The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung

Did you ever read something that just made you feel so unsettled you thought about it for days afterwards?

The Eighth Girl did that to me. And I’m not mad about it.

This book haunted me, and still does a bit. It’s equal parts seductive, disturbing, fascinating and yes, unsettling.

One woman, multiple personas. But which one is telling the truth?

It’s the epitome of psychological thriller. The narrative alternates between a young woman named Alexa, who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder stemmed from horrible childhood trauma, and her therapist.

But is it really Alexa? Or perhaps one of the “flock” of identities inside her?

The Eighth Girl is an exquisite exploration of childhood trauma and its impact on the psyche. Part thriller, part character study, I devoured this novel in one sitting, reflecting on each sentence, each passage, and each astute observation of humanity. A true gem!” — Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before

Strung along by her friend Ella, Alexa gets caught up in some dark and seedy dealings in the London underground club scene. Ella, absorbed by the money and gifts, refuses to quit – and Alexa won’t leave her best friend.

Will her multiple personalities be an asset in helping them get out of this shady business, or will they put them in even more danger, and exposed to even more trauma than shes already been through?

This was a bingeable thriller at it’s finest. Maxine’s insight and knowledge as a mental health professional adds to the realism of this disorder and feeds the narrative with heart-pounding suspense. The plot is engaging and fast-paced, and tense and disturbing in all the right places, and I had a really hard time putting it down.

In this unsettling, seductive psychological thriller, a young woman with multiple personalities is drawn into London’s hellish underworld when she becomes entangled with a man who has an abominable secret, for fans of Caroline Kepnes and Clare Mackintosh.

I had a lot of questions at the end though! I need to know so many things… like why and when and how and why again?!? But as is the case of what goes on in another person’s head… I will just never know.

An ambitious and compelling read.

Bravo Maxine Mei-Fung Chung on this debut which has also been optioned for Netflix!

Optioned by Netflix and a most anticipated book of 2020 from Bustle, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, and LitHub.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (March 17, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062931121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062931122

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About the Book:

The Eighth Girl coverOne woman, multiple personas. But which one is telling the truth?

Beautiful. Damaged. Destructive. Meet Alexa Wú, a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her shrink Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella. The perfect trio of trust.

When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she catches the attention of its shark-like owner and is gradually drawn into his inner circle. As Alexa’s world becomes intimately entangled with Ella’s, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With no one to turn to and lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle.

Electrifying and breathlessly compulsive, The Eighth Girl is an omnivorous examination of life with mental illness and the acute trauma of life in a misogynist world. With bingeable prose and a clinician’s expertise, Chung’s psychological debut deftly navigates the swirling confluence of identity, innocence, and the impossible fracturing weights that young women are forced to carry, causing us to question: Does the truth lead to self-discovery, or self-destruction?


About the Author:

Maxine Mei-Fung Chun AP c Sarah CresswellMaxine Mei-Fung Chung is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, and training psychotherapist. She lectures on trauma, gender and sexuality and clinical dissociation.

Originally trained in the arts, she previously worked as a creative director for ten years at Condé Nast, The Sunday Times, and The Times (London).

Maxine currently works in private practice where she has a particular interest in the creative feminine, advocating for women and girls finding a voice. She lives in London with her son. The Eighth Girl is her debut novel.

Find out more about her at her website, and connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.


Thank you to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow Books for having me on this book tour!

4 thoughts on “The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung

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