This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Published by Harlequin MIRA on July 29, 2014
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I don’t recall a book with any more harmful and sexist views. This isn’t just the bad guy. It’s all of them. And it scares me that The Good Girl is written to a formula that ensures success. It’s the kind of book that will make the book club discussion list in many communities. Middle-aged women will sit with glasses of chardonnay in-hand; discussing how inspiring Eve is and how romantic it all is.
I’m not sure who is the worse abuser in The Good Girl. Judge Dennett who is patriarchal, unbudging, and authoritarian. Colin, who kidnapped Mia, forced her to be in a log cabin with him instead of handing her to his employer because she was beautiful. Her mother who on discovering Mia’s child was conceived in “love” while she was kidnapped, forgave all because Mia loved her kidnapper. Or the reader who sees The Good Girl as a romantic thriller.
There’s no love in abuse.
There’s so much abuse of power in The Good Girl. Colin getting angry with Mia because she wasn’t grateful he saved her life (even though she didn’t know the plan but did know Colin kidnapped her). Mia’s father who married the trophy wife and switched his affection to mistresses once the family was older didn’t help his image but got angry at his wife for hugging another man. The detective who seduced Eve, Mia’s mother, while she was upset with Mia’s disappearance.
What scares me is there’s no mention of the abuse. It took Mia’s father forcing her to have an abortion (Mia ran away from the clinic) and being attracted to the detective for Mia’s mother to leave. But that was all. I only recently learned the word incel, but I would count Colin as one. His hatred for Mia, the pampered, spoiled rich girl, continued even after he admitted to stalking her and knowing everything about her. She left home on her 18th birthday, to escape her father’s desire for her to be a mini-me, and funded her college and her life. She paid for her students’ art supplies in the low-income school she taught at. Not deserving of his spoiled rich girl description.
Defining a target audience for The Good Girl makes me cringe. It’s the women who aspire to be Eve; that their husbands will make the money. They see it all as romantic. The idea of an equal relationship is out of their imagination, so this is what they know and expect. That women are subservient to men because well, boys will be boys.
I have a vow to read different and see different points of view. So I finished The Good Girl. I’m glad that it’s hilariously poorly written. It helped with the stereotypes. And the inconsistent character behavior. And the illogical choices. Really, who plans to kidnap a woman, follows her for a few days then has nothing to restrain her with? Even the twist at the end doesn’t make sense. I suspect The Good Girl was written to a set of formulas and then merged together in an attempt to be creative and new.
Read The Good Girl to discover views of different women, then let’s befriend these women, so they learn there are better choices.
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I received The Good Girl as part of an Audible giveaway. I don’t legally need to declare this but transparency is only fair.