Elliott, Lexie. The French Girl. New York, NY: Berkley, and imprint of Penguin Random House. ISBN 978-0399586934. $26.00 USD.
The French Girl by Lexie Elliott is a debut novel (I LOVE great debuts!), and I was very pleasantly surprised at the excellent writing, consistent pace, realistic dialogue and well-developed characters.
Kate Channing and a group of friends from an English university take a vacation in France and encounter the mysterious Severine (The French Girl) during their trip who has an impact of each of them in some mysterious way.
Ten years later the former friends are living their separate lives when they find out that Severine's body has been discovered in a well on the property where they were staying on that long-ago disastrous vacation. So begins a mystery that grabs your attention and is hard to put down.
The narrative is told from the perspective of the main character, Kate, and through her we are given access to the other characters' lives; with her, we try to figure out what actually happened all those years ago among the friends. There are secrets to uncover, betrayals to overcome and ghosts to lay to rest. One of the best things I liked about this novel was the author's fantastic use of personification in describing the appearances of Severine at various times in Kate's life. Another excellent debut - keep them coming!