Author: Amanda Reynolds
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Date Published: April 5, 2023
The Assistant is told through a series of interviews with the eccentric assistant of the title, Gail Frost, who has managed to wrangle her way into a position with social media influencer Larissa (Ris). As the story unfolds, the journalist is excited to pitch it as a great true crime episode for TV.
Although she’s only in her 50s, Gail reads to me like a fusty older woman, one who has lived a life of disappointment and regrets. With her downtrodden clothes, her moldy apartment, and her subservient manner, I was torn between feeling empathy for her, and outrage for her actions. Similarly, Ris is flawed, trying to overcome a failing marriage and inability to get pregnant through likes and comments on Instagram.
The book bogs down in the middle and is very slowwww, and we’re told that it’s Gail’s desire to tell the story at her own pace. I do wish she would have sped it up a bit, and the twists at the end almost make up for the bogged down middle.
It’s worth noting that the author’s first book, Close to You, is now a major TV series.
Background photo courtesy of Megan Bucknall on Unsplash.
Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for an advance reader’s copy.