, pick which book you'd like to read and fill in the form on the giveaway page with your details. If you're a winner, we'll send you a link to a feedback thread like this, where you can say what you thought of the book. I hope that helps! flowers

Rae1000 Mon 24-Jul-17 13:33:15

Over the moon. Just received my copy. I had completely forgotten I had applied for it as only yesterday when reading book reviews in my magazine (something I always do) I added this very book to my list of must reads (sad I know but it works great for me). I am going to start reading it as soon as I have finished the book I am reading now. Really am delighted. Thank you

MummyBtothree Mon 24-Jul-17 17:26:51

Received a copy of this in the post today which was a nice surprise and well timed. Can't wait to get started ☺

BingBongBingBong Tue 25-Jul-17 12:39:19

Got my copy today! Cannot wait to start it

Ginkypig Tue 25-Jul-17 15:17:20

I assume that I must have been chosen, so thanks very much

I got it through today, no note though so I spent a good half an hour wondering why a random book had been posted to me grin

Looking forward to starting it, Iv got about half of my current read to go before I can start though.

daisyboo1 Wed 26-Jul-17 13:45:02

Having stayed up very late the last two nights to read this book have massive bags under my eyes and am a bit grumpy at work today! However, it was totally worth it. This is not an easy review as I don't want to give anything away really! This book is, as they say, a page turner and I really did want to keep on reading to the next bit, and to the next bit...It's not exactly a heavy read so ideal for a holiday or a bedtime read. None of the characters I found to be particularly likeable but they certainly illustrated the lengths that we will go to protect or further our own interests. The author highlighted twisted and damaged relationships in every theatre of life - I found both the mother roles quite intriguing. And Cherry who could have had all her heart desired but ultimately was driven on by, possibly just, greed.
It could have been darker, more sinister if you like, but I don't think that was the intention. I thought that by keeping it "real" it was more believable. Could this happen to you? Could you do this? This has got TV adaptation written all over it - it was very evocative and described each setting in a familiar and immediate way so again, totally believable. And of course the ending with a twist was very cool.
Words like tension, gripping and compulsive are easily and constantly used on book jackets but this novel deserves those words. It's certainly worth a read by the pool this Summer if nothing else. And of course if you have a son, you may want to keep an extra eye on his girlfriend....

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 26-Jul-17 14:02:46

Got my copy in my suitcase ready for my holiday tomorrow. smile

Wilma55 Wed 26-Jul-17 15:23:54

Gripped from the start.....real page Turner. Can't wait to get back to it. Thank you!

BingBongBingBong Wed 26-Jul-17 15:30:11

So I've started it now, only about a quarter of the way through. So far I'm really enjoying it, intrigued by where the story will go and getting to know the characters. It's definitely an easy read which is perfect for holidays or reading over a few evenings. So far so good!

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 27-Jul-17 00:06:30

It's 99p on Kindle if anyone missed out.

horseyrider Fri 28-Jul-17 12:33:59

Received my copy Monday and I'm really looking forward to starting it!

Will there be any more Crime & Thriller Book club titles coming out, by the way? I've really enjoyed the books that I've been sent lately.

Nanalou Mon 31-Jul-17 15:49:08

Well this book is a bit of a page turner, full of twists and turns, will not go into detail on actual storyline as this would spoil for others. My feelings towards the two main female characters (Girlfriend and Mother) changed constantly through out the book, sympathising at times and loathing at others. All I can say thank goodness I get on with my daughter in law, or could this have been us !!

Susangilley7 Tue 01-Aug-17 08:55:28

Would love a copy to review please

SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 01-Aug-17 11:59:45

Hi @horseyrider - glad to hear you've enjoyed taking part in our Crime and Thriller Book Club with Thin Blue Spine! Sadly this is the last book we're reading as part of it, but I'm sure we'll have more thriller giveaways heading this way shortly grin

@Susangilley7 - this giveaway is now closed but you're welcome to pick a copy yourself to review here (see aforementioned Kindle deal - think it's 98p now!)

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 03-Aug-17 15:11:56

I just finished and really enjoyed it. It got a bit slow in the middle and I considered giving up but I'm glad I stuck with it. It would make an excellent film or tv drama. A good poolside read. Thanks for the copy.

CryingMessFFS Thu 03-Aug-17 15:25:26

I've finished today, it was good. Definitely a page turner! I found the ending very predictable though which was a bit disappointing but overall I enjoyed it as it was a really easy read and wasn't too long

MummyBtothree Fri 04-Aug-17 14:06:58

Thanks again for my copy of the book. I really enjoyed reading this book as it wasn't hard going and not too long although slightly predictable which is the only downside for me but overall a good read smile

Roseformeplease Fri 04-Aug-17 15:04:33

I didn't get a copy but I downloaded it on the advice of a friend and thoroughly enjoyed it. It rather reminded me of that divorce film, The War of the Roses with Michael Douglas. I really enjoyed the fact that so much was unspoken and hinted at. Also that no one was blameless.

Very clever book. It would make a superb film or TV Drama.

barricade Fri 04-Aug-17 23:34:50

Many thanks to Mumsnet / Pan Macmillan for a copy of this book. An enthralling debut by BBC drama development executive Michelle Francis, ‘The Girlfriend’ is a tense psychological thriller that keeps you guessing until the end.

The story is set against the backdrop of trendy, hipster London, with brief forays in St. Tropez and River Tryweryn, Wales. Daniel Cavendish, son of Howard, a wealthy accountancy firm partner, and Laura, a successful TV producer, is fresh out of college, and apartment hunting. He falls for Cherry Laine, the ambitious estate agent who locates his new home for him. After introducing Cherry to his parents, something happens that leads Daniel’s mother Laura to be suspicious of Cherry’s intentions. Has she got together with Daniel for his money? With each passing day, her seemingly perfect relationship with her son begins to unravel. How can she put a stop to it?

This is not a traditional mystery or ‘who-done-it?’. There is no Alfred Hitchcock or M. Night Shyamalan twist in the tale. Instead it comes down to a mano-e-mano (or is that ‘womano-e-womano’?) between Cherry Laine and Laura Cavendish, with each woman reacting to the latest devious, malicious act perpetrated by the other with an equally despicable deed of her own. And so begins a deadly war of social one-upmanship, with both maintaining the pretence that no such war is actually taking place.

The story is effectively written. The location descriptions bring the settings to life, and the author uses knowledge of her time in television to good effect in showcasing Laura Cavendish’s employment routines. The story is told through both women’s point of view - this is a plus point as often in books we are not privy to the antagonist’s personal thoughts and motivations. Fans of soap operas will enjoy this. As will fans of 90’s TV movies about vengeful outsiders threatening family break-ups. However, the same fans will have seen it all before, and the sheer predictability of the narrative will not escape them. And, without giving away too many spoilers, there are also a number of additional aspects that let the book down. As the story progresses, the characters end up doing things out of character, or make bonkers-level personality leaps. In the case of one of the women, for example, from being slightly conniving but not much more in one chapter to becoming an outright criminal in the next, snapping a dog’s neck in two with her bare hands. Or the defensive mother who wants nothing more than her daughter’s happiness, to suddenly divulge information that will surely prevent her daughter’s upcoming marriage from happening. However, the main let-down is the particularly tame ending, which after 450-odd pages, proves to be a disappointment.

To summarise, this is definitely readable, with a lot of promise. But ultimately let down by flaws.

horseyrider Sun 06-Aug-17 12:31:36

I have just finished my copy, thanks Mumsnet!

Good beginning, there is a lot of build up throughout. Ending is nicely tense, agree with others that it would make a good tv series. Enjoyed it overall.

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