Surviving Beauty by David Rory O’Neill

Part one of a three novel series. This is a novel which details the loss of innocence of a beautiful young girl, explores the father who exploits her, and the men who will do anything to save her.

The story begins with describing Regan, an adolescent girl, and how her growing, beautiful body has become a burden to her. This detailed description of Reagan is clever because in starting with so much physical description it only strengthens the growing moral force behind the plot later on. The main problem I had with this novel was the number of characters that are in play, due to the third person narration it is hard to get an in-depth empathy with anyone but Reagan.  I think that imbalance means that the story isn’t quite as compelling as it could be. Despite this, the father character oozes creepiness and there is enough mystery surrounding his horrifying plans for his daughter to keep you reading.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Why you will like it
It’s fascinating to see how far someone will go for money.

Why you won’t
An abundance of characters means that some of the power of the narration is lost.