“No one looked at me. No one saw me. When you wear a hood, you’re invisible.”
The Invisible Girl aka Saffyre Maddox – lives with her Uncle Aaron as her other family members are either dead or uninterested. Traumatized when she was only ten years old, Saffyre has dark thoughts and self harms. She once saw a psychologist named Roan Fours for an extensive period of time but now at the age of seventeen she is trying to cope on her own. She was bereft when he discontinued her therapy and now she secretly follows him as he goes about his life. She likes being outside more than inside and sometimes spends her nights sleeping rough.
“It’s horrible when you know something that someone else doesn’t know; it makes you feel somehow responsible for their predicament.”
Cate Fours – fifty years old, is a part-time physiotherapist, Cate is married to Roan and is the mother of teenage Georgia and Josh . Her marriage has been on rocky ground for some time now because of her mistrust of her husband who has admitted to at least one affair… Because of an extensive renovation to their home, they are currently living in rental accommodation in Hampstead. She is very suspicious of the odd man who lives across the street…The Hampstead area has had several sexual assaults recently and Cate is afraid for her teenage daughter who often walks alone after dark.
Owen Pick – a thirty-three year old teacher of computer science, he worked at a school until recently. He was let go due to allegations of sexual misconduct. He maintains his innocence. Owen is a virgin, he is unloved, socially inept, and is very lonely. His mother is dead and his father has a new family. He lives in a room in his aunt’s Hampstead flat. A flat where he is not really welcome. Owen finds women to be a mystery… and everyone finds Owen to be a mystery. Everyone seems to find him odd, creepy and suspect.
When I open a book by Lisa Jewell I know that I’m in for a rewarding reading experience. “Invisible Girl” was an engrossing psychological thriller.
The first chapters moved a little slow for me, but by the halfway mark I literally couldn’t put the book down.
Told from three perspectives, the story came alive. My favourite character had to be Owen Pick. He was just so pitiable. Everyone judged him because he was ‘different‘ – so much so that he even came to doubt himself. Saffyre Maddox was a memorable character as well. She had undergone so much loss in her young life. I struggled to bond with Cate Fours who seemed to me to be rather shallow and judgemental.
A study in human nature, “Invisible Girl” showed how we are all so quick to jump to inaccurate conclusions when fear and suspicion are added to the mix. The novel was entertaining and didactic in equal measure. It made me remember a quote that I took to heart: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Just because people’s lives might look fine, you never know what they might be dealing with privately.
Highly recommended to all those who enjoy an expertly crafted psychological thriller. Lisa Jewell never disappoints.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster via NetGalley. ISBN: 9781982137335 ASIN: B08428V3CH 368 pages
Links to my reviews of some earlier titles by Lisa Jewell:
Lisa Jewell was born in London in 1968.
She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.
Lisa Jewell is now the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels.
She lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.