Emma wants a fresh start after a break-in at her home, and that’s how she discovers One Folgate Street. The architectural masterpiece is perfection to the eye, with state-of-the-art technology and a sense of security. The architect of the house has a long list of strict rules that tenants must adhere to, ensuring his pristine design is maintained while occupants are in it. Years later, Jane is not only captivated by One Folgate Street but also with the man who created it. She soon discovers a tragedy that had taken place inside the home and finds herself trying to figure out what happens before she follows the same path.
The premise for this book is both intriguing and disturbing. What price would you pay to live in a spectacular home? What do you deem essential to who you are versus something you can part with to adapt to a new environment? The story is told in alternating POVs between Emma and Jane, setting the scene right away that Emma was one of the previous tenants and Jane is the current one.
The plot in this story was compelling and captivating. The alternating narratives positioned the similarities that were occurring between the two women side by side, which developed a creepy and unsettling feeling as you read further along. I really enjoyed the journey into One Folgate Street that Delaney takes the reader on, however I found the ending a bit anticlimactic. The resolution was okay, but the story continued past the reveal and I felt that’s where it lost my interest. While I understand the author wanted to tie up loose ends, I didn’t feel it went with the mood that the rest of the book was in. I felt like it pulled me out of the mysteriously pristine world that was built throughout the entire book.
That being said, I did quite enjoy The Girl Before. The scene-setting and mystery-building that Delaney has laid out was extremely intriguing. The questions on morality, like the questions on the One Folgate Street tenant applications, interspersing sections throughout the book was a nice addition, and gave readers pause to think how they would answer the questions themselves.