The New Girl by Harriet Walker – Review

About The Book

She’s borrowed your life. What if she decides to keep it?

Glamorous Margot Jones is the fashion editor at glossy women’s magazine Haute, and pregnant with her first child. Margot’s used to her carefully curated life being the object of other women’s envy – who wouldn’t want her successful career, loving husband, beautiful house and stylish wardrobe? 

Maggie, a freelance journalist, certainly knows she doesn’t measure up. So when Margot gets in touch to suggest she apply for her maternity cover at Haute, Maggie seizes the chance at living a better life – even if it’s only temporary.

But the simultaneous arrival of Margot’s baby and a brutal end to her oldest friendship sends Margot into a spiral of suspicion and paranoia. Are Maggie’s motives as innocent as they seem? And what happens at the end of the year when Margot wants her old life back – especially if Maggie decides she doesn’t want to leave?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via Secret Readers. The New Girl was a book that I wouldn’t usually read, I prefer my books to be a little grittier. But the synopsis intrigued me with hints of trouble in the past, a broken friendship and a threat that many career women who are on maternity leave must feel.

At first it’s told by two view points, Margot who is on maternity leave with her first child and Maggie the woman who has filled her position. I liked both of them, appreciated Maggie’s enthusiasm and Margot’s fear over being replaced and her hurt at the way her school friend Winnie has severed connection. I liked her more and understood her feelings when events that happened when she was at school were slowly revealed.

When Winnie appeared the novel became a lot more sinister. It was via Winnie that I got to understand Margot more, especially with what happened when they were at school. I could see how Margot felt threatened but I could also see the pain that Winnie felt. I wasn’t sure what she could be capable of. I could also appreciate how much Maggie helped her, albeit unintentionally, with not knowing the connection that she had with Margot.

This was a novel about friendship, loyalty and envy. It was also about guilt and insecurity and how both could affect judgement. It also taught me a little about the fashion industry, something I know absolutely nothing about. 

I’m glad I decided to read something a little different, this was a book that I really enjoyed.