The Girlfriend by Michelle Francis #BookReview

About this book…

A girl. A boy. His mother. And the lie she’ll wish she’d never told.

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

My review…

I probably couldn’t have chosen a worse week to read The Girlfriend as my own nest finally became empty this weekend after 25 years and I’m feeling very emotional and redundant at present!  But thankfully my situation is very different to Laura’s as I have daughter’s and not sons so the first thing that came to mind when I started The Girlfriend was that old saying “A son’s a son till he takes a wife, a daughter’s a daughter for all of her life”. Unfortunately for Laura, her family circumstances made her much more vulnerable to an extreme reaction to her son moving on with his new life. She is devastated but instead of  turning it into a positive and thinking “I’m not losing a son, I’m gaining a daughter” Laura decides that Cherry isn’t good enough for her precious boy and starts looking for ways to discredit her.

I wasn’t too sure to begin with here who’s side I was supposed to be on! Laura may have had a fabulous job and a wonderfully close relationship with her only child, her son Daniel, but I found myself feeling sorry for her as she seemed so incredibly lonely! At a time in her life where she should have been free to start living a relaxed existence with her husband in their financially secure lifestyle, she has to deal with the girlfriend from hell! Or is she? Cherry seems like a lovely young girl, intelligent and wanting to better herself in life and there’s nothing wrong with that… there?!

The Girlfriend grabbed me from the start and it’s gripping storyline had me totally mesmorised as I watched both women bring out the worst in each other, all for the love of Daniel whom I actually found to a very weak willed and rather uninspiring character at the best of times!! He seemed to be totally besotted by Cherry, blind to all the clues that she was obviously hiding secrets and her true feelings from him so I got terribly frustrated by him!

This is a fabulous debut, creepily realistic with a whole cast of characters that I really didn’t like but couldn’t tear my eye away from.The perfect ending topped off this thoughtfully written thriller and left me feeling thoroughly satisfied, if a bit sad that it had all come to an end.

The Girlfriend: The most gripping debut psychological thriller of the year is available to buy now.

Meet the author…

Michelle Frances

Michelle Frances graduated from Bournemouth Film School in 1996 and then from the Masters programme at the American Film Institute, Los Angeles, in 1998. Returning to London, she has worked for several years in film and TV as a script editor and producer for both the independent sector and the BBC.

The Girlfriend is her first novel.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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