Girl A asks what happens to the children who survive one of those infamous traumas that become a cause celebre. Lex Gracie is Girl A, one of the six Gracie siblings rescued from horrific child abuse when she frees herself and runs for help. The children are all adopted separately though most of them meet with each other in adulthood. When their mother dies, she leaves Lex as executor, which means she has to get each of her siblings’ signatures to create a community center, a gift to the community stained by their past.

The story has a chapter for each of the children as Lex tracks them down. She seems to have done well, adopted by loving parents, one of the police who rescued her. The eldest, Ethan, has done really well, writing about the trauma and capitalizing on it, though we learn his history is a bit more complex. Delilah copes with religiosity and Gabriel with drugs. Noel was an infant and has no idea his history. Meanwhile, Evie is the wise advisor helping Lex to cope.

Girl A is fantastic. I read it in one sitting. I could not put it down. The most fascinating part was the gradual disintegration of the family from happy to miserable. Their father changes from strict but loving to a monster. The gradual changes and the way this happened in front of everybody. This felt very real. The family dynamics, the favorite son, the neglected daughter, it’s all there.

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