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Title: Dream Girl
Author: Laura Lippman
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publish Date: July 1, 2021
Genre: Psychological Thriller
My Rating: 3/5
Following up on her acclaimed and wildly successful New York Times bestseller Lady in the Lake, Laura Lippman returns with a dark, complex tale of psychological suspense with echoes of Misery involving a novelist, incapacitated by injury, who is plagued by mysterious phone calls.
In the end, has anyone really led a blameless life?
Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse.
Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the “real” Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl. But there is no real Aubrey. She’s a figment born of a writer’s imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry’s life?
And why does no one believe that the call even happened?
Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved.
And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused – and so terrified.
Chilling and compulsively readable, touching on timely issues that include power, agency, appropriation, and creation, Dream Girl is a superb blend of psychological suspense and horror that reveals the mind and soul of a writer.
Purchase Links: Amazon
Gerry had an accident that left him confined to a hospital bed in his apartment. He is dependent on two women, his personal assistant and his night nurse. Gerry has plenty of time to reminiscence about his past, and he has many regrets. On top of all of that, he is receiving phone calls from Aubrey, a fictional character from his most successful novel. He suspects someone is messing with him, or he may be losing his mind.
Dream Girl is a multilayered novel with an unlikable main character. The timeline shifts between past and present. The past is all over the place, covering everything from Gerry’s childhood to more recent moments. While the story is slow building, it is also engrossing.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Books by Laura Lippman:
- After I’m Gone
- Wilde Lake
- Lady in the Lake
- Dream Girl