There are some books that are just written to become movies and I have to say that, with the right casting, The French Girl by Lexie Elliott could be one of them!
I chanced across this book whilst having a wander through Bookshop Santa Cruz, and yet again it was another simple case of liking the cover. I bought it, then forgot about it for months, but having finished Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, I knew I was in the mood for another mystery.
Books and TV shows about college friends have always appealed to me. Perhaps it’s a hang-up from having read The Secret History by Donna Tartt all those years ago? I still view that, as being the book that made me the devoted reader I am today and of course, it centered around this very thing. Now make no mistake,The French Girl simply can’t touch The Secret History, it’s simply not in the same league, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not fun to read and yes, elements of it may be predictable, but in the same way you will one day enjoy the movie, I found this to be a very entertaining and visual book.
Ten years ago six college friends went on vacation to France together. They were young and impetuous; some were in love, others were experimenting. Whilst there they met a young, teenage, French woman named Severine. Severine exuded the kind of French cool that made her almost emotionally untouchable. When the friends left France, Severine went missing and now, ten years later, her body has been discovered in a well on the property in which they stayed. Now the six friends are five, with Theo having died, and they are all under suspicion of murder. Many of the relationships within the group have changed in the intervening years, and Kate now finds herself confronted by the ghost of Severine at every turn.
I think what’s so clever about this book, is that it’s hard to believe that any one of the remaining five friends could have killed Severine. Yes, there are certainly characters that you like less within the novel, but even then you can’t really believe that they would be capable of murder. The changing rhythms of friendships are really at play here, as are the petty jealousies and preconceived notions that we all carry around concerning those people we have known for years.
All in all, I really enjoyed it and I’m currently casting the movie in my head!