Pretty Is Maggie Mitchell

518PPpu8dCL._AA160_ Pub: Orion

Lois and Carly-May are just twelve years old when they’re abducted, driven across the country, and imprisoned in a remote, isolated hunting lodge for two months. That summer, under the watchful gaze of their kidnapper, they form a bond which will never be broken . . .

Decades later, both Lois and Carly-May have built new lives and identities for themselves. Lois, a professor of literature, is shaken when an obsessive student reminds her of the man who kidnapped her, a man she saw shoot himself on the porch twenty years before.

Out in LA, Carly-May is drinking too much and watching her beauty-queen looks fade, clinging to the last remnants of a once-promising career as an actress. When she reads a shockingly familiar screenplay, she warily she takes a role she knows is based on events from her own life.

Increasingly haunted by the devastating experience that shaped both their lives, Lois and Carly-May are drawn together again in a world that both echoes and falsifies their beautiful, terrible story.

Reading this book took up my whole day. It is a fabulous read and one that is really quite different than the normal types of books about abduction. It reminded me of a black and white film noir.

Telling the story of Carly May and Lois by chapter, it conjures up a Stockholm syndrome type relationship with their abductor. The two girls lead very different lives, Carly May having changed her name to Chloe is a actress and Lois a Professor who has written a novel loosely based on their captivity, and now being made into a film that Carly/Chloe is to be starring in.

Lois is being ‘stalked’ by Sean, who we believe to be the son of ‘Zed’ the abductor.
I like Lois, she is clever and deep and unassuming, Carly May is also a great character, she is multi-faceted depending on who she is with or her mood.

Maggie Mitchell has written an excellent debut novel that is curiously engaging. It is a slow read and one that is to be savoured.

4*/5

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