The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

Published: June 6, 2023

St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 314

Genre: Psychological Thriller

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Katie Bishop is a writer and journalist based in Birmingham, UK. She has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, Vogue, The Independent, and other publications. The Girls of Summer is her first novel.

Rachel has been in love with Alistair for fifteen years. Even though she’s now married to someone else. Even though she was a teenager when they met. Even though he is twenty years older than her.

Rachel and Alistair’s summer love affair on a remote, sun-trapped Greek island has consumed her since she was seventeen, obliterating everything in its wake. But as Rachel becomes increasingly obsessed with reliving the events of so long ago, she reconnects with the other girls who were similarly drawn to life on the island, where the nights were long, the alcohol was free-flowing and everyone acted in ways they never would at home. And as she does so, dark and deeply suppressed secrets about her first love affair begin to rise to the surface, as well as the truth about her time working for an enigmatic and wealthy man, who controlled so much more than she could have ever realized.

“Not all secrets are good, after all.”

Rachel went on an adventure as a young adult that changed her life. What she experienced was cruel, though, to her young mind, she thought it was love. Now, the past comes crashing against her present, and this time, she sees everything.

This was told through alternating timelines, which painted the picture of this story uniquely. We get to know the characters, the plot, and the drama by bouncing between the then and the now.

Rachel was a complicated character. She was naive in so many ways, but she was also stubborn. Her journey was told in a way that allowed the reader to see things that her character didn’t, which was interesting.

The scenery descriptions in this book were beautiful. The island is such a vibrant character throughout this novel. The undertones of this book were powerful, and the way they were woven throughout the story was well done.

The writing was solid, the pacing balanced, and the storyline arched perfectly. This was not the typical thriller, but I enjoyed how this played out. As a debut novel, this was smooth.

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