Good Girls Don’t Die By Christina Henry- Summary
Goodreads summary of Good Girls Don’t Die By Christina Henry (review below):
A sharp-edged, supremely twisty thriller about three women who find themselves trapped inside stories they know aren’t their own, from the author of Alice and Near the Bone.
Celia wakes up in a house that’s supposed to be hers. There’s a little girl who claims to be her daughter and a man who claims to be her husband, but Celia knows this family—and this life—is not hers…
Allie is supposed to be on a fun weekend trip—but then her friend’s boyfriend unexpectedly invites the group to a remote cabin in the woods. No one else believes Allie, but she is sure that something about this trip is very, very wrong…
Maggie just wants to be home with her daughter, but she’s in a dangerous situation and doesn’t know who put her there or why. She’ll have to fight with everything she has to survive…
Three women. Three stories. Only one way out. This captivating novel will keep readers guessing until the very end.
Reason #1- Structure
Christina Henry made some brilliant and unique choices for the structure of Good Girls Don’t Die. It would’ve been a safe and easy choice to choose a typical format. You have three women and three stories. It could have jumped from Celia to Allie and then Maggie and repeated the cycle. Instead, Christina Henry chooses to tell each woman’s entire story separately. After which, in part four, she brings the three stories together. This provides a complete picture of each woman’s circumstance but ends on an open-ended note, leaving you salivating for the conclusion. And part four delivers.
Additionally, chat room conversations interspersed throughout Good Girls Don’t Die provide clues and real-life connections to each story.
Reason #2- Characters
Good Girls Don’t Die focuses on the stories of Celia, Allie, and Maggie. Each woman has a different personality and descends into a different predicament. And while there is a connection between the three that comes around in part four, the personalities of each woman are maintained. From the time you go through their story with them, individually, until their stories merge. Each tale is mysterious, with the women trying to sort out fiction from reality, sanity from hysterical insanity. These are strong women placed in unbearable situations, and how they sort through the lies demonstrates the strength of women.
‘You’re gonna pay for what you’ve done. Women like you always get what they deserve.’
Reason #3- Plot(s)
I touched on this in the section above, but there are phenomenal specificities about the plot. Each story reflects different types of situations. One story resembles a Stepford Wife scenario, a second replicating the best of teenagers in horror movies, and (and possibly the best) a squid games scenario. The latter related more to YA Dystopia, but I took a lot of themes and structures away from it that reminded me of the best of Squid Games—all three involving the drugging and kidnapping of those being set up by an unknown entity/entities.
Thank you to Berkley and Penguin Randomhouse Audio for an advance copy of Good Girls Don’t Die By Christina Henry, which releases on November 14.
Reason #4- Unabashed Violence
Make no mistake. Good Girls Don’t Die is not for the weak of heart. Despite some fantastic dry wit, Good Girls Don’t Die lives up to its horror/thriller billing.
‘Misses Corrigan is the only one who could possibily press charges. And she won’t be doing that anytime soon. Unless she’s allowed to call collect from hell.’
From the ultra descriptive of deaths, including slashed throats, to unearthly spiders and severed limbs, Christina Henry has no fuck bucks to give for our feelings or ability to wretch. She deftly balances the horrors, suspense, and thrills throughout Good Girls Don’t Die. Be ready to be pushed off a cliff of blood, gore, and shocking turns.
Reason #5- Themes
I have a great fondness for women writers who intersperse women’s themes into thrillers without dominating or overtaking the story until it becomes a female literary book. Christina Henry does a brilliant job accomplishing this. Some themes that are explored in Good Girls Don’t Die include:
- The strength of women.
- Assumptions men make about how they can control women, falling back on the “hysterical” female argument to do so.
- Selfishness versus selflessness in the light of life and death situations.
- Female friendships (the strength, jealousy, and ugliness of them all)
- How money and AI corrupts.
- Trying to convince those around you of the realities of a situation while making sure you stand your ground in your truth.
As I wrote this review, I became even more aware of what an accomplishment Christina Henry conquered. Between all these reasons, you find a book that will keep you captivated, horrify you, and shine a light on some ugly realities in society.