Best Seller Debut: THE GIRL BEFORE

The Girl BeforeThere’s a new girl in town. Landing at #5 on the NYT‘s hardcover fiction list is JP Delaney’s psychological thriller, The Girl Before (PRH/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Interviewed in the NYT‘s “Behind the Best Sellers” column, Delaney connects his novel to a nonfiction sensation, saying “he wanted to explore the ‘weird and deeply obsessive’ psychology of minimalism, evident in the fad for [Marie] Kondo” author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

“On the face of it,” he tells the paper, it “is baffling — all that focus on folding and possessions. But I think it speaks to something that runs deep in all of us: the desire to live a more perfect, beautiful life, and the belief that a method, or a place, or even a diet, is going to help us achieve that …But my book is about what happens when people follow it too far. As one of my characters says, you can tidy all you like, but you can’t run away from the mess in your own head.”

The book is cleaning up in libraries, showing heavy holds that have increased over the last several weeks. Demand is likely to grow stronger as word spreads about its appearance on lists. It is currently #15 on the USA Today list.

Librarians predicted the book’s success. It is the #1 LibraryReads pick for January 2017 with the following annotation:

“A page turner that is sure to be a hit. Each chapter alternates between two time periods. Back “then,” there is Emma, looking for the perfect flat. Her agent suggests One Folgate Street, built by architect Edward Monkford. In present day, Jane, a single thirty-something also ends up on Folgate Street. Both women learn the sinister history of the property and readers won’t know who to trust as Delaney’s debut clutches you by the throat and won’t let you go.” — Kara Kohn, Plainfield Public Library District, Plainfield, IL

It was a hit with our GalleyChatters as well. Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library (NJ) described it as “a high speed ride through a tale of obsessions with twists and turns that don’t stop until after the final page is turned.”

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