Yet another book with a really unlikable female narrator. I feel like I’ve read a lot of these lately — anything by Gillian Flynn, The Girl on the Train, Dear Daughter, and so on. But just like all those novels, with their fucked up protagonists that make shitty decision after shitty decision, based on poor impulse control and messed up childhoods, I could not stop reading this damn book.
Back in high school, Juliet Townsend was always right on the heels of her best friend and rival track team member, Madeleine Bell. Then, at their last track meet together, Madeleine undergoes some kind of crisis and can’t run. Juliet decides not to run either. For Madeleine, this didn’t stop her from leaving their small town, going to college and generally creating a life. For Juliet, it pretty much stops her life (she allows it to! ugh!) and ten years later, she’s still in the same small town, working as a maid at the local motel. 10 years later, Madeleine is back — and the next morning, they find her body in Juliet’s hotel.
The book basically consists of Juliet, who’s a closet kleptomaniac and not just a little fucked up after her father’s death a couple years before, trying to solve not only the mystery of Madeleine’s death, but also what happened at that last track meet. Honestly, I figured it out kind of fast and you probably will, too. The main fascination comes from Juliet getting herself in bad situation after bad situation while she desperately tries to dredge up old memories and reconcile what’s happened to her life.