My review of The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances will follow the publisher’s blurb :

She loves your son. She wants your life. How far would you go to protect your son?

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 hasn’t led Laura’s golden life. And she wants it.

When tragedy strikes, a decision is made and a lie is told. A lie so terrible it changes their lives forever . . .

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller – the story of a mother, a son, his girlfriend and an unforgivable lie.

I don’t normally categorize books into “The Beach Read” or “The pool side novel” – but for some reason THE GIRLFRIEND fits the bill. If I had a pool or a beach nearby, I’d bring this book with plenty of sunscreen, refreshments and a huge Do Not Disturb sign.

The story within THE GIRLFRIEND grows over the course of the first half of the book. This is where the reader could take a side: Team Laura (The Mom) or team Cherry (The Girlfriend). However I found it particularly difficult to like either one of these women or take a side. I enjoyed the jockeying of position though. Who could ultimately outplay or outlast the other.

I enjoyed how Michelle Frances explored the lengths someone would go to in order to protect the person they love. Yet even further, explore how far a person would go to prove that they are in the right; that what they are doing is for the best interest of their loved one. I think this exploration is what I enjoyed most about THE GIRLFRIEND. Oh, but the manipulation, conniving and back stabbing was fun to read too. You know, actually… reading these two women and the extent to which they wanted the final prize was quite disturbing.

I think the part that stuck with me the most was how Laura’s world (the mom) was falling apart around her. That instead of putting all her energy into herself, she tries to hold on to something, someone that wants a life of his own, mistakes included. It’s difficult to let our kids grow up and make mistakes, especially when we see things that are so obvious from an outsider’s point of view. Sometimes, you just have to let go and that was impossibly hard for Laura’s character.

A great debut novel from Michelle Frances !

THE GIRLFRIEND by Michelle Frances
Published by PCG Canada
ISBN 9781509821525
464 pages
Available now

** a copy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts and review.

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