Reviews for Girl one (BOOK)

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In her latest work of speculative fiction, the author of The Possessions (2017) creates a world in which women can conceive without men. Josephine Morrow’s mother has disappeared and the house where she spent most of her childhood has been set on fire. The source of the fire is unknown, and the only clues to Josephine's mother Margaret Morrow’s whereabouts will send Josephine on a trip across the country and into her past—a past that Margaret has done her best to keep her daughter from investigating. Here is what Josie knows: She was born on the Homestead, a woman-only commune; she was the product of a virgin birth; and Dr. Joseph Bellanger helped her mother achieve parthenogenesis. As she searches for Margaret, Josie seeks out the other mothers who gave birth on the Homestead. She also reconnects with their daughters, a couple of whom join Josie on her journey. As these young women get to know each other, they discover that they all have superhuman abilities—telekinesis, controlling the minds of others, the power to heal. They also encounter a number of people who hate and fear them enough to want them dead. This is a difficult novel to categorize. It has science-fiction elements and its basic plot is that of a thriller, but it’s written in a style that is well suited to neither. Using first-person narration, Murphy spends a lot of time exploring Josie’s inner life, which is not nearly as interesting as her outer life. This novel also suffers from some serious plot holes. Josie and her companions assume that their powers are the result of parthenogenesis, but no one wonders why—like the X-Men or the Justice League—they each have a unique power. More importantly, Josie has devoted her life to replicating the work of Dr. Bellanger, but when she has the opportunity to ask those in a position to give her information about his techniques, she never asks any questions that might lead her to the truth. Some of the mysteries that drive the narrative are resolved, but its central secret remains a secret. Full of intriguing ideas that are poorly developed. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.