Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
First of all I’m going to address the elephant in the room as far as genre and bloggers overload goes. Yes this title has the word girl. And gone. And yes we are fed up with gone girls and domestic noir overload – there have been rumblings in the proverbial jungle and I myself swore after a recent disappointment that I wouldn’t be going there again for a while..still I’d heard great things about this one from trustworthy sources so hey, what the heck right? One more for the road…
My advice? Ignore the title. This is a different kettle of fish (although yes, missing girls in this case a baby, a mother who may or may not be a killer but that’s where the comparison should stop)
Little Girl Gone starts with the fact of a missing baby and the rather strange happenstance that mother, Estelle, did not report this terrible loss. The police shake their heads, the reader shakes their heads we all look to Estelle for answers. At first she doesn’t have any…and no don’t get caught up in the whole unreliable narrator bag either – this is very much simpler in that it is the story of one mothers journey through the madness of post partum depression, possibly psychosis and her attempts to discover the truth about her daughters disappearance. This truth lies inside her own head, in a locked mind that is refusing to give up what it knows.
The tale has that great pull of being both a real page turner and a truly emotional read – Estelle accepts that she may have harmed her child. She doesnt want to believe it and nor do we, but the fact remains that she has been very ill – ill enough that anything is possible. The story twists and turns as she tells her psychiatrist about her background, her life before and her life after the birth of baby Mia.
Alexandra Burt does a really magnificent job of exploring the mindset of a mother on the edge – there is a huge authenticity here that pops off the page. Estelle as a character draws both sympathy and frustration as she goes on this journey – her frustration is your frustration and boy does that make the whole thing highly readable and extraordinarily addictive.
I think the thing that impressed me most was how the solution was not the ultimate resolution – once the truth does emerge about Mia the author takes us further – Estelle has to deal with the knowledge, the fallout, the next things in a life she struggles with and it is completely fascinating and horrifically emotive at times, I was utterly gripped the entire way through and came out the other side feeling a bit like a wet rag. Very good reading indeed.
So yes, ignore the title – this book has so much more going for it than a drop in the ocean of the Girl craze…and would definitely come highly recommended from me.
Happy Reading Folks!