The Girl Below by Bianca Zander

48%

32 Critic Reviews

The characters were too 2 dimensional and the main character was constantly whining about how the world seemed to be treating her badly! I tried, but this book was just not for me.
-Cheli's Shelves

Synopsis

A powerful and truly haunting debut novel from Bianca Zander with a spine-tingling hint of the gothic and supernatural, The Girl Below enthralls with a strange magic akin to the works of Audrey Niffenegger, Haruki Murakami, and Sarah Waters. Zander’s novel is a story of parents and children; of love, regret, and second chances. When a young English woman, recently returned to London after a ten-year absence, finds herself slipping back into her childhood, she must solve the mysteries of her dysfunctional family—and unearths disturbing secrets that could shatter everything she believes about who she is and her place in the world.
 

About Bianca Zander

See more books from this Author
Bianca Zander is British but has lived for the last two decades in Auckland, New Zealand. She is an established journalist who has written for national magazines and newspapers including the The Listener, Sunday Star Times, and Dominion Post. In addition, she has produced radio shows and written for film and television. In 2009, she wrote the dramatic short film The Handover, which screened in competition at the Chicago Film Festival. She holds an MA in creative writing from Victoria University, Wellington.
 
Published June 19, 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks. 352 pages
Genres: Other, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Girl Below
All: 32 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 18

Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Parker on Jul 01 2012

Because the novel is so incredibly detailed, it took me a while to get through it.

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The New Zealand Herald

Excellent
Reviewed by Paula Green on Sep 12 2012

Zander works the entwined themes of estrangement and strangeness beautifully. 

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New Zealand Listener

Below average
Reviewed by Louise O'Brien on Aug 18 2012

The narrative and imaginative possibilities of these clever ideas aren’t fully enough developed in The Girl Below, the framing conceit better conceived than it is executed.

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TVNZ

Excellent
Reviewed by Melanie Scott on Sep 18 2012

Witty, entertaining and engaging, Zander has produced an outstanding first novel with The Girl Below. 

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Luxury Reading

Good
Reviewed by Vera on Aug 16 2012

Zander does a remarkable job of creating a strong framework for the mystical elements in her work.

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Curled Up

Below average
Reviewed by Luan Gaines on Jun 01 2012

One should always be cautious when embarking on any novel described on the cover as “in the vein of.” Unfortunately, The Girl Below is no exception.

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Jenn's Bookshelves

Good
Reviewed by Jenn on Jun 28 2012

What makes this a truly compelling novel is the alternating time periods.

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Reading Lark

Good
Reviewed by Paula on Jul 27 2012

A breathtaking whirlwind of mystery, transgression, and self-discovery.

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Peeking Between the Pages

Below average
Reviewed by Darlene on Jul 02 2012

Now for the most part I found the story meandered somewhat but the parts where Suki travels back in time to when she was a child I found very interesting and I wish more of the story would have focused somehow on that because it’s what I enjoyed most.

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From Left to Write

Below average
Reviewed by From Left to Write on Sep 03 2012

I felt overall as though something was missing.  

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The Booksellers New Zealand blog

Below average
Reviewed by Angela Oliver on Aug 01 2012

I was all braced for a grand, possibly quite gruesome reveal . . and when it did not come I could not help but feel slightly cheated.

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At Home With Books

Below average
Reviewed by Alyce on Jul 03 2012

How I wish the story would have been entirely one thing and not a mish-mash of many. 

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Tina's Book Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Tina on Jun 26 2012

A much darker read than I thought I was getting myself into.

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Wordsmithonia

Below average
Reviewed by Ryan on Jul 05 2012

A lot of us lose one or both parents at a young age and we don't act like a 12 year old when we are almost 30. 

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Reviewed by Mom

Good
Reviewed by Kristin Jordan on Aug 25 2012

Zander has a gift with words that made this mystery/coming of age tale one I was reluctant to put down. I can't wait for her next work!

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Layers of Thought

Below average
Reviewed by Shellie on Jul 06 2012

I did need to do some skimming to understand the plot . . . I also had a hard time relating to the damaged main character.

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Life in Review

Good
Reviewed by Michelle Peden Vasquez on Jul 03 2012

The writing is superb and the story is full of mystery and intrigue.

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Into the Hall of Books

Good
Reviewed by Asheley on Jun 20 2012

This book was really interesting and kind of creepy and delightful. 

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Literally Jen

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Jun 19 2012

The more that I think about The Girl Below, the more I like it.

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Diary of a Book Addict

Below average
Reviewed by Amanda on Nov 01 2012

It didn't take long for me to get a little bored and annoyed. The only reason I was able to finish this book is because I'm a Viner.

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Stiletto Storytime

Good
Reviewed by Stiletto Storytime on Jun 25 2012

It’s a book that transcends time and the real world while still managing to remain in reality enough to be considered realistic fiction. 

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Pingwings Bookshelf

Below average
Reviewed by Pingwing on Jun 19 2012

I didn’t quite get all the answers I wanted out of this book, but maybe others will be able to read more into things than I was.

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Twisting the Lens

Below average
Reviewed by Jaime H on Jun 27 2012

The Girl Below has definite potential, but needs a bit more information. 

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The House of Seven Tails

Good
Reviewed by Amy on Jun 29 2012

Both dream-like but also creepy . . . Ms. Zander has written an engaging debut novel.

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A Worn Path

Below average
Reviewed by A Worn Path on Jun 20 2012

Some bits are left a bit vague, which some readers like and I happen to not enjoy so much.

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Glorified Love Letters

Below average
Reviewed by Sara Habein on Aug 14 2012

I do think her fiction writing has loads of potential, and if she writes another novel, I may still pick it up, but this one was only so-so.

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Craccum Magazine

Good
Reviewed by Omar on Aug 01 2012

The book’s plot and characters feel authentic, even auto-biographical, but the novel is a page turner more for its fantastic writing.

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Cheli's Shelves

Below average
Reviewed by Chèli on Jul 24 2012

The characters were too 2 dimensional and the main character was constantly whining about how the world seemed to be treating her badly! I tried, but this book was just not for me.

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Library Crystal

Good
Reviewed by Library Crystal on Jul 03 2012

A touch of the supernatural, a touch of psychological thriller, a touch of women’s literature, all mixed together to keep you turning those pages and trying to put the puzzle pieces together. 

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Crazy For Books

Below average
Reviewed by Jennifer on Jun 20 2012

None of my lingering questions were answered at the end of the book.

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Diana Killian

Below average
Reviewed by Diana Killian on Jul 10 2012

Sadly, this all sounds more interesting than it is. 

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Books in the 'Burgh

Good
Reviewed by Books in the 'Burgh on Jun 18 2012

The Girl Below…add it to your summer reading list.

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Reader Rating for The Girl Below
55%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 56 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Kristi Herbrand

Kristi Herbrand 5 Sep 2013

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