I was sent a copy of The Good Girl by Fiona Neill by Mumsnet Book Club for review.
This is the story of the Field family, who have just moved to Norfolk from London. Ailsa, the mother, is the new headmistress at the school her two teenage children attend. Her husband Harry has left his job as a professor at a university in London to come to Norfolk, and to write a book about neuroscience. Luke is the eldest son; he’s in his final year of A Levels, but more interested in partying and having fun than taking exams. Romy, the daughter, is in her first year of A Levels and has her eye on the prize of going to medical school. The youngest son, Ben, is 9 and a budding private investigator. He watches everything and keeps notes on everything that goes on.
Nobody seems to know the reasons for the family’s move from London. So many different reasons are given, but none seems to make sense and as the book goes on, it becomes clear that there is something being hidden. As things begin to unravel, we find that there are more secrets than we imagined, and each is more shocking than the last.
The chapters of this book alternate between being told from Ailsa’s point of view and from her daughter Romy’s. This is a great way of telling two sides of the same story, and I really enjoyed the change of pace from chapter to chapter.
The book begins with a scandal involving one member of the family (I won’t spoil it by telling you who), but by the end of the book we’ve learned about several other secrets and we find that actually, nobody is really whiter than white.
I really enjoyed reading this book; it’s engaging from the first page and a real page turner. The only problem I had was that the chapters were too long – so when I was sitting in bed at night and thinking “I’ll just read one more chapter…” I ended up staying up a little longer than I should have! I suppose that’s evidence of how good a book it is!
Thanks for reading.