A dark, disturbing story about abuse and how it affects people. 'Girl A' is how the protagonist is known; a familiar label used to protect the innocent victims during investigation, but she is also referred to as 'the one who escaped'.
The story opens in a rather slow way way, showing the cold response by Girl A as she learns of her mother's death in prison. There are practicalities to sort out such as the family home that stands empty, and the eldest daughter is named as the executor of her mother's will. She has to find her other six siblings to discuss what happens to the house and some cash that was also left to them. This is what the book is about - how their experiences and perceptions have shaped them, how some have tried to distance themselves from it, exploited it, or have been exploited by it.
A fascinating read, each character is developed to provoke sympathy, apathy or in some cases, distaste. The protagonist becomes very complex and not totally likeable and yet the reader is always on her side. Told in the first person (although not obviously so) the story unfolds as she connects with each of her siblings, and is intersected with scenes from the past so the abuse by their paranoid, delusional and mentally ill parents is uncovered gradually. Well written, intense, unsettling and very, very good.
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