In our first book review of April, reviewer Dan Mazzacane explores Abigail Dean’s Girl A, published in February of this year by Viking. Mazzacane writes, “[F]or all its darkness, there is tenderness, small moments of happiness between Lex and her adoptive father are welcome spots of light in these pages.” Read the full review below.
By the time Girl A, Abigail Dean’s debut novel, begins, the crime motivating its plot has already been solved. Alexandria Gracie has escaped her parents, who have been shot dead after keeping Lex and her siblings in abusive captivity. But Girl A is not a book about the act that triggered trauma, it is a study of the aftermath, carried out with a meticulous eye for the needs of its survivors. Our narrator, Lex, has no time for an audience’s emotions in the relation of her story. Her delivery of memories concerning the abuse is deliberately flat, often unsettling for its frankness, and utterly heartbreaking. For Lex, the relation of traumatic acts is simply reality.