Book Review: The Girl Before by JP Delaney

“Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.”

Published in 2017 and recently adapted for the BBC, The Girl Before by JP Delaney follows two women, Emma and Jane, who, three years apart, move in to the architectural masterpiece that is One Folgate Street – a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. Emma is reeling from a traumatic break-in, and Jane is seeking a fresh start after a personal tragedy, so each feel comforted by the safety that the house offers. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant – and it does.

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Book Review: The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

“Perhaps the real test of someone’s humanity, you think, is how tenderly they treat those like Danny. Whether they blindly try to fix them and make them more like everyone else, or whether they can accept their differentness and adapt the world to it.”

Originally published in 2019, The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney begins as Abbie awakens in a daze. She has no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, and tells Abbie that she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss. She is a miracle of science. But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives. Can she trust him? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?

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