I just finished David Cristofano’s debut novel The Girl She Used To Be in less than twenty four hours. To be honest I cannot remember the last time I did that with a book. Definitely not with a new baby in the house but that only tells you how much I enjoyed it and how it was impossible to put down. The main character is a woman who has spent the majority of her life in the Witness Protection Program after she and her family witness a horrific crime when she is only six years old. Struggling to live a life that is her own, she endures constant relocation and the ultimate loss of everything she was or ever felt she had the potential to be. Until she meets the one person who in finally putting her life on the line, may set her free.
The book pulls you in with not only the plot but also the fast paced action. You constantly are pulled in different directions and the result is that the book simply flies by. But beyond that there is also some really terrific writing. His pace and rhythm are often poetic and yet seem to flow with the action as well. However my favorite aspect of the book is the unique main character. She is truly multi-dimensional. She is unlike what you expect her to be and always somewhat unpredictable and yet you still seem to connect to her in some way. There always seems to be another layer to her.
David Cristofano has done a wonderful job and I will definetly be looking for later works after reading this novel. Below is one of my favorite passages…
“The unrecoverable moment is like the first bullet added to a magazine, waiting for that future argument when no other thing can be said to trump or wound a loved one, and the gun is drawn and the bullet is fired and resentment and anger and distrust emerge as the only available emotions, and they stick in the air like sulfur, with everyone gasping.”