Book Tour & GIVEAWAY: ‘The Girl Below’ by Bianca Zander

The Girl Below

by Bianca Zander

William Morrow

Pub. Date:   June 19, 2012

Book received from: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

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Suki Piper is almost thirty-years-old and returns to London, her hometown for the first 18 years of her life.  After living in New Zealand for the past ten years, trying to establish a relationship with her father, she returns to a town that she no longer recognizes, and seems to no longer have a place for her.  She is immediately drawn to solve mysteries of her childhood after visiting an old neighbor and befriending her old babysitter.  This is where it starts to get strange.

Suki has the fragmented memories of a child and does not know what all the pieces to the puzzle mean.  She begins to have visions which seem very real, taking her back to a night of a party in her parents’ garden, in which she was trapped in an old air-raid shelter.  Suki hopes that gathering the fragmented clues of her memory will help her to better understand everything else in her life.  There is a disembodied hand that unties the bows on her dresses, teeth that are not hers, an old locket of her mother’s, and a tent that all seem to hold the answers.   What those answers are, are certainly not clear- even by the end.

In what could have been a creepy, somewhat supernatural twist, instead leaves the reader asking too many questions that the author never intended to answer.  With a collaboration of visions, fragmented memories, and toggling back and forth in time, it is understandable that a child’s perspective would not be the clearest or most accurate.  However, what results is a frustrating feeling of not knowing if Suki really did suffer some traumatic event, or if it is all a result of a child’s overactive imagination.   At times, it seems that Zander is trying to put all her ideas into one book- and it is all a bit too much.

Under some circumstances, this approach could be quite intriguing.  In the case of The Girl Below, however, it all seems to come up a bit short.  There is a lack of interest from any of the characters, including Suki, as to what is going on in the story, resulting in an unlikable cast.  By the end, I was reading to find out what it was all about, only to realize that I will never know.

The Girl Below has definite potential, but needs a bit more information.  I enjoy books that have a certain subtly, but there does need to be more detail to bring it out of the area of denseness.  Reading Zander’s work is somewhat like watching a David Lynch movie:  there is a certain cerebral context that can be profound and the line between dream and reality are often blurred.  In the end, you either get it or you don’t, and, with this one, I just didn’t.

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William Morrow has generously offered a copy of ‘The Girl Below’ for one lucky reader.  To be entered, simply comment below & tell me why you this sounds like an interesting read, with your e-mail address in the comment.  
Must be at least 13-years-old and live in the US/CAN.  I will pick a winner by random July 3, 2012.

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Check out the entire blog tour calendar.

‘The Girl Below’ can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.

For more about Bianca Zander, go to her Facebook page here.

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10 thoughts on “Book Tour & GIVEAWAY: ‘The Girl Below’ by Bianca Zander

  1. This books sounds like an interesting read. I like that it’s a type of mystery trying to find out what really happened to Suki in her childhood through fragmented memories. It’s a shame that you didn’t really like how the story ended – with more questions than answers. It seems like something I would enjoy trying to puzzle out for myself. Thanks for the giveaway!

    stephward84(at)hotmail(dot)com

  2. This book sounds like real life. Most people live their lives with more questions then answers. I agree though that a novel should have engaged characters. If the characters aren’t interested in what’s going on, how is the reader supposed to be. Unless, this book is meant to bring up the childhood memories of the reader and possibly help them to discover ‘why am I the way I am?’

  3. I like how Suki is just as perplexed about her past as the history. Although you said the ending leaves many questions unanswered, the setup looks sound. Perhaps there will be a sequel to answer some of your questions. And mine, should I get a copy. 😉 knotty1tink(at)yahoo.com

  4. “The Girl Below” sounds like my kind of read. Love a good mystery. I just returned home after living away for several years. Discovering all the changes and relearning about things from my past and learning about things I didn’t know, that happened back then. Would love to read and discover what Suki discovers about her past.

  5. I think the idea of trying to figure out if her childhood memories mean something or not. I personally have questions and have been told things I wish I could recall. I do agree with you characters are key to a good story. I don’t need to relate to them but feel they need to get me to keep reading. This does sound like an interesting story.

  6. Pingback: Life in Review: “The Girl Below” by Bianca Zander « Life In Review

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