I read The Girl Before for book club, and I can safely say that I hated it. I don’t often despise books, but this one deserves it. Why?
- It’s written by a dude (and he’s not a man, he’s a dude) from the perspective of two different women. He has very little idea of what a woman’s inner life is actually like or how women work.
- The brilliant male architect who may or may not have committed the murder ultimately is given the most robust characterization and is arguably the main character of the novel, despite it theoretically being about women.
- Said architect and his talent are completely fetishized.
- There’s another, not brilliant, man in the book who is dehumanized because he is NOT the brilliant architect.
I am done with books about brilliant men making art and saving the world, despite their flaws. ESPECIALLY when women are used as the vehicle for both the motivation AND the storytelling but don’t actually get to be robust characters.
Seriously, fuck this book.