AN ANONYMOUS GIRL: A Novel
Authors: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genres: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction, Mystery & Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Page Count: 384 Pages
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
My Rating: 5 Stars
About the Authors: (From Publisher’s Page)
GREER HENDRICKS is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
SARAH PEKKANEN is the international and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.
Description of An Anonymous Girl: A Novel (From Publisher’s Page):
The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us
“Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.
When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.
Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?
But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.
Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?
As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?
From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller, The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.”
Book reviews, like everything else in life, are subjective. Readers are as different as the number of books you will find in bookstores and libraries. I read many reviews of AN ANONYMOUS GIRL and found an overwhelming majority of reviewers who had read Greer & Pekkanen’s first co-authored novel The Wife Between Us had given their second co-authored novel, AN ANONYMOUS GIRL 2-3 Star reviews. However, the majority of reviewers who had not read The Wife Between Us gave AN ANONYMOUS GIRL 4-5 star reviews. I have not yet read Greer & Pekkanen’s first novel, and therefore I had no expectations or biases. AN ANONYMOUS GIRL is unequivocally a 5 Star novel.
Praise for The Wife Between Us:
“A fiendishly smart cat-and-mouse thriller” —New York Times Book Review
“[A] seamless thriller that will keep readers on their toes to the very end…Readers will enjoy the dizzying back-and-forth as they attempt to figure out just who to root for and as the suspense ratchets up to one hell of a conclusion.” —Booklist
The Wife Between Us received many accolades and praise from highly reputable reviews. I am confident AN ANONYMOUS GIRL will receive its accolades and praise from highly reputable reviews as well. I started and completed reading AN ANONYMOUS GIRL while on an Amtrak train from Chicago to St. Paul/Indianapolis. I was fixated from the first page and remained riveted through the last page. The only time I slowed down was when I came upon the initial alternate Point of View (POV) narration between the two main characters, Jess and Dr. Fields; however, once I realized the authors were writing using the alternate narration, I took off again, without any further. Had I not finished reading the book by the time my train rolled into St. Paul/Indianapolis, I may have very likely found myself further down the tracks than intended.
I feel the need to point out that this style of writing is uncommon because it is, as far as I am concerned, the most challenging form of narration to pull off. I have a feeling that many readers that reviewed AN ANONYMOUS GIRL found themselves confused by the alternate narration style which resulted in their 2-3 star reviews. However, Hendricks and Pekkanen very cleverly did what many writers will avoid because the alternating narration style is difficult, but these co-authors did an exemplary job in their alternating narration style.
It’s not my intent to offend the reviewers who found the alternating narration style a sticking point. However, I also believe that many readers think there are limited POVs in writing fiction, which is not the case, the POV possibilities are numerous. Hendricks and Pekkanen should be lauded for their first-class talent in pulling off the alternating narration POV as superlatively as they did.
I commend their character development which was also not simplified. Hendricks and Pekkanen took their writing to a new level when they wrote AN ANONYMOUS GIRL. They make a great team writing 5 Star novels. I recommend this book to ALL readers, regardless of preferred genre. And I also recommend this book to writers and authors as well. As writers, we read not only for the enjoyment we glean, but also to learn and to learn from proficient writers as well, or we should be if we wish to improve as writers. Hendricks and Pekkanen is a writing team we can all learn from when it comes to improving our writing.
The following is a throw-in YouTube video of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen discussing their meeting and coming together to co-author The Wife Between Us.
I wish to thank St. Martin’s Press, Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.