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The Good Girl

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,756 ratings  ·  246 reviews
The Number One bestselling author is back with a dark, compelling and controversial novel of one family's darkest secrets.

Fallen in love?
Yet for straight-A student Romy, Ailsa's teenage daughter, there's no escaping the intense attraction she feels towards their youngest son, Jay.

Trusted a stranger?
So when Jay tells Romy his darkest secret, she only wants to help.

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 9th 2015 by Michael Joseph
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Lesley The POV alternates between Ailsa (third person narrative) and her daughter Romy (first person narrative)
There isn't any other narrator

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3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,756 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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Lesley Chattaway
I'm only 37% in and really struggling. What a load of waffle! The author seems more interested in showing off her knowledge of science than giving us an actual plot line ! Not found one character who is believable, much less likeable yet!
Liz Barnsley
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting and intriguing read for me this one - especially since I have been the mother of a teenage girl, with all the highs and lows that can bring so could relate in a lot of ways to what Ailsa and Romy go through in this story.

Romy is "The Good Girl" - never having given her parents a moment of worry, the one they rely on to be self sufficient, ever practical and not really requiring much parenting - leaving them to focus on their other children (who are not quite so easy) and themselve
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: two-star
It loathes me to say when I don't enjoy a book, because I pick my reads very carefully. I look at the cover, the synopsis and the reviews before I make my mind up. With a fair readers rating, and a cover reminiscent of Gone Girl, I thought this would be just my cup of tea. Unfortunately, I was bored almost straight away.

The entire story is odd. I didn't connect with the characters, nor did I particularly care for them. There didn't seem to be much action, just a lot of talking. The cover makes b
Sofiya Hashmi
Mar 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I recieved an ARC and I have to agree with the other reviewer. It wasn't just too much preamble, as there was just general rambling. I was so disappointed cause this was a great topic that I would love to read about (its one that is also pretty new) and I tried to like it but the characters, the storyline... It was hard for me to read through this and finish, and I found myself having to pick it up and put it down. I wish I could have liked this, I'm sorry I couldn't.
A.J. Waines
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. It has the same title as the excellent psychological thriller by Mary Kubica, so expectations were high. I wouldn’t describe it as a psychological thriller, but it’s a very good book. In particular, due to the way the characters and dialogue come to life making the reader feel like they are standing in the same room. That’s a rare gift!

The story is about the changing dynamics within two families who end up as neighbours, with drama involving the younge
Nick Davies
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Though this took a little while to 'get', because I was expecting a slightly different type of book (anticipated a psych thriller, got a family drama with an interesting plot) I did end up quite enjoying it. Though the language was all a touch too ordinary at times, and I couldn't completely escape the feeling this was manipulative Richard & Judy Book Club type stuff, the plot was effective and the voices of the narrators ended up working well. This is a story of a mother and what happens wh ...more
Kobby Gyampoh
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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Imagine This: You are the mother of three amazing children. Though they hate you for being headmistress of their school who brought into effect the appropriate length of school-uniform skirts and a ban on mobile phones being used in the classroom.

Everything’s going perfect, really. Your husband, a neuroscientist, is being supportive at home picking up your children and having dinner on the table before you get back from work. You adm
Linda Boa
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-blog
I gulped this novel down in one 24-hour period, over two sittings, despite the fact that it’s a 470 page book. However, it’s a fast read, and I didn’t feel that it flagged at any point. There was enough going on for me to keep turning the pages doggedly into the small hours. Fiona Neill is best known for her “Slummy Mummy” columns in The Times, and the book that followed, but this is very different, although her sardonic eye for detail, as well as her trademark humour, is intact. It’s the story ...more
I think in a way this is what Fiona Neill is simply saying in her new book The Good Girl is that sex tapes can go viral with one click and that shatters the whole family's life.

We often read in the newspapers that famous stars that have made sex tapes with their partner get leaked on to the big wide net and with coverage of the sex tape in the newspaper. It is often the fact that when the famous girlfriend or wife made the sex tape with her boyfriend or husband, when they split up the ex for spi
Nov 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I've never read the word dopamine so many times in a novel. I learned about dopamine in year nine but apparently it makes you a super science professor if you talk about it constantly. This book just didn't work for me. It seemed very Ian McEwen-esque mixing science with literature to no avail. The characters were so overtly middle class that it becomes alienating, how many average families, and that is what the book is trying to get at, have a uni professor and headmistress as the parents? Just ...more
Monica Shoshanna
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was ok

The blurb of this book was completely deceiving. From what the blurb described I was expecting a thriller. The story is about the Field family who move to a rural town in Norfolk to escape a difficult secret and have a fresh start. The story centres around Ailsa and her teenage daughter Romy and around Ailsa's secrets and Romy's relationship with the boy next door, Jay whose parents are hippies.

What I didn't like about the book was how there was no storyline. It was very
Margaret Madden
Romy is sixteen and has just moved with her family to a sleepy, rural town in England with her family. Life suddenly seems brighter when they get some new neighbours, with two teenage sons. A bohemian family, Romy finds herself drawn to handsome Jay, while her conservative mother struggles to hide her distaste of the neighbours lifestyle. Hippies, sex therapists and far left, they represent everything that Romy's parents are not. Meanwhile, young love leads to Romy uncovering her new boyfriend's ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this as part of a Goodreads giveaway and devoured it in a day.

I went into it knowing very little and unsure of what path the book would take. However, in less than 24 hours, I am left hoping for another Fiona Neill book to follow this. The themes and topics in the book are very current and relevant - family upheaval, addiction, sex and digital footprint. Digital footprint alone allowed me to self reflect - Neill has explored the dark areas of the internet in an excellent way and I only ho
Lakshmi Vijayakumar
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
The first three-fourth of this book is an anticlimax. No other word could describe it better. It’s confusing and there are so many subplots that you start questioning your own understanding of the prose.
The last quarter of the book is what prompted me to add an extra star to what was going to be my original rating.
The way the author handled the emotions of pain, heartbreak, shame and disappointment made me feel all of these emotions, deep down. It isn’t pretty, it makes you look at the time we
Renita D'Silva
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting and intriguing, interspersed with humour. A story of a family in turmoil. Loved it.
Christa Bass
Sep 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I really wanted to rate 2.5. I found this a little dull. It has an interesting and topical premise but I think it plods along way too much to make you care about any of it by the last chapter. Shame.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a rather confusing and long read where it's not clear what the story is working towards. Maybe it would've been more enjoyable if it was shorter and to the point.
Driven by characters far more than plot (not necessarily a bad thing, but a bit more plot wouldn't have hurt in this case) - but mostly this is let down by there being far too much exposition. Still, worthy of 3.5 stars, which drops it in just above my average rating.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, this book only really got going in the last quarter, by which time I was pretty much fed up with the characters, the plodding story and the excessively long chapters. Just about gave it 3 stars for the final quarter but could easily have rated it lower - 5.5/10.
Bev Taylor
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
one mistake. one family changed for ever ....

the field family have just moved form their london home to the norfolk coast. but why? who is telling the truth.

ailsa is the mother who is a headteacher, harry is a neuro scientist, luke their son, romy a 15 year old gifted daughter who wants to study medicine and ben, a would be super spy

the fairports move in next door a couple of super hippies with their own ways of bringing up their children and romy falls for their son, jay. h/e he h
Claire Reed
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Wow! Quite a shocking read. Difficult to review without giving away any of the many strands that make up an explosive storyline. The story revolves around the outwardly successful, middle class Field family; Mum Ailsa is a head teacher of a secondary school, Dad, Harry, is a neuroscientist writing a book about teenage thought processes, eldest child Luke is a bit of an underachiever, youngest son Ben is curious and inquisitive, but has issues and has been assessed for every condition from autism ...more
Barbara Elsborg
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. It was a thought provoking book that explored relationships inside families and between families and colleagues and friends - all around the concepts of responsibility, decisions and consequences. It wasn't the thriller I'd sort of expected but it was a story that kept me turning the pages.
I didn't like the way we were sort of misdirected at the start. It was no surprise to learn who was being talked about - calling her 'girl' seemed unneeded to me. I WAS surprised at the
Hilary Ellis
A very promising story line with some interesting characters and in the beginning I was keen to read on. However, by about page 300 I was simply reading as fast as possible in order to reach the end.
For me, there were too many strands to the story - it was as if the author had tried to cover all the possible modern-day dangers and scenarios associated with teenagers, social media, mobile phones etc for fear of leaving something out. Less might have been more.
I found it hard to relate either to
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it very much. Although I am not married nor have children, but I could relate and sympathies with both Romy and Ailsa.
If you are interested in psychology and why people take actions, what goes on to lead us towards doing something, ..if you are interested in how a life can be complicated, then this book's right for you.
I really enjoyed the scientific aspect of it as it logically demonstrates how really decisions might be made!
However, the only parts where slowed me dows were chapters o
Karen Whittard
Jul 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I wasn't overly enthralled by this book. I liked the concept of the book. But while reading it I felt my mind constantly drifting off thinking about other things. I found it extremely jumpy one minute we could be six months in the past then the next three months later and then back to the present. I found it very hard to keep up with the plot of the story because of this. Was really hoping it was going to have me hooked due to all the glowing reviews. But I guess this book just wasn't for me.
Annanya Priyadarshini
It was a good read.The characters were dynamic and realistic, making the book a bit difficult to put down. Some of the characters (avoiding spoilers), were quite... something. Different. I'm not sure whether in a good way or not.
Romy, who seems to be the protagonist, is a good example of even how quiet children, whom the parents consider a gift, can still be grasped by teenage angst. The summary makes us imagine the story differently from what it turns out.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
The subject of this book is a current sensitive one, it's well-written and thought-provoking. The Good Girl has an interesting premise and some engrossing episodes.
I was expecting a psychological thriller but is more of a family drama. I read to the end, and enjoyed it. A modern story for the social media times, I would read more books by Fiona Neill.
Sally Raven
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Challenging and thought provoking on many levels. The way neuroscience is woven into the story gives a different dimension to understanding of the way we make choices and the impact they have on our lives. This book got better and better as I read.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Couldn't get into this book I am afraid. Started off with great promise but I felt there were too many (odd) characters introduced so quickly. I did finish it but skimmed the last third just to see what happened.
Sammy Jackson
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Couldn't actually wait to finish this, it was a steady enough read but not as shocking and heartbreaking as was described felt like I was reading a different novel from the one described on front and back cover, a story of family that for me just bumbled along to its conclusion
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Blogger Bookclub: The Good Girl - thoughts on Jay? 1 11 Sep 20, 2015 01:04PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please can you add this jacket? 7 29 Feb 19, 2015 08:35AM  

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Fiona Neill is a novelist and journalist. She was born in 1966. Her first novel The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy, based on her column in The Times Magazine every Saturday, was published in 2007. It was widely acclaimed and went on to become a Sunday Times bestseller that sold in twenty-five countries.

Brought up in Norfolk, she now lives in London with her husband and three children.

Fiona is pres
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