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The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

She loves your son, she wants your life.

It's a classic case of girl meets boy; boy then falls in love with girl; and as a result, mother of boy wants to meet this mysterious girl that her son is so smitten with (within such a short amount of time). They say curiosity killed the cat. In this game of cat and mouse, you wonder if that's going to be an eventuality for one of the characters.

Laura's life looks perfect on paper. A long marriage to a rich husband, a handsome son Daniel who's in medical school, and a successful career. 

But the cracks begin to surface in this picture perfect setting as soon as Cherry (Daniel's girlfriend) comes into her life and starts to create a wedge between her and her son. The book begins with a love story of sorts. Daniel has just met Cherry, but within a week, she's become a fixture in his life. It's not hard for figure out that Laura is quickly starting to lose her son to Cherry, and her place in the hierarchy is threatened. 

At first Cherry seems great. Beautiful, confident and seemingly also smitten with her son. But first impressions are seldom what they appear to be. As time goes by, cracks start to surface in who Cherry appears to be, and Laura's suspicions grow. She's hell bent on protecting her son, but is she simply being too paranoid. Her past also catches up to her, and things are not as black and white as it seems. 

But these hints of insecurity, aren't just one sided. 

Cherry, is a young girl who's been swept off her feet by a rich young handsome guy, who by the way, has just bought a £2.5 million flat on a whim. Cherry doesn't come from this kind of affluent upbringing. She's not had an easy life; her mom worked all her life at a supermarket. 

Cherry was desperate to escape that life and it's why she reinvented herself and got herself a job in a real estate firm in the rich part of town.  

The story moves seamlessly between two perspectives -- Cherry's and Laura's -- and it's hard not to be invested in both the characters, and it's not hard to dislike both the overbearing mother and the gold-digging girlfriend. After all, both Laura and Cherry feel they have a sense of entitlement towards Daniel, and it's easy to see how they each can feel insecure of their position in his life. It comes down to the age old question of who really holds the winning cards in a young man's life, his mom or his girlfriend? 

The story moves with a pace that is gratifying. There are no long-winded chapters that steer you off course. The Girlfriend is a gripping, chilling drama that keeps you guessing. 

As a point of interest, The Girlfriend, is Michelle Frances' debut psychological thriller, and it has been optioned by Imaginarium Studios for film adaptation. It appears to be a perfect fit for the big screen.

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar 

Instagram: @SukasaStyle @Shilpartistry

Thank you to Publisher Group Canada for a copy in exchange for an honest review.