The French Girl

The French Girl

They were six university students from Oxford--friends and sometimes more than friends--spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway--until they met Severine, the girl next door. For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group's loyalties amid the alr...

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Title:The French Girl
Author:Lexie Elliott
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The French Girl Reviews

  • Cindy Burnett

    Well done Lexie Elliott! The French Girl is brilliant. I love the psychological suspense/thriller genre when the story is done well, and Elliott hits it out of the ballpark on her first try (amazingly enough, she is a debut author). The plot is clever, the main character is very likeable (how often does that happen in a thriller-most of the time I am saying who does this kind of stuff??), and the pacing of the story is perfect. I was turning the pages as fast as I could to see what was going to

    Well done Lexie Elliott! The French Girl is brilliant. I love the psychological suspense/thriller genre when the story is done well, and Elliott hits it out of the ballpark on her first try (amazingly enough, she is a debut author). The plot is clever, the main character is very likeable (how often does that happen in a thriller-most of the time I am saying who does this kind of stuff??), and the pacing of the story is perfect. I was turning the pages as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next.

    Elliott managed to keep me on my toes as I was reading – characters were slowly falling apart, secrets were revealed, and loyalties were constantly being tested. The presence of Severine was ingenious and added an interesting layer to the story. The ending was outstanding; I don’t want to spoil the ending so I will simply say I was worried it might go one way and thankfully it did not (and the book was much better for it). I loved that the main character Kate was likeable and made decent choices. I get frustrated when I am reading in this genre because the main characters are so frequently crazy or highly unlikeable. Kate was a welcome and enjoyable change.

    The French Girl addresses the issue of how memories and events can be skewed by the facts we know (and the facts we do not know) which is certainly a thought-provoking concept. This idea plays out well in this book and made me think about how that issue plays out in everyday life.

    I highly, highly recommend The French Girl – it is a fantastic read. Block out time in your schedule before you start it because you will not want to put it down once you begin. Thanks to Berkley Publishing for my copy; all opinions are my own.

  • Linda

    A bottle of wine, a crust of bread.......and a dead body that shows up after a ten year hiatus.

    Perhaps a few French hens come into this mix as well as six university friends settle into a cozy farmhouse in the French countryside. Poolside is where they find themselves partaking in the good life. A planned getaway with a very unplanned aftermath.

    Ah, and then there's Severine. An uninvited presence both when living and certainly when dead. Who is this raven-haired young neighbor woman slinking int

    A bottle of wine, a crust of bread.......and a dead body that shows up after a ten year hiatus.

    Perhaps a few French hens come into this mix as well as six university friends settle into a cozy farmhouse in the French countryside. Poolside is where they find themselves partaking in the good life. A planned getaway with a very unplanned aftermath.

    Ah, and then there's Severine. An uninvited presence both when living and certainly when dead. Who is this raven-haired young neighbor woman slinking into a deck chair near the pool? Boundaries serve no purpose as Severine crosses the line and crosses the threshold into the private lives of these individuals.

    Kate Channing is the voice of this novel by Lexie Elliott. She creates the backstepping of these young people as they moved about on this isolated farmhouse. Kate recalls the so-called innocent weekend, but she seems to hold back on some of the vital details. Make those intimate details in which certain people pressed themselves far closer to one another than one would expect.

    Fast forward ten years: The twisted body of Severine is found at the bottom of a dry well on the farmhouse property. But wasn't she seen boarding a bus along the roadside on that very day of departure? No one could mistake the willowy presence of the statuesque Severine. A presence that will weave back and forth into the lives of these individuals like a fine French tapestry.....but this eye-catching tapestry is a maze of irregular knotted threads on the backside.

    Enter the French detective, Alain Modan. Modan questions Kate in the office of her newly founded business in London. Scandal is the last thing on her agenda for the day. But reality sets in as Kate is brought up short. One of them is a murderer. One of them is as guilty as sin itself.

    Lexie Elliott tells her tale through images that begin quite slowly with the heaviness of detail. I felt the weightiness of this undertaking as backstories were revealed in order to set the stage. Although perhaps necessary, it did slow down the intensity factor here. But, push on, dear reader. The plot does thicken into a palatable delight. And just when the final course arrives, the ending tanks. Not enough dessert wine to swallow that one down. That's why it's truly a 3.5 on my personal menu. Not enough creme in the creme brulee.

    I would certainly read another offering by Lexie Elliott in the future. I wish to thank her and Berkley (Penguin Random House) for the opportunity to read The French Girl for an honest review.

  • Carrie

    Ten years ago Kate Channing and five of her friends had spent the week together in a French farmhouse. The trip was supposed to be the perfect getaway for the group and that was when they met Severine, the girl next door. For Kate Severine was an unwelcome presence among the group and after that week she went missing.

    Now ten years later Severine's case has been reopened when her body was discovered in a well nearby the farmhouse that the group had visited. With a detective investigating the case

    Ten years ago Kate Channing and five of her friends had spent the week together in a French farmhouse. The trip was supposed to be the perfect getaway for the group and that was when they met Severine, the girl next door. For Kate Severine was an unwelcome presence among the group and after that week she went missing.

    Now ten years later Severine's case has been reopened when her body was discovered in a well nearby the farmhouse that the group had visited. With a detective investigating the case old memories shift and suspicions mount. Kate is sure she had nothing to do with Severine's murder but the detective seems to be suspicious of her all the while she questions whether what she thinks happened with the rest of the group is true or not.

    The French Girl by Lexie Elliott is a very slow build mystery/thriller read. The story within was an interesting one as it unfolded but for me the pacing is what set my overall rating for the book. I'm not a huge fan of a slow pace and this one took quite a bit of time leading the readers into what had gone on all those years before leaving me to rate this story at 3.5 stars.

    I would say though that for those that enjoy a more slow build or for those with a tad more patience than myself that this one just may be more of a favorite. There were plenty of different possibilities for an outcome with this one that kept my interest until the second half when it picked up the pace and suspicions a bit more than the start.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    3.5 Stars

    was the first thing I read when I looked at the cover of the book. Then I flipped the book over and saw…

    Both of those sentences intrigued me and I was excited to get reading.

    Six friends from University spend a blissful week on holiday in a French farmhouse. It’s

    a perfect week….

    Well except for the fact that “

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    3.5 Stars

    was the first thing I read when I looked at the cover of the book. Then I flipped the book over and saw…

    Both of those sentences intrigued me and I was excited to get reading.

    Six friends from University spend a blissful week on holiday in a French farmhouse. It’s

    a perfect week….

    Well except for the fact that “

    ” they met, disappeared without a trace right after they left to go home to Britain.

    Ten years later…

    When Tom calls Kate, she realizes it’s been awhile since they last spoke. When he asks if she remembers “that summer”, she knows immediately what he’s talking about…

    Kate isn’t really all that concerned. She’s focused on getting her legal head-hunter business off the ground. But as it turns out, Kate should be concerned. The French police are re-opening the case now that Severine’s body has been found. They want to talk to the group of friends again, since they were apparently the last people to see her.

    Kate feels like Severine is haunting her….Kate knows she’s not really there but even thinking about Severine stirs up memories…. unwanted memories.

    And it seems that the investigator from the French police, Monsieur Alain Moden keeps showing up and asking some hard questions. He says it’s just procedure…but then keeps popping up unexpectedly asking even more questions and making accusations. The group of friends all seem to have different memories of that holiday and they all have their own secrets…

    Why did they argue the last night of their holiday? What are they hiding?

    Over time things change and you may not remember them in the way they actually happened. Is it memory loss or deception disguised that way?

    “The French Girl” was a slow paced but interesting read. The plot was good; I just wish it was a bit heavier on the suspense. All in all a good debut novel that has me looking forward to more from Lexie Elliott.

    Thank you, Berkley Books for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

  • Melissa

    I know what you're thinking,

    ? If you’re anything like me, a reader with a nauseating amount of

    books earmarked as disappointments, you might’ve cringed when

    hit your eyeline. Cue the resounding groan. But wait, turns out—maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge a book by its title—this is one

    that proves to be worthwhile, for the most part. I'm not saying there's

    greatness within these pages, but it's entertaining.

    I have a feeling

    I know what you're thinking,

    ? If you’re anything like me, a reader with a nauseating amount of

    books earmarked as disappointments, you might’ve cringed when

    hit your eyeline. Cue the resounding groan. But wait, turns out—maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge a book by its title—this is one

    that proves to be worthwhile, for the most part. I'm not saying there's

    greatness within these pages, but it's entertaining.

    I have a feeling

    won’t work for

    . In fact, there might be quite a few readers who opt to throw in the towel, simply because of the pacing. Typically, I get bored easily and struggle with slower paced reads, but for some reason, not this time—

    . The tempo is pretty even-keeled throughout and there are a few side stories—namely Kate’s fledgling headhunter firm—that detract from the main focus of the story, but I actually found myself enraptured.

    Despite the slow pacing,

    . Six friends spent a week in the French countryside, ten years earlier, to celebrate their farewell to university life, and the trip ended with their neighbor—

    —disappearing. Now, a decade later, it’s the discovery of the girl's body that sparks an investigation and lures these estranged friends back together. What

    happened that fateful night?

    Where I found

    's method to be successful was in casting doubt. Among the slow burning embers there were sparks of truth and tidbits of information sprinkled in that skewed my perception of what might have happened and who was involved. There was constant questioning on my part, even when the story veered off into unrelated and unneeded distraction territory.

    Where this slow burn failed to deliver was the ending. A sluggishly-paced storyline like this one demands something impactful—a strong conclusion with a punch of shock or a jaw-dropping twist. Don’t get me wrong, what happens isn't horrible by any means, but it could and should have been so much

    .

    's failure to knock me off-kilter felt like somewhat of a missed opportunity and the difference between what I would consider a memorable standout and an enjoyable, but forgettable experience.

    Issues aside, I liked this author's writing enough to consider giving her the opportunity to really wow me with her next novel.

  • Susanne Strong

    Severine was the mademoiselle next store: her body was found. She was loved, and hated. Was one of the 6 responsible for her death? None of them initially think so. But then doubt is cast. Tension ensues. No one is left unscathed.

    Severine was the mademoiselle next store: her body was found. She was loved, and hated. Was one of the 6 responsible for her death? None of them initially think so. But then doubt is cast. Tension ensues. No one is left unscathed.

    Lexie Elliot’s “The French Girl” is a book about old friends, some who don’t even like each other, yet they are bound together: by gossip, jealousy and secrets.

    Kate, her old friend Tom and Severine intrigued me. I just had to know. How and why. I had my suspicions. You will have yours. I will say that I wanted and expected a little more, given that burn I felt deep inside. That being said, this book is worth the read. It is worth diving in. This girl is really darn interesting so give her a chance my friends, once you do, I want to hear about it.

    Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Lexie Elliot for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on Edelweiss, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter and Instagram on 11.16.17.

  • Holly  B

    A slow unraveling of a mystery involving a stunning French girl-Severine. Though the pace is slower, it does allow you to "get to know" the 6 friends who will ultimately all become suspects in Severine's murder. In the beginning I was having some difficulty figuring out which friend was telling the story. I think it would have been great to have one of the other friends point of view as well ! I was able to work through this and enjoy the book, so don't give up if you decide to read it.

    A detecti

    A slow unraveling of a mystery involving a stunning French girl-Severine. Though the pace is slower, it does allow you to "get to know" the 6 friends who will ultimately all become suspects in Severine's murder. In the beginning I was having some difficulty figuring out which friend was telling the story. I think it would have been great to have one of the other friends point of view as well ! I was able to work through this and enjoy the book, so don't give up if you decide to read it.

    A detective re-opens a 10 year-old case involving the missing girl, Severine, after her body is discovered in a well near a farmhouse in France. The group of 6 friends were all on holiday at the time and were the last ones to see her alive. They will be questioned many times by the inspector

    Gossip and rumor threaten to hurt careers, businesses and friendships as the friends begin to suspect each other and emotions run high. Could it have been an accident? Was it intentional? Did jealousy play a role?

    I really enjoyed the "paranomal" aspect that one of the friends was experiencing, but I would have liked that to be explained/explored more (it had me wondering about Kate and her well-being). I'm not sure if it was meant to be humorous, but too me it was!

    In the end, I would recommend as a light mystery with a bit of a french twist! Fans of cozies, French settings, longtime friendships should really enjoy! I do look forward to Lexie Elliot's next novel and will be in line for it!

    Thanks so much- Berkley Publishing for the book and opportunity to give my honest review.

  • Carol

  • Meredith

    is an

    about a group of six friends who have to deal with the repercussions of the disappearance of the “mademoiselle next door” during their vacation to the French countryside

    is an

    about a group of six friends who have to deal with the repercussions of the disappearance of the “mademoiselle next door” during their vacation to the French countryside years ago.

    Fast Forward to the present: When the missing girl’s body is found 10 years later, 5 of the friends reunite in London. Accusations and tensions are at all time high, leading one friend, Kate Channing, questioning what she thought she knew. What Kate comes to discover is that while her eyes were open regarding some of her friends, she has been blind to others.She begins questioning her memory, and a times one starts to wonder if she’s fully sane.

    What I liked about

    is that it is told from only Kate’s perspective vs. all who were on the ill fated trip. Although it deals with an event that took place in the past, the narrative stays in the present. Unlike so many recent psychological thrillers, there were no flashbacks with reveals here and there or a new reveal offered when a new POV was shared. This element was quite refreshing! I also liked that the ending wasn’t neatly wrapped up, but at the same time I found the reveal of the murderer lacking.

    I almost put this down when I first started reading it. I was disinterested and my mind would wander--rather than pay attention to the dynamics of the storyline, I kept thinking about what I was going to read next. However, the writing is strong, and Kate’s captivating voice and her friendships with Tom and Lara kept me invested. If you don’t enjoy books without much action, don’t read this. However, if you enjoy well-written character studies with a little bit of a mystery mixed in then check this out!

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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