The title „Bad Little Girl“ is very suitable for this book. But it also tells you too much about the story.
Claire is a teacher and Lorna is one of the pupils. Not her pupil, but she knows her. Lorna is an outsider and very shy. Somehow Claire keeps an eye on Lorna, even start to really care. She is afraid, that Lorna’s strange behavior comes from some kind of abuse. Claire lives a very quiet life, visiting her mother and doing her job. Claire talks to Lorna’s mother but she denies any abuse and tells her that Lorna makes things up. Of course Claire is sure, that that could not be true. After her mother dies, she somehow got closes to Lorna. One night Lorna is knocking on her door, telling her she has to take now to her cottage in Cornwall because she needs to be safe. Claire, confused, agrees. She is a good person and wants to do the right thing. It never occurs to her, that she is manipulated. For a short time, they both play mother and daughter in this remote cottage. But then Lorna gets bored.
The story is very predictable. I disliked Lorna immediately. She acted strange and I never saw the charms she obviously must have. The story also took very long to get going. Half of the book we see Claire living her life, caring for her mother and watching Lorna. It took a little bit too long until it got moving and something finally happened. A child being a sociopath is unusual but not unlikely. It is indeed quite an interesting subject. But the author failed to make Lorna interesting for me. I found it hard to believe that she charmed to adult women into taking care of her and doing almost everything for her. She was quite lucky to find not one but two women who were more than happy to play her mother because of their personal circumstances.
Well, it was an interesting story. But the pace was very slow and there weren’t many surprises. I liked the idea but I found it also quite unrealistic.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review