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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year

Chosen as a best book of 2021 by The Times, the FT, the Guardian, the Independent, Stylist and more!

‘Girl A,’ she said. ‘The girl who escaped. If anyone was going to make it, it was going to be you.’

I am Lex Gracie: but they call me Girl A.

I grew up with my family on the moors.

I escaped when I was 15 years old.

Now something is pulling me back....

Rights sold in 36 territories

Soon to be a TV show directed by Johan Renck (Chernobyl)

One of Marie Claire, Waterstones and Grazia’s best books for 2021

A Sunday Times number two best seller for w/e 6/2/21

A New York Times best seller

©2020 Abigail Dean (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Sensational. Gripping, haunting, and beautifully written." (Richard Osman)  

"An astonishing achievement." (Jessie Burton) 

"A masterpiece." (Louise O’Neill)

What listeners say about Girl A

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I’m not sure if ‘great’ is the right word for such a sad story, but this is a harrowing story beautifully told. Includes vivid descriptions of poverty, child neglect and abuse (so trigger warning). The stories are carefully peeled back with layers of now and memory flashbacks, and give a very convincing picture of a fictional troubled family (at least I think it’s fictional - it all seems very real). Realistic, in-depth characterisation, and the audible reading was very well done too. Five stars

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Boring!

It was uneventful and long. Not worth a listen. Nothing really happens. Nothing exiting is told and it can NOT be categorized as a psychological thriller!

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Characters are so well developed

Great story and great narration - really clever inclusion of all characters! The flashbacks are really excellently portrayed

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Profile Image for Lee Flewitt - author
  • Lee Flewitt - author
  • 02-01-21

Beware any book described as "literary"

If I had known before I lost the hours it took to endure this pile of self regarding ordure, I would have driven a screwdriver through my ear drums. Yet another callow indulgence penned by some dreary young woman who thinks its insightful and "LITERARY" to be dull. It isn't.
Spoiler alert: A family is ruined by a religious nut and Child A, a troubled young survivor describes pretty much everything you might expect. No surprises. No insights. Dull, dull, dull. And certainly not a thriller, literary or otherwise. Avoid.

127 people found this helpful

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  • Ciara Harding
  • 01-29-21

Terrible, a real struggle to listen to it all!

The main character was not as all likeable. She was very difficult to engage with. The story rambled and was a real struggle to listen to. The narration sounded very condescending and the narration of the male characters was very irritating.

50 people found this helpful

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  • dreamteamgirl
  • 01-27-21

Horrifying, beautiful, haunting and uplifting.

Girl A is Lex, a survivor from a house of horrors where she and her six siblings (girls a,b and c and boys a,b,c and d) have been tortured, abused, starved and mistreated by her stark raving father and peculiarly detached mother.
The story starts years after the Gracie children are away from the house when their mother’s death forces them to revisit the past.

The story is heartbreaking, and horrifying in turns, although it rarely goes into details or is explicit.
It does a great job of picking up what happens after the cameras stop, the newspaper headlines end, and the circus dies down.
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the characters are rarely exactly as they first appear but still feel very true.
Ms Hollidays performance was great.
9/10

44 people found this helpful

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  • Molly
  • 02-09-21

Uninteresting

I have listened to over 5 hours of this book and apart from the beginning nothing is happening to want me to continue listening.
There's no mystery etc; just boring waffle to fill a gap between the beginning and the end of the story. I really don't understand (actually really amazed) how some people have rated this book so highly. I will continue listening and if the story improves I will change my review.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-30-21

Badly written and badly read

Takes details from prominent media stories and turns them into fictional misery lit. The characters are badly drawn and it's hard to see why the situation would take place. Some details, like the matching shirts, are shoehorned into the story without good reason for their occurrence. The stories Lex tells about her parents attempt to include information that couldn't realistically have been described by them or remembered by her. I wanted to get to the end just to see what else it included but I really struggled.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Tracey Slater
  • 01-26-21

Heartbreakingly brilliant

Wow.... what a powerful book. It was read beautifully and broke my heart many times but just so beautifully written, there is no way I could stop listening to it. nothing I can say wrong about this book just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant

21 people found this helpful

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  • CamillaAmazon
  • 01-25-21

Amazing

Brilliant book, I finished it in two days. I hope she writes another one soon.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 01-26-21

Kept me listening

I enjoyed this listen, I think a lot of that was down to the narrator who I thought was great (as she is on Strike series). Details are revealed slowly and some aspects are left for you to draw your own conclusions, which makes it both intriguing and a little frustrating. Would still recommend it though.

9 people found this helpful

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  • mr d e turner
  • 01-23-21

Dazzling

A sensational debut novel. Worthy of all the buzz and more. Read beautifully here. Highly recommended.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jan M
  • 01-28-21

What an achievement

Such a beautifully written debut novel. As the story slowly unfolds you find yourself gripped by the tragic, then optimistic, then tragic reality. I’m eagerly awaiting Abigail Deans next publication.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-29-21

Most well written and read that I’ve heard for a while!

I’m a longtime user of Audible and this is my first review. I loved everything about this book. I felt that the characters are strongly built and backgrounded. The plot, whilst in my opinion lacking detail that I longed for, is extraordinary and very well put together. Also the reading was great. I felt each character was embodied by the difference in accents, which I don’t think I would have thought about in written format. I just think it’s wonderful. I’ll be recommending this to this everyone!

27 people found this helpful

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  • Sandy
  • 02-15-21

Boring

Dnfed this book, didn't like it at all
I got so sick of the 'he said... she said... I said'

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Trudibubble
  • 01-25-21

Disappointed but still enjoyed

Disappointed but still enjoyed, although after the reviews and hype I was expecting “MORE”. Good plot and character building was clear and concise, but I understood very early on a few of the large twists.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-26-21

Past & Present narrative

I didn’t mind the story itself but I found the story hard to follow at times as there were no “pauses” between flipping between past and present and it would at times take a minute to understand where I was in the story.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Moodels
  • 01-30-21

A artist with words

One of the most superb storytellers.
The author captures the readers mind through the artistic expression.
Highly recommend this book both via audiobook and through reading the physical book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-10-21

Disappointing

This book fails both as a thriller and as a character driven story. It was frustratingly slow. I kept waiting for something - ANYTHING - to happen. There was little to no suspense. It could have succeeded as a portrayal of the effects of childhood abuse, except that the protagonist had no character or arc - she came across as simply cold. A faintly ridiculous twist was thrown in near the end - I suspect the editor suggested this to make the book more interesting.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-31-21

Absolutely Breathtaking!!

Absolutely breathtaking read, full of twists and turns and lots of surprises. Would definitely recommend.

6 people found this helpful

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  • kelly
  • 02-16-21

girl A

remembering these children, having gone through hell, from their parents. I am guttered for them.
amazing story.


3 people found this helpful

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  • Caroline Horlock
  • 02-12-21

Brilliant!

Sad, hopeful, poignant and fascinating! A story of survival or not... loved it! Beautifully read... highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bronte65
  • 02-11-21

Harrowing

The subject matter is not easy to listen to, but so well told it was possible to hope for a happy ending knowing how unlikely that would be. Beautifully told by the amazing Holiday Granger.

2 people found this helpful