Book Reviews

Book Review: The Nowhere Girl, by Nicole Trope

The Nowhere Girl,

by Nicole Trope

Publication: Bookouture; January 28, 2020

nowhere girlAbout the book:

‘Please,’ she whispers, too quietly for anyone to hear. ‘Please help.’ But there is no one. Where is everyone? Help should be racing up the road, screeching to a stop. Help should be here but it’s not. It’s as far away as it’s ever been.

If you passed Alice on the street, you couldn’t help but smile. At how she holds hands with her husband, Jack, who she has been with since she was at university. At the adoring way she admires her three beloved boys, the centre of her universe.

But if you looked very closely, you’d see how tightly she holds Jack’s hand, afraid to let go. You’d see how carefully she watches her boys, scared to look away. You’d see her smile fading in a matter of seconds, and the secret she hides behind her chestnut-brown eyes.

She has told Jack that she ran away from home when she was younger – but she didn’t tell him the whole story. Her husband doesn’t know about the guilt she bears about the little sister she failed to save, the secret that torments her.

Now, after a lifetime of fresh starts, Alice receives a message spelling out her past. Everything she cherishes, the world she has lovingly built, threatens to collapse in on her. Without her family, she is nothing – and Alice will stop at nothing to save them.

This utterly heartbreaking, beautifully written and gripping family drama examines just how far we are willing to go for our loved ones, and the desperate decisions we make when we have no other choice. Fans of Jodi Picoult, Kerry Fisher, and Liane Moriarty will be blown away by this incredibly moving tale.

**My Review**

Before I even begin my review – please, please, please be aware of some serious potential triggers involving poor parenting (putting it lightly), domestic violence and child abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional). 

The Nowhere Girl is told from three different POV: Alice, Molly, and Margaret. Alice is married to Jack and has three sons. She loves her children and her husband and her basically happy life. However, Alice suffered unimaginable abuse as a child and still struggles. Molly is happily married to Peter and has a very close relationship with her parents and her sister. She is a writer currently writing a book about abused children and desperately wants her own child despite multiple miscarriages. Margaret’s POV is mostly told in the past tense. She meets a man and falls in love, gets married, has a child, and so on. However, her life suddenly changes and she finds herself on a downward spiral complete with severe alcoholism and an abusive partner, Vernon. 

This is my first time reading anything by Nicole Trope and it was a page-turner for me. The characters were raw and honest. Her imagery is so strong that there were times I felt as if I could smell what they were smelling and feel the sensations they were experiencing. Which, in a book this creepy isn’t always a good thing, yet I am still blown away by her descriptions. I think the picture she painted of Vernon’s physical appearance and odors will stay with me (unfortunately) for quite a while after reading this novel. 

A good portion of this novel is a slow reveal of details about Alice, Molly, and Margaret and what has happened in their lives. It’s definitely a slow-burn as far as suspense/thrillers go, which at times felt over-written and slow. Listed as 322 pages I can’t help but wonder if it would have been as good or better if cut to 275? But I still really enjoyed this read and definitely recommend it with caveats.

Maybe something is wrong with me, but I didn’t really need the Kleenex until about the last 10-15% of the novel and they were mainly happy tears but mixed with regrets for Alice and Molly. However, I can see someone easily crying for about 75-80% of this novel because the plot and subject matter is so difficult. I, personally, was brought into this world with a very shitty mother whose picture you would probably see if you looked up “emotional abuse” in the dictionary, yet I still enjoyed this book and it held my interest. But the abuse scenes are very difficult and your stomach will turn, no matter who you are and what your life has been like.

The Nowhere Girl is hard at times and you will definitely feel emotionally taxed at the end, but it’s well-written and a great example of good psychological fiction. Again, the stand-out for me in this novel is the characters, how Nicole Trope made them come to life, and the imagery. Alice will forever be my hero for enduring what she did and carrying on with her life. She is certainly a character that I will not forget. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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