Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse @ajgnuse @4thEstateBooks @WmCollinsBooks #TheGirlInTheWalls #NewRelease #NetGalley #BookReview


She doesn’t exist. She can’t exist.

‘A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight’ Jess Kidd, author of Things in Jars

’Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.’

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?

And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?


Girl in the Walls: A thrilling fiction debut, the Gothic novel of 2021


Can you imagine that your home is your world and going out is squeezing out of the crawl space under the floors into the inner house where people live? Elsie had lived in the house walls ever since her parents had been killed in an accident, it was after all her home. When the new family are asleep, or out, she searches for scraps of food and leftovers, occasionally taking a little more. She takes things she needs to survive.

The creaks, the new family hear when they are home, are put down to the normal noises a house makes when all is quiet. She knows all the dodgy floorboards and steps. She knows her limits so that the family don’t get too curious. The youngest boy who is almost a teenager, has seen her for just a fraction of a second now and again. When his older brother confesses he has seen her too, they decide to do something about it.

Believe me, when you have finished this book, you will hear every creak your house makes. Elsie, the girl in the walls, is intelligent, harmless and lives every day with her fears. Whereas the boys of the house fear what is in the walls, Elsie fears them finding her. She has nowhere else to live. The author makes this a highly emotional read, with nightmare scenarios and unusual friendships. The unknown is what people fear and at times your mind is your worst enemy.

The story never really ventures from those four walls but it is packed with heart-pounding moments which are off the scale. It is a superb debut from this author, definitely one to watch out for in the future.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Twitter: @ajgnuse

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