The Girl at the Door

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

This was just really odd. I didn’t like it at all I’m afraid but may be suited to other readers. It was just an odd format and story for a book and did not engage me at all.
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I normally do 3 for neutral, but I can’t for this one because I felt it was so oddly written it wasn’t me so much, as the actual book.
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A very strange/odd read.. A book that sadly I really did struggle to read. I felt that I was unable to engage with it. 
Thank you to both NetGalley and 4th Estate for my eARC of this book in exchange for my honest unbiased review
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A very peculiar read. I’m not sure if something was lost in translation but I felt that the narrative swung back and forth between deep and meaningful and almost unreadable. 
The book was billed as ‘the first post-Weinstein book’ because of the way it talks about a young woman who comes to a realisation that she has been raped/abused some years later, and how the girlfriend of the accused deals with this news.
The author chose to have both the accused  man and his girlfriend narrate alternate chapters, headed ‘him’ and ‘her’, but I felt that because we didn’t get to know the characters it was difficult to feel deeply about them. There was also a vague allusion to a big event (The Crash) after which the utopia that they moved to was created, but this was not really built upon and just left me feeling like I’d missed something.
There are moments of beautiful writing but also large chunks that I skimmed over because of over flowery language. Again, this could be an issue with translation but it just wasn’t for me.
A generous 2 stars because I didn’t hate it, but actually felt quite ambivalent about it...
I received a free ARC of this book from Netgalley in return for a fair review.
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The girl at the door started well but honestly I lost interest quite quickly. I really wanted to like this book as it sounded interesting, the premise was one that had potential - but I felt alot was left unexplained.
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Oooh boy. This is a tough book to review. I have a policy of only reviewing books that are 3 stars and above and this just fell into the 3 star bracket. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. In fact, to be honest, I didn’t get it.

It wasn’t what I thought it would be, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s good to have your conceptions challenged after all. The thing is, I’m not entirely sure it knows what it is either. The premise intrigued me, a woman opening the door to discover a young woman who is accusing her boyfriend, and father of her unborn child, of rape.

It is an interesting and thoughtful read which set my brain whirring especially as the subject matter is quite contentious. It isn’t really a book about whether he did or didn’t do it, it is a book about the pressure of that sort of accusation, what it does to a couple and what it does to a woman who loves a man who is accused of that.

There is a clever narrative structure whereby alternating chapters are written from the point of view of the girlfriend and the professor. They are very different people with her chapters being quite introspective with lots of contemplation of memory and self whilst his are aggressive and obnoxious. At first I found this difference very stark and quite shocking. It is brilliantly written and executed with two clear and distinct voices which is an impressive feat.

There is a certain distance and detachment from our protagonists which is exacerbated by their names never being revealed. The chapters are labelled, Her and Him and the young woman accusing him of rape is referred to as ‘the girl’. I can’t say I found this an enjoyable trope as it kept me outside of the narrative and I struggled to fully connect with either of them. It felt very cold and clinical but then, occasionally there would be some shocking sentences, dropped into paragraphs without preamble. These instances were like a slap in the face, bringing my attention firmly back to the book.

The Girl At The Door is set somewhere called Miden which is a country set up after The Crash (what The Crash is is never fully explained) and seems some kind of utopia. I didn’t fully understand it, but found it intriguing. I like dystopia and actively seek books from this genre out, as I like seeing what humans are capable of in an unknown landscape. The thing is there wasn’t quite enough dystopia for me, the references and language used was abstract and I ultimately felt distanced.

I can’t say that I loved it but, it is one of those books that you can’t get our of your head and which you need to talk about and ultimately it did grow on me. Sometimes books do that. Sometimes you need to take a step back and let the book settle a while. It is a sophisticated but challenging read which I don’t think would suit everyone, but it is a book that will definitely provoke discussion.
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I really struggled with this book. It's written in a strange and impenetrable way. It's set in a commune or society somehow separate from the rest of the world, but there's no real back story or explanation for it. I found it frustrating and unengaging. I can see that a lot of other readers have enjoyed it, though, so perhaps it just wasn't for me.
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I really wanted to enjoy this.  The premise is gripping and I even liked the idea of setting it in a community like Minden.  But I am afraid the rest rather eluded me. It all so postured and slow that it quickly became impossible to care what had happened (had the Professor raped his student over a couple of years, or was it a consensual affair?), or indeed what was going to happen as a result.  It felt to me that the author had truly revelled in writing it and yet, strangely, it was this energy which made it such an off-putting read.  I would have preferred to have just left my comments without having had to leave a star rating.
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The Girl at the Door by Veronica Raimo concerns the relationship between the professor and his girlfriend and the society they live in.
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Well this is certainly a strange little book and I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to say about it.  It is a dystopian tale I guess but it was a little odd and....I don't know.  I appreciate what the author was trying to do and I did really like the way the book ended. I think maybe I need to think about it some more before I write a full review.
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I couldn't get into this and had to DNF it. The style was strange and choppy and the society didn't make much sense as it felt like a semi dystopia being shoved into an attempt at Meaningful Literary Fiction
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An interesting dystopia with great details and an interesting framework, slightly let down by disjointed writing, making it at times confusing. The imagery of an inverted garden of Eden is Atwood-esque but misses the mark by being often unclear.
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“The Girl At The Door” totally missed the mark for me. It felt as though there wasn't enough backstory provided to set the scene so I mostly hadn't a clue what was going on.
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Oh god.
I was so fucking uncomfortable reading this book. It's shock for shock sakes. Very casually, someone talks about being beaten and slapped around during sex, as well a some dubious consent situations. The whole novel explores a professor (who is an asshole- kudos to the author for getting the perfect voice for 'entitled-pretentious-white-dude-who-teaches-philosophy tone right) who has been accused of rape.. It also takes place in a post-event society where everyone has moved from civilisation to utopia. There's a lot happening here and not enough pages or chapter length to explore it. In fact, the story seems to happen for a few pages, then take a break to be smart, then come back to the story. Perhaps there's something to be said for meaning getting lost in translation or maybe I'm just not intelligent enough but...I didn't get this book. I didn't find it hard-hitting or gripping. It tried on a difficult topic for size and it didn't fit.
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I am very unsure of The a girl at the Door and will leave a full review soon. Not a bad book but not a great, I’m letting it sink in. 
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an arc copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I was drawn in by the seemingly topical subject matter of the novel, but I'm afraid to say I hated the way it was written. The sexism is over-the-top and extremely off-putting, and honestly I can't imagine who would want to read this. Sorry to be so negative but there was nothing I liked about the book.
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This book is set in Miden, a society constructed after something called the Crash. It is run by Commissions, you need to be accepted in to live there, it is a place where positivity is enforced and you even need permission for people to visit. 

It's told from the perspective of Him (the professor) and Her (the professor's six month pregnant girlfriend) - we don't learn any names throughout. One day, 'The Girl' tells the pregnant girlfriend that her professor raped her a couple of years back. 

The story follows life for the two of them in Miden, after moving from their country, as well as the Commission having to basically decide whether or not he is guilty by having his friends and peers fill out questionnaires about his character. 

The writing style, I didn't gel with, and a lot of it confused me. The information about Miden was peppered into each chapter and I think I would have preferred a proper bulk background of the commune at the beginning.
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I didn’t like the writing in this book it made no sense. I had to stop reading sorry. I had to keep re reading parts and eventually I stopped as it was confusing and odd
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A young woman living with her boyfriend/partner a relatively new relationship that has this young woman 6 months pregnant .Pregnant resting on the couch a knock on the door a young girl is there a young girl who tells her the man she lives with had raped her he was her professor they had a relationship and she know realizes he had sexually molested her,
This chilling novel takes place in an idyllic community told through the accused point of view the girlfriends different voices .This is a chilling haunting raw novel not a comfortable read at times but a book that will involve ans shock you.An unusual compelling thought provoking novel.
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I found this opaque and enigmatic, not always in a good way. A young woman turns up unexpectedly and tells the female narrator that she'd been raped by the narrator's boyfriend... only she didn't know it at the time. We think we're in a story about non-consent but we're not really. Turns out that we're in this constructed society called Miden after the Crash outside: both the narrator and her boyfriend (also a narrator, both unnamed, turn-about speakers) have come here from outside and the story really turns on a sort of bureaucracy of investigation.

It's hard to put a finger on what's going on and what the book is about. The boyfriend is obnoxious with his sexist talk reducing women to body parts. Miden seems to be a kind of new world built on objectivity where people suppress their subjective feelings: such as the founder of the colony (?) who also just happens to be the father of the raped girl.

The whole thing is shaped like the myth of the garden of Eden, but inverted. In equal measures I found this interesting and frustrating. Perhaps one for your Philosophy student friends.
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