The Girl With No Past is the story of Leah, a thirty year old single woman who lives a very sparse and solitary existence; she has no friends, she doesn’t see much of her mum, she has no possessions apart from her books. She has no past. Leah has a job in a library and is making enough money to stay in her tiny, dingy flat but she is getting by not living. Then one day she receives a card on the fourteenth anniversary of the terrible thing that happened and her life begins to unravel.
The novel is told mainly in the present, with some chapters going back to the past. It’s a novel about how the feelings teenagers have can become so magnified that they believe they are justified in doing whatever want. It’s about how falling in love for the first time can make someone blind to the nastiness a person is demonstrating. It’s about how you can’t run from your past mistakes and how karma will always get you in the end.
I really enjoyed this book, I started it yesterday evening and ended up being very late to bed as I couldn’t stop reading. It’s quite a fast-paced book and every chapter moved the story on so that there was never a place that felt right to stop reading – it was brilliant!
I couldn’t make up my mind how I felt about Leah; sometimes I quite liked her and could see she was a nice girl who was just easily led. I felt sorry for teenage Leah and how besotted she was with Adam; she would have done anything to make him happy and that was her downfall. I could never quite relax into liking her in the present day though because I was constantly on edge wondering what she had done in her past. I did swing from having sympathy for her to then wanting to shout at her to wake up to what was going on; the only thing I really liked about her was her love of books! It’s quite refreshing sometimes to read novels where I don’t fully warm to the main character, it can make for a more interesting read and that was certainly the case here. I wanted to see if she ever redeemed herself, it kept me completely hooked!
I was very shocked when it was revealed what had happened all those years ago, I wasn’t expecting it to be what it was and it was horrible to read. It was cleverly written though because I absolutely believed that although I knew Leah was a nice girl, the build up had been there for her to follow her boyfriend into anything.
The ending of the book didn’t come as a complete shock to me, I’d began to suspect that this might have been what happened but it was still incredibly disturbing to read it. It made me go cold! Once I’d turned the final page I had to just sit quietly for a while to mull it all over, it left my head spinning and I love when a book leaves me feeling like that.
I highly recommend this book; it’s a fast-paced thriller that will keep you reading until the small hours of the morning! I rate it 9 out of 10.
The Girl With No Past is out today and is available from Amazon.
I received this novel from Bookouture via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.