The Eighth Girl: A Novel

The Eighth Girl: A Novel

by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung


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Optioned by Netflix and a most anticipated book of 2020 from Bustle, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, and LitHub.

"The Eighth Girl is an exquisite exploration of childhood trauma and its impact on the psyche. Part thriller, part character study, I devoured this novel in one sitting, reflecting on each sentence, each passage, and each astute observation of humanity. A true gem!" — Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before

In this unsettling, seductive psychological thriller, a young woman with multiple personalities is drawn into London’s hellish underworld when she becomes entangled with a man who has an abominable secret, for fans of Caroline Kepnes and Clare Mackintosh.

One woman, multiple personas. But which one is telling the truth?

Beautiful. Damaged. Destructive. Meet Alexa Wú, a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her shrink Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella. The perfect trio of trust.

When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she catches the attention of its shark-like owner and is gradually drawn into his inner circle. As Alexa’s world becomes intimately entangled with Ella’s, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With no one to turn to and lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle.

Electrifying and breathlessly compulsive, The Eighth Girl is an omnivorous examination of life with mental illness and the acute trauma of life in a misogynist world. With bingeable prose and a clinician’s expertise, Chung’s psychological debut deftly navigates the swirling confluence of identity, innocence, and the impossible fracturing weights that young women are forced to carry, causing us to question: Does the truth lead to self-discovery, or self-destruction?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062931122
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/17/2020
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 129,551
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Maxine Mei-Fung Chun is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Trained in the arts, she worked as a Creative Director for ten years at Condé Nast, The Sunday Times and The Times. She lives in London with her son. The Eighth Girl is her first novel.

Customer Reviews

The Eighth Girl: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
JessLaine81 2 days ago
Alexa Wu is a young, beautiful, fledgling photographer. She is also the host to a “flock” of alternate personalities that help protect her from the truth of her past and the danger of her present when she gets ensnared in the filthy underbelly of London’s sex work industry. This book examines the sometimes terrible truth behind one woman’s psyche and what our traumas create to help us cope. Did I love this book? Sadly not. And I’ll tell you why: The first half of the book was seriously difficult to follow. I wasn’t sure what I was reading, who was speaking and could not keep track of all of the characters. The characters in this story felt like they only existed in a therapeutic setting or at the strip club. We didn’t learn about about them or their lives for them to truly feel real. Simply put, they did not come to life on the page. That said, I really got into the psychological aspect of this book. I wanted more of it! I was fascinated by the exploration of Dissociative Identity Disorder in tandem with the very real and very scary sex work industry. It was at times terrifying and exhilarating while also being full of sorrow. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for providing me with an advance copy of this book to read and review. #TheEighthGirl #NetGalley
Denice_L 7 days ago
A young woman must use all of her resources to save her friend from an unscrupulous man. This young woman is also suffering from multiple personalities. The unusual premise of this book makes this young woman the hero instead of the victim although her journey to this point has been anything but smooth. Maxine Mei-Fung Chung has given our hero many handicaps that she must turn around in order to save her only friend and learn how to put her shattered selves back together. It is hard to write how well written the story is without giving away some of the major events in the book but the pacing and depth of the young women's friendship kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed.
dlvandruff 7 days ago
Alexa Wu is having another headache. This happens when the others are trying to leave the nest. Right now she is concerned about her best friend Ella. Ella is wanting to join the workforce at the Electra Club. The club may appear as just a club. Ella has shared with Alexa that Electra masquerades as a human trafficking ring. A place where young girls, children are kidnapped or bought from family. Some of the girls are as young as eleven. They are being groomed to enter into the sex trade business.Alexa and Ella are determined to bring the ring down. The nest will help. Dolly, Runner, and the others will all help. The hard part is not being caught. Excellent and clever read. Loved the characters. Surprise ending!
Anonymous 12 days ago
Alexa Wú is a young woman who suffers with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Alexa, the host, attempts to manage her other personalities, whom she refers to as the flock, carefully keeping them safely in her head (the nest) until it's appropriate for them to surface. Allowing the others to take control causes Alexa to lose time, leaving her uncertain of what she has done. In an attempt to keep the flock safe, Alexa has only shared her condition with the three people whom she can trust: Anna her stepmother, Ella her best friend, and Daniel her new therapist. When her best friend Ella takes a new job at a gentlemen's club, Alexa inadvertently discovers the club owner’s illegal activity. In order to save her friend, Alexa will need the help of the flock...but not everyone in the nest has her safety in mind. The Eighth Girl is an interesting new thriller about a young woman living with multiple personalities. Most of the personalities were created to protect her after a childhood trauma, but there are some that wish to do her harm. Alexa has to decide who to trust when she gets tangled with a club owner who takes pleasure in corrupting and abusing those he sees as his property. Alexa's new therapist, Daniel, is struggling with vices of his own which complicates his relationship with her and clouds his judgement. As each of the personalities seeks his help he has to search for the truth in order to help her. Although the plot was interesting something about it just didn't keep me engaged...very Freudian in nature. I also guessed the twist of the novel pretty early in the story. The novel does contain material that may be triggers for some readers including: childhood trauma and the rape and abuse of both women and children. Overall I liked this novel and feel that many readers will find it very enjoyable and more compelling than I did.