Alexa Wu lives a chaotic life managed by her multiple personalities. Only three people know about them: her best friend Ella; her new therapist Daniel; and her step-mother Anna. When Ella takes a job at a seedy gentleman's club Alexa can't help but feel protective, but is it more than Ella she needs to be protective of?
Thank you to Pushkin Press for sending me a finished signed copy of this after I won their giveaway! 'The Eighth Girl' has been on my 'ones to watch' list ever since I read about it on Twitter and it is safe to say it did not disappoint me. If you want to get your copy and support local booksellers, buy your copy on Bookshop.org here: https://uk.bookshop.org/a/2505/9781782277521
Initially I was intrigued by this based on the fact the author, Maxine Mei-Fung Chung, is actually a qualified psychoanalytic psychotherapist and so the novel has factually correct information surrounding Alexa and her disorder. In today's society it can be extremely dangerous to provide inaccurate depictions of those with mental health disorders so it is extremely helpful to not only have a professional's input to the novel but to have been authored by one.
I immediately engaged with the plot, Alexa and her counterparts were extremely interesting, following their dynamic in everyday situations provided the image of normalcy but when the plot started to thicken and follow Ella into the underworld was when I really started to get intrigued. The combination of psychoanalytic sessions with Daniel and Alexa with the investigation into what Ella got involved in created an exceptional storyline that I couldn't put down. As well as that I felt the chapter length was responsive to the narrative itself, providing short and snappy progression when we needed to move on and in-depth lengthy chapters when a bit more explanation and time was needed to have the reader fully understand where the plot was.
Now, I can't reveal the ending because then I'd be taking away a complete bombshell from you that I thoroughly recommend you read for yourself. Chung completely blew me away and bumped my original rating up to five stars, the revelation was hidden in plain sight and the build-up was paced perfectly to shock the reader with the climax. I still cannot get over that ending and I'm writing this a month after I finished the book, it was simply; incredible.
I think this is one of those books that will sit with me for a long time, and considering it was a debut novel from Chung I cannot sing its praises enough. Well done Maxine!