Category Archives: The Eighth Girl

Review: The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung

Title: The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 480 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


In this unsettling, seductive psychological thriller, a young woman with multiple personalities is drawn into London’s hellish underworld when she becomes entangled with a man who has an abominable secret, for fans of Caroline Kepnes and Clare Mackintosh.

One woman, multiple personas. But which one is telling the truth?

Beautiful. Damaged. Destructive. Meet Alexa Wú, a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her shrink Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella. The perfect trio of trust.

When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she catches the attention of its shark-like owner and is gradually drawn into his inner circle. As Alexa’s world becomes intimately entangled with Ella’s, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With no one to turn to and lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle.

Electrifying and breathlessly compulsive, The Eighth Girl is an omnivorous examination of life with mental illness and the acute trauma of life in a misogynist world. With bingeable prose and a clinician’s expertise, Chung’s psychological debut deftly navigates the swirling confluence of identity, innocence, and the impossible fracturing weights that young women are forced to carry, causing us to question: Does the truth lead to self-discovery, or self-destruction?


The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung is an intriguing mystery featuring a lead protagonist with multiple personalities.

Alexa Wú is an aspiring photographer who has grappled with dissociative identity disorder for much of her life. She manages her “flock” of personalities successfully to a degree but she is still losing time. After awakening and regaining control, Alexa has no idea which of her personalities did what during the missing time.

Alexa’s new psychotherapist, Dr. Daniel Rosenstein suspects she is not being completely honest during their sessions. He is quite concerned for her and he is soon a little more personally invested in his patient than he should be.  Daniel confides in his friend, Dr. Mohsin Patel, but will he act on the advice he is being given?

Although not overly close, Alexa lives with her stepmother Anna. Anna is supportive of her stepdaughter but she is dealing with her own issues. Alexa is grateful her stepmother stuck by her when her father walked out on both of them years earlier. But Anna tends to maintain an emotional distance from Alexa and they mostly lead separate lives.

Alexa is best friends with Ella who cares for her younger sister. Just as Alexa is trying to jumpstart her career as a photojournalist, Ella begins working at a gentlemen’s club. Alexa is well aware that Ella is quickly seduced by the money she is earning and the owner of the club, Navid. After stumbling onto Navid’s other activities, the pair attempt to find enough information to take to authorities. Alexa is the voice of reason in trying extricate themselves from an increasingly dangerous situation. But will she convince Ella it is time to report what they know to the police before Navid figures out what they are doing?

As Alexa becomes more and more stressed, her other personalities are emerging with alarming frequency. Her mental and physical health are rapidly deteriorating and she is making risky choices. Daniel is well aware of her downward spiral, but is he doing enough to help his patient?

Alternating between Daniel’s and Alexa’s points of view, The Eighth Girl is an interesting novel. Although the pacing is rather slow, Alexa’s sessions with Daniel are quite fascinating and informative. The majority of the novel takes place in either Daniel’s or Alexa’s heads, so there is little action to propel the sluggish storyline. The pacing finally picks up towards the end of the novel as the suspense surrounding Alexa and Ella’s covert investigation becomes increasingly perilous.  With some very astonishing plot twists, Maxine Mei-Fung Chung brings this somewhat dark debut to a jaw-dropping conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Maxine Mei-Fung Chung, Mystery, Review, The Eighth Girl, William Morrow