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Monday, May 31, 2021

Book Review: Girl One by Sara Flannery Murphy

Girl One
by Sara Flannery Murphy
June 1, 2021
Publisher: MCD
Genre: medical thriller, fantasy
ISBN: 9780374601744
Orphan Black meets Margaret Atwood in this twisty supernatural thriller about female power and the bonds of sisterhood

Josephine Morrow is Girl One, the first of nine “Miracle Babies” conceived without male DNA, raised on an experimental commune known as the Homestead. When a suspicious fire destroys the commune and claims the lives of two of the Homesteaders, the remaining Girls and their Mothers scatter across the United States and lose touch.

Years later, Margaret Morrow goes missing, and Josie sets off on a desperate road trip, tracking down her estranged sisters who seem to hold the keys to her mother’s disappearance. Tracing the clues Margaret left behind, Josie joins forces with the other Girls, facing down those who seek to eradicate their very existence while uncovering secrets about their origins and unlocking devastating abilities they never knew they had.

A spellbinding supernatural thriller, Girl One combines the provocative imagination of Naomi Alderman's The Power with the propulsive, cinematic storytelling of a Marvel movie. In her electrifying new novel, Sara Flannery Murphy digs deep into women’s extraordinary power and reveals an unassailable truth: so much strength lies in numbers.

Josephine Morrow returns home from college to find her mother gone and their home a burned shell. Josie was Girl One, the first of nine “Miracle Babies” conceived without male DNA, raised with seven others and their single mothers in an experimental commune known as the Homestead. 

She sets off with a reporter to find where her mother went and is tracking down the other girls, hoping to find out who is trying to wipe out their existence. She unlocks some secrets along with abilities she and the other girls never knew they had. She will also learn a devasting secret as to why she was conceived and more.

This felt like a comic book origins story of mutants, except girls made from “virgin” births conceived without male DNA. But this is much more. I can actually see this as a movie.

I give Girl One 4 1/2 sheep.

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Sara Flannery Murphy is the author of The Possessions and Girl One. She grew up in Arkansas, including the Arkansas Ozarks. Later, she received her MFA in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis, then took a brief detour to study library science in British Columbia before jumping into writing her first novel. She now lives in Utah with her husband and two sons.

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