The Other Girlfriend
August 8, 2022

Book Review

The Other Girlfriend

reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo



“Fine. Such a stupid word really. It feels empty and weightless. It’s the kind of word you use to hide the truth.”

Krista Ritchie, Ricochet

Ah childhood friends. Tom and Lizzie have been the best of friends since elementary school. Lizzie professes she cares more for Tom than he does with her but the truth is, she is falling in love with him. . When she follows him to the same University, he finally returns her feelings with a kiss. But what does it mean when he already has a girlfriend, the bubbly and beautiful Hannah, whose wealthy father just happens to own the event management company Tom wants a job at. He tells Lizzie to wait for him. That he is going to break up with Hannah but it has to be in the right way, so as not to threaten his future employment. When Lizzie, her best friend Rebecca, Rebecca’s boyfriend, Luke, Tom and Hannah all go on a weekend away to Durdle Door, a terrible tragedy occurs that changes all of their lives forever. But who is really responsible for what happened to Hannah? 

Ten years later and Lizzie is a different person. She has changed her name to Beth and is a shell of her former self. Beth is agoraphobic and works from home, except for one day a week. She suffers from OCD and keeps her home exceptionally neat. The thought of leaving her house sends her into a panic, her only friend being her next-door neighbor. She carries the heavy guilt of what happened to Hannah so long ago like an ape on her back. Emotionally, despite years of therapy, Lizzie is a mess. The storyline goes back and forth between the incident at Durdle Door, and now, where Tom has shown up at her door, without explanation ten years later, after abandoning Lizzie after the incident. 

Unlike most mystery and suspense novels, I would guess that 50% is Lizzie’s inner dialogue, and oh how she suffers. It almost becomes too much for the reader and leaves us wondering why no one has helped her the past 10 years. It felt heavy and unresolvable. When Tom shows up at her door, wanting to see her, saying he missed her, It feels unbelievable to her. Why would he seek her out now? Lizzie has never stopped loving him but does she trust him? Why did he completely abandon her so long ago when she needed him most? This is one of those novels where you continually scream at the main character hoping she can somehow hear you. 

Not only was this a mystery, but I believe it is an overall commentary on mental health. The issues Lizzie suffers from; Agoraphobia, guilt, self-loathing and self-care are genuine issues and The Other Girlfriend felt powerful and smart. Sometimes, I wanted her to get out of her head and back to the story as there is a lot of introspection, but really this book delivers on so many levels. It felt emotional and raw, but also literal disgust at Tom’s character. 


The Other Girlfriend is available at:


Psychological Thriller Features