Release date: February 20, 2018
They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway–until they met Severine, the girl next door.
For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive, and there are some people you can’t forget, like Severine, who was never seen again.
Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free.
How well can you trust your own memory after ten years? That’s the question at the heart of this book and when I think back to a decade earlier I can’t remember all that much. I was pregnant with my first kiddo so I definitely have vivid memories of that time, but the rest of everyday life type stuff? Forget it. Kate can’t forget the week she spent in France with her five closest university friends, there was drama, turmoil and a neighbor went missing. But now her body has been discovered and the investigation has been reopened forcing Kate to recall painful memories that she would rather be left in the past. How well can she trust herself, they were drinking and again, it’s been ten years! I loved the unreliability this provided as everyone’s perception of that week didn’t quite fit together making it tricky to piece together the truth.
This is a slower paced novel, you should definitely be in the mood for a lighter mystery that doesn’t rely on crazy plot twists when you pick this up and I do recommend picking it up! Despite the leisurely pace I was hooked almost instantly, there were fantastic moments of doubt and plenty of evasion from the core group of friends that kept me entertained. What sets this apart is the deep characterization coupled with a strong writing style that gave me shades of Ruth Ware. I’ll definitely be eagerly awaiting her next book!
The French Girl in three words: Perceptive, Enigmatic and Dubious.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.