Girl in the Mirror

The Girl in the Mirror

by Kelsey Rae Dimberg

Overview: They are Phoenix’s First Family: handsome Philip Martin, son of the sitting Senator, an ex-football player who carries himself with an easy grace and appears destined to step into his father’s seat when the time is right; his wife Marina, the stylish and elegant director of Phoenix’s fine arts museum; and their four-year-old daughter Amabel, beautiful and precocious and beloved.

Finn Hunt is working a dull office job to pay off her college debt when she meets Philip and charms Amabel. She eagerly agrees to nanny, thinking she’s lucked into the job of a lifetime. Though the glamour of the Martins’ lifestyle undeniably dazzles Finn, her real pleasure comes from being part of the family: sharing quick jokes with Philip in the kitchen before he leaves for work; staying late when Marina needs a last-minute sitter; and spending long days with Amabel, who is often treated more like a photo op than a child.

But behind every façade lurks a less attractive truth. When a young woman approaches Finn, claiming a connection with Philip and asking Finn to pass on a message, Finn becomes caught up in a web of deceit with the senate seat at its center. And Finn isn’t exactly innocent herself: she too has a background she has kept hidden, and under the hot Phoenix sun, everything is about to be laid bare. . . .

Deanna Boe (12/07/19): What is it now about novels having the word “girl” in the title? It seems to be the “hot” word to catch our eye? I am still trying to figure out how the “rearview mirror” figures in for this novel. Yes, she is looking back at different times on her life, giving you only a glimpse of it and how it differs drastically from the present time. Anyway, that part was all very confusing. In fact, I found most of what was happening in the book confusing. The girl is Finn Hunt (who is using her middle name since she feels her first name is too plain.) Finn accidentally stumbles on what she considers a great job of being a “nanny” to the granddaughter of a Senator. Plus the father, Philip, is a handsome man, successful in business, who is probably being groomed to take his father’s seat as Senator. To top it all off his wife, Marina, is an exquisite woman who is the director of Phoenix’s fine arts museum. Finn sees nothing but great opportunities for herself working for them. She found the job through the man she was dating who actually worked for the Senator.

The little girl for whom she is nanny is Amabel. Naturally she is a darling, precious blond little girl, and even though she is only five years old, she is quite precocious. Since both of her parents are extremely busy, Finn is involved with Amabel and their lives probably more than the average nanny. Finn enjoys being able to come and go to their spectacular home and be a part of their exotic lifestyle. I kept wondering just where all this was leading since the first part seemed to drag. Was she going to have an affair with the father, Philip? Or even the Senator? No, another woman enters the scene and strangely drags Finn into a bizarre web that seems “off” from the start. From here on the storyline simply goes downhill. The ending is quite perplexing and sad, what more can I say? This is the author’s first novel and as such I do feel she has potential to be a better writer in the future. We will simply have to wait and see.
Rating: ***

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