If you, like much of the world, were immediately gripped by thrillers such as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins' Girl On The Train—later devouring their screen adaptations starring Rosamund Pike and Emily Blunt—this year's predicted "book of the year" is going to have you hooked from the very first line.
Abigail Dean's gripping debut novel, already tipped to be one of the biggest sellers of the year with its screen rights already sold, centres on the aftermath of a hideous 'House of Horrors' style crime, only examining what happens to victims once headlines move on and years of yet to be confronted.
In Dean's novel, we follow successful New York lawyer Lexie Grace—who was anonymously known as Girl A to the public, after escaping and freeing her five siblings from their parents 'House of Horrors' in England as a child. When their mother dies in prison and they inherit the family home, Lexie and her siblings must return to the house to confront each other and their dark past.
Intrigued? Read on for everything to know about Abigail Dean's Girl A, and what to expect from its screen adaptation.
What Is Girl A About?
Girl A begins with Lexie Grace's escape from her parents' religious cult and the House of Horrors where she grew up alongside her five siblings.
"Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors," reads the books official synopsis. "And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first, she must come to terms with her six siblings—and with the childhood they shared."
What Real-Life Cases Is Girl A Based On?
Dean, as a true-crime fan, drew inspiration from a number of real-life cases, from serial killers Fred and Rosemary West to the escape of a Minnesotan teenager held captive for a month in 2017 who swam to safety across a lake, as well as the most recent case of David and Louise Turpin, the Californian parents who, in 2019, were given life sentences for torturing and abusing 12 of their 13 children.
"Reading these stories, I was in awe of the power of teenage girls," Dean wrote for the Herald Sun. "How could you not want to know what happened next?"
What Do We Know About Girl A's Screen Adaptation?
According to Variety, Johan Renck, the Emmy-award winning director of Chernobyl, is currently in negotiations to direct and executive produce the limited series Girl A. No more detail about a potential series has been released, but considering Renck's previous work on series like Bloodline and Breaking Bad, we can expect big things from the project.
Girl A, by Abigail Dean, is published by HarperCollins Australia and is on sale now.