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 unforgivable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.
Michelle Frances’ debut novel The Girlfriend is the best book I’ve read after a phase of terrible reads. It’s not that it stands out among those books, but that it was an actually amazing read.
The novel commences with Laura’s son, Daniel who has come home for vacation. Laura lost her firstborn ten days after she was born and always blamed herself for it. So, when she gives birth to Daniel, she is very protective of him and has his entire future mapped-out and planned. Daniel is a good son – he respects his mother and understands her feelings. But Cherry, Daniel’s new girlfriend who completely has him under her spell, was not part of Laura’s plan. Cherry is a normal girl from a background of poverty and struggle.
Laura initially seems open-minded and attempts to understand this new girl Daniel is suddenly so besotted with. She invites Cherry over for a family dinner and for some reason, either due to Laura’s inherent possessiveness or Cherry’s ambition, they don’t get along at all. Laura’s quest to understand Cherry, who is silent and secretive, leads her to discover some ugly truths. Laura suspects Cherry to be a gold-digger and smart, alert Cherry picks up her suspicion even though Laura doesn’t voice them out loud. This is the first stage of the Laura-Cherry enmity – this is not some petty catfight, mind you (both of them are kinda psychos).
Laura and Cherry constantly try to prove to each other that they influence Daniel more than the other. When Cherry is about to win in this invisible competition, an unexpected tragedy occurs and the chain of events that follow it throw Laura into turmoil, provoking her to utter a lie that would forever change her life.
I cannot reveal more about the plot without dropping spoilers. I highly recommend you read this book if you haven’t already!
I loved how Michelle Frances took her time in explaining everything – justifying everything. We get a hint of why Laura is so protective of her son, her husband Howard, Cherry’s past – how each character has struggled throughout their life and why they behave in such a manner. The plot has been well-thought out, the right details revealed at the right time.
The characters were so carefully created (and real) and I could imagine the story playing out in front of my eyes. It was such an emotion-filled read. I was mentally screaming at Daniel for being so stupid and cursed Cherry every time she did something terrible.
The Girlfriend was a page-gripping read and I literally couldn’t put the book down. Michelle had me hanging over the edge of suspense and I barely stopped myself from reading the end every time my curiosity got the better of me. Loved the book!
Did you guys read this book? Your thoughts?