Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
Synopsis: A thrilling nature-vs-nurture psychological suspense novel about a daughter trying to deny her worst impulses and distance herself from her violent and dangerous father.
Not a single resident of St. Augustine, Florida can forget the day that Michael Joshua Hayes walked into a shopping mall and walked out the mass murder of eleven people.
He’s now spent over a decade on death row and his daughter Evelyn—who doesn’t remember a time when her father wasn’t an infamous killer—is determined to unravel the mystery and understand what drove her father to shoot those innocent victims.
Evelyn’s search brings her to a support group for children of incarcerated parents, where a fierce friendship develops with another young woman named Clarisse. Soon the girls are inseparable—and by the beginning of the summer, Evelyn is poised at the edge of her future and must make a life-defining choice: whether to believe that a parent’s legacy of violence is escapable or that history will keep repeating itself, whether we choose it or not.
Dark, creepy, and disturbing are the three adjectives that immediately spring to my mind after reading Girl At The Edge in one sitting last night. With some deeply unsettling scenes, this may not be a book for everyone, but I found it mesmerizing from the very first page and was unable to put it down until I came to the end. Dietrich’s writing is beautiful and quite visual which adds to the enjoyment. This isn’t an action-packed story but rather a thoughtful look at how two girls cope with living with the knowledge of their fathers’ monstrous actions. Whether nature or nurture forms the essence of who we are is an age old question, and I’m not sure if anything new is added to the debate here, but Evelyn’s battle with her own inner demons is fascinating and her story is perfect for book discussion groups with older teens. I highly recommend this with one caveat: don’t read this immediately before bed because I guarantee you’ll be up thinking about it for hours.