The opening lines of this book really grabbed me. What was happening? 

Without warning, Clara Lawson’s home is invaded by armed men and she finds herself separated from her husband and daughters. The last thing her husband yells to her is say nothing. Say nothing. Those two words sucked me right in. Say nothing about what? The reader soon figures it out. While not being told explicitly what has and is happening to Clara, you know. I read this entire book with knots in my stomach. How sickening that this family made money the way that they did! And that Clara had no idea what was really happening! I kept turning the pages, needing to read faster. When would they be caught so that the madness would end? I needed to know how the “business” was brought down. How would Clara handle the truth about her life?

Told in chapters that alternate between past and present, the novel slowly reveals Clara’s life. While the “now” portions are told in chronological order, the “then” sections jump around a little. I found that a bit confusing at first but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. The alternating past and present telling of the story was interesting and kept me on my toes. This book is well written and comes to a satisfactory ending. This reader looks forward to reading more books by Olsen.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 4 stars

Reviewer: Jennifer

Title: The Girl Before

Author: Rena Olsen

Release Date: August 9, 2016

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