THE TENTH GIRL
Release Date: September 24th, 2019
Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored… and one of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence.
The spooky season is almost upon us even if the summer still does not want to let go and just go away! However, there is something about a good horror book with a heavy dose of thrilling suspense to set up the anticipation of the upcoming Halloween season. What drew me to the book initially was its cover. If you truly examine all the elements of it you will get a very good sense of what can be found within. Only having finished the book did I TRULY appreciate how well thought out the details are.
While the book is categorized as a young adult it does come with a few adult triggers. The author does not shy away from not only building upon the increasing gore but also exposing the ugly nooks and crannies of the dark side of humanity.
This complex story does demand your full attention as there are many easter eggs and if you pay really, really close attention you may be prepared for what is next… but not always. The story unravels in two points of views – from Mavi, a young English teacher looking for safe harbor and a new start at an isolated finishing school with a dark past; and Angel an “Other” presence in the house. There are also many secondary transient and permanent characters to be loved, enjoyed, and despised that give the novel depth. After all, everyone has a role to play.
If you stick with the story and do not give up the final reveal is very satisfying and leaves the reader stunned as all the pieces finally fall into their rightful place.
Sara Faring is of Argentine-American heritage and in this debut novel, we are given an introduction into her diverse cultural background. Personally, I will be waiting for her next release.
With an Author’s Spin On Them
That’s the calming effect of another’s presence, especially that of a champion at hiding fear. Those I know who hide their fear best do so because they’re trying to hide it from themselves, knowing it could corrupt some piece of them if acknowledged.
This is one of those quotes I’d love readers to re-discover after they’ve finished… (note: champion, corrupt) ☺
By the end of the book, Mavi realizes it isn’t calming to be around a champion at hiding fear. It’s calming to be around someone who acknowledges fear—who, as Lamb says: “[shakes] its hand, as it is a noble adversary, and [informs] it that we have a long list of tasks to accomplish, and it may try its best to stop us, but we plan on accomplishing them all.”
“Fun fact about me—my memory’s awful, so don’t hate me if I forget what we’ve exchanged here tonight by the morning. My grandmother always tells me that jealous spirits must borrow my memories at night and forget to put them back.”
Yesi! She never quite has both feet on the ground… for better or for worse.
“Isn’t it kind of beautiful to experience primal fear? To feel your pulse quicken because a pile of well-laid stones catch shadows and carry sound in unusual ways? How often are we so bored and anesthetized by our routines—in our safe surroundings—that we lose all sense of what’s magical about our existence?”
This makes me want to ditch my laptop in a deep lake and move into a haunted house in the hills.
“If you can survive living in a haunted house, I think, you can come to know all the oddest little nooks in yourself.”
After reading Shirley Jackson’s books, I’ve come to believe this is true. Just how well do the house residents know themselves, by the end of the book?
Souls aren’t like steam, I realize. They’re like viruses, spreading to the surrounding organisms, infecting them with their unfulfilled dreams and inescapable worries.
Angel’s obsession with the soul is matched only by mine, I think.
And I wonder if maybe we’re not entirely to blame for all the good and bad in life. If maybe luck is just another word for intervention by the unknown—someone or something we can’t quite understand helping all of us along, shaping the rules of our reality.
Quote #2 that’s all the more delicious when read after you’ve finished.
“Everything delicious has to be slightly corrupted to qualify as delicious.”
One word: cheese.
“Ghosts are an invention of people looking to reconcile themselves with the peculiarity of memory, with the randomness—and permanence—of loss, with unfathomable inner selves,” she says. “Ghosts are one of the first and best metaphors!”
If it’s not obvious, I have a writer crush on Yesi. I snuck so many juicy little rants in through her.
I am yours. You are mine. The color cannot be stripped out of us.
Mavi’s mother refused to water herself down or soften her edges—as did Angels’ mother, in her own way. I knew I wanted this message to be passed down from mother to child, in the book’s waterfall way.
“We all go through our own personal hells at one point or another; we all inflict pain on others or ourselves intentionally or accidentally at one point or another; we all lose shit that we thought we couldn’t live without, but there’s still so much beauty and love and wonder to be found around every corner. How much pain do you have to be in to forget that and give in to the dark, you know?”
You found the sticky hot core of the book! Thank you, Vik, for selecting these very special quotes.
Born in Los Angeles, Sara Faring is a multi-lingual Argentine-American fascinated by literary puzzles. After working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, she worked at Penguin Random House. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in International Studies and from the Wharton School in Business. She currently resides in New York City.
Her first novel, The Tenth Girl, will be released by Macmillan/Imprint on September 24, 2019. Sara is represented by Sarah Bedingfield at Levine Greenberg Rostan Agency.