The New Girl by Harriet Walker
Finally getting back on track with reviews and I’m kicking off with a book I really enjoyed reading. The New Girl is the debut novel from The Times Fashion Editor, Harriet Walker and it’s a really great read.
(Before I tell you a little bit about the story, I want to mention that part of the storyline is the death of a newborn baby, and this runs throughout the book.)
Margot has it all. She’s got the dream job as Fashion Editor, a perfect home and husband and now she’s heading off on maternity leave to start her family. Covering her role, is Maggie a freelance journalist who can’t believe she’s getting the chance to step into Margot’s shoes.
As Maggie steps seamlessly into her new role and starts to make a name for herself, Margot starts to become suspicious of Maggie’s motives. As time goes by Margot starts to become more paranoid, especially when somebody who knows a dark secret from her past reappears.
I’ve seen this books described as “The Devil Wears Prada meets Gone Girl”, which is a pretty good description. I loved the insight into role of a Fashion Editor and it is quite a tense read - especially the ending!
For me though it was more than a thriller, it’s a brilliant exploration of some really complicated female friendships and rivalries. Margot is an especially interesting character. I loved how we see her change from a confident career woman to an anxious and stressed new mum. I could relate to her in some ways (not the dark secret part) pre-twins I was a Celebrity Manager at a charity, a job I absolutely loved. I remember how I’d see my replacement’s tweets and while I had everything I could ever wish for, it was still really hard to see somebody else doing so well in what I still considered to be my job. I think lots of women could relate to this, which makes it such a clever idea for a plot.
The New Girl is a great read. I spent a long time afterwards thinking about each character. Not only is it perfect for a summer read but I think it would be a great book club choice.
The New Girl is out now in hardback. I hope Harriet Walker is busy working away on another book, I’d love to read more by her.