Monday 22 July 2019

Book Review: The Girl at the Door by Veronica Raimo (Contemporary/Literary Fiction)

Title: The Girl at the Door
Author: Veronica Raimo
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: 8 October 2019
eBook - PDF
Contemporary/Literary Fiction
ARC via NetGalley


While on vacation on an idyllic island called Miden, a seemingly aimless woman meets an attractive man and leaves her country to be with him. A few months later, newly pregnant and just beginning to feel comfortable in her lover’s space, her life is upended when a girl arrives at the door.

Slight and pretty, the girl discloses a drawn out and violent affair she’s had with her professor, the father of the woman’s unborn child. In alternating perspectives, the professor and his girlfriend reflect upon their lives, each other, and their interloper. As the community gathers testimony and considers the case, the couple is forced to confront their own paranoia, fetishes, and transgressions in light of the student’s accusations.

Provocative and unnerving,The Girl at the Door explores the bureaucracy of a scandal, and the thin line between lust and possession. In an age in which blunt power and fickle nuance take turns upon the stage, Raimo has delivered an intoxicating exploration of the politics and power of sex.

The Girl at the Door was an interesting book. It's very much on-point with current topics and the Me Too movement, and one thing I did like was the ambiguity. In the end, we cannot be 100% sure whose narrative is true, perhaps because all the characters view the events from their own perspective and therefore see things differently. One thing I did find a little strange was the excessive distancing. With the semi-fantasy setting and the fact that not a single character was ever named, it became an Everyman tale, saying this could happen to anyone, anywhere. However, the downside of that was that it made it hard to connect with and care about the characters. It stopped me from fully investing in the story, because I felt so far removed from it all. Overall, I am giving this book three stars. It was certainly an interesting idea, and there was plenty I enjoyed, but certain aspects of the storytelling didn't quite work for me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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