We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Girl: Book summary and reviews of Girl by Edna O'Brien

Girl by Edna O'Brien X
Girl by Edna O'Brien
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published Oct 2019
    240 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Girl, Edna O'Brien's hotly anticipated new novel, envisages the lives of the Boko Haram girls in a masterpiece of violence and tenderness.

I was a girl once, but not anymore.

So begins Girl, Edna O'Brien's harrowing portrayal of the young women abducted by Boko Haram. Set in the deep countryside of northeast Nigeria, this is a brutal story of incarceration, horror, and hunger; a hair-raising escape into the manifold terrors of the forest; and a descent into the labyrinthine bureaucracy and hostility awaiting a victim who returns home with a child blighted by enemy blood. From one of the century's greatest living authors, Girl is an unforgettable story of one victim's astonishing survival, and her unflinching faith in the redemption of the human heart.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"In a feat of empathy and imagination, the Irish writer O'Brien portrays one girl's torments after she is taken by jihadis in Nigeria...A heartbreaking tale and a singular achievement." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"O'Brien captures the intensity and urgency of Maryam's plight with measured, evocative prose that often reads like poetry. She succeeds in putting a personal face on an international tragedy." - Publishers Weekly

"A haunting tale of suffering and innocence defiled. Remarkable in its trajectory from darkness through to a hard-won glimmer of light. Fierce and lyrical by turns. Another magnificent book from a magnificent writer." - Marina Carr

"By an extraordinary act of the imagination we are transported into the inner world of a girl who, after brutal abuse as a slave to Nigerian jihadis, escapes and with dogged persistence begins to rebuild her shattered life. Girl is a courageous book about a courageous spirit." - J. M. Coetzee

"Girl is a novel of profound and ever-renewing empathy and grace―a parable on the complex subject of human redemption. Its verbal funds are clear and transporting and unforgettable; its dramatic resources vast." - Richard Ford

"Edna O'Brien tells this story with such compassion and understanding that the very disturbing events she relates are uplifting―and unforgettable. An utterly unique achievement." - Ian McKellen

This information about Girl was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Edna O'Brien Author Biography

Photo: Orion Books

Edna O'Brien is an Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet and short story writer. She is considered the "doyenne" of Irish literature. She was the winner of the 1993 Writer's Guild Prize for Fiction. Her biography of James Joyce was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in June 1999. In 2001 her documentary novel, In the Forest - about a brutal murder on the west coast - caused a furor in her native Ireland. It was the subject of a BBC Omnibus film and was later shortlisted for Irish Book of the Decade.

O'Brien now lives in London. She received the Irish PEN Award in 2001. Saints and Sinners won the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the world's richest prize for a short story collection. In 2018 she received the PEN/Nabokov Award. Faber and Faber published her memoir, ...

... Full Biography

Other books by Edna O'Brien at BookBrowse
  • Wild Decembers jacket
  • The Love Object jacket

5 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more literary fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: One Hour of Fervor
    One Hour of Fervor
    by Muriel Barbery
    Set during multiple decades across the turn of the 21st century, One Hour of Fervor follows Haru, a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ascent
    The Ascent
    by Adam Plantinga
    Adam Plantinga's brilliant debut novel, The Ascent, introduces readers to former Detroit police ...
  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...
  • Book Jacket: Our Moon
    Our Moon
    by Rebecca Boyle
    In Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Julia
by Sandra Newman
From critically acclaimed novelist Sandra Newman, a brilliantly relevant retelling of Orwell's 1984 from the point of Smith's lover, Julia.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Leaving
    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.