Girl in the Walls

A.J. Gnuse. Ecco, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-303180-7
A young girl hides in her childhood home in Gnuse’s disquieting debut. After 11-year-old Elise’s parents die in a car accident, shortly after the New Orleans family had moved to a new house, she runs away from a foster home to her old house on the West Bank. There, she hides in various crawl spaces, surviving on dry cereal and snacks pilfered from the new residents, the Masons, while they are away or asleep. The two sons, antisocial, sensitive 12-year-old Eddie and gruff 16-year-old Marshall, suspect something is going on, but their busy parents rebuff them. Meanwhile, a younger boy, Brody, from the other side of the levee, shows up at the house one day. Initially Elise hopes Brody will be caught by the Masons, pinning their suspicions of an intruder on him, but eventually she befriends him. When the Mason parents leave for a weekend, Marshall and Eddie contact Jonah Traust, a man Marshall met through an online forum, to help them search the house. The shaky premise doesn’t quite convince, but Gnuse builds a good deal of tension as the story reaches its climax, involving a dangerous Jonah and even more dangerous hurricane. This vivid if melodramatic novel is worth a look. Agent: Amelia Atlas, ICM Partners. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/17/2021
Release date: 05/11/2021
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-303182-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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