Blog Tour - Girl Unknown by Karen Perry
"I think you might be my father . . ."
When first-year student Zoe Barry walks into Professor David Connolly's office and tentatively says these words, he is left reeling. But it is the lives of his family - particularly his wife Caroline - which are turned upside down by the arrival of this stranger.
A daughter, a sister, a friend . . . an enemy?
Though no one knows quite who Zoe is, she is soon entangled in their lives. Yet her stories don't ring true and Caroline is determined to learn if the girl is the unlucky innocent she claims to be or someone with a far darker agenda.
A deadly cuckoo in the nest . . . Because by letting Zoë in, David and Caroline aren't just leaving themselves vulnerable. They're risking the most precious thing in the world - the lives of their children . . .
"What had happened to the teenager who had appeared nervously at my door, picking at her cuffs, frightened half to death at the bomb she was about to drop? Somehow, she had been replaced by this cool, bloodless creature with her dead gaze, her cruel words spoken with velvet softness. And the thing that was most confusing, the thing I couldn't make out, was which one was the real Zoe and which the fake?"
Fraught with tension and vividly told, Girl Unknown is an in depth character study of the Connolly family and what happens to them when they open their home to a young woman who claims to be David's daughter from a decades old love affair. The story is told from each family member's point of view which is one of my very favorite types of narrative. The authors did an incredible job of writing the shifting perspectives in such a way that one minute I would be empathizing with Caroline and the next minute I would be yelling at David and his often ridiculous choices. Zoe is welcomed in to the Connolly home with minimal transition, and as one would expect, this rocks the worlds of Holly and Robbie (the Connolly children).
Robbie is struggling with anger issues and having problems at school. It broke my heart when he would try to talk to his dad about the things that bothered him only to be brushed off. Seeing things through Robbie'e eyes was incredibly sad... his Dad was too wrapped up with his "new" child, his career and his strained marriage to really hear the things that Robbie was trying to tell him. And then there was Holly -- quiet, observant, and extremely distrusting of Zoe and her story. I did find it odd that David never really questioned Zoe or her motives, and basically welcomed her with open arms in to his home without consulting his wife or thinking about the long term impact that this would have on everyone. He was very selfish and often times naive, and I did not really care for his character. I thought the authors did an excellent job showing how people can become so self absorbed that they are completely oblivious to the destruction that is happening around them. While I would not classify this book as a thriller, I will say the final pages shocked me, so kudos to the authors on that twist at the end.
If you are looking for a manipulative, psychological study filled with family drama then this is the book for you. Many thanks to Henry Holt and Company for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 3.5 stars.