"An addictive psychological thriller . . . Unhinged"
by Karen Hamilton
Juliette loves Nate.
She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline so she can keep a closer eye on him.
They are meant to be.
The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.
She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.
True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain...
"An addictive psychological thriller . . . Unhinged"
"A terrifying and addictive tale of misguided love and laser-focused revenge. I loved it!”
—Kaira Rouda, USA TODAY bestselling author of
Best Day Ever
"So addictive it should come with a warning"
- Alice Feeney, author of Sometimes I Lie
"I genuinely couldn't put it down - Juliette is such a compelling character. Totally gripping and thrillingly different. I loved it"
- Laura Marshall, author of Friend Request
"Brilliant and terrifying"
- Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle
"Beautifully written, a compulsive read. Compelling from start to finish"
- Amanda Robson, author of Obsession
Juliette has an assured, if unsettling, voice. Did you sympathize with her at all? Why or why not?
Juliette’s experience at the dance, when she was a teenager, is a difficult scene. What did you think when you read it? How does this scene fit into the #MeToo movement?
One of the things Juliette struggles with is forming solid female friendships. Why do you think this is? But still, when she thinks about Amy, Juliette says “Every girl needs a best friend.” Can you reflect on that statement and how it relates to Juliette’s behavior?
What did you think of Nate? Do you think he is a sympathetic character? Why or why not?
What do you think leads some people to become overly possessive of their partners and other people in their lives?
Do you think Barbara has any idea about Juliette’s true self ?
Juliette says, “I will never trust anyone again. Trust is a luxury.” What do you think of this statement?
Can you reflect on the airline and international settings in this novel? How does it tie into the story and allow for character development?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and, having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through her writing. The Perfect Girlfriend is her first novel.
One of my first memories is looking out of a plane window at the clouds. We traveled a lot during my childhood and lived in Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Belgium, Italy and the UK. Flying was considered really glamorous in those days and people would dress up to go on a flight. I remember standing on the balcony at the Harare airport, waving off planes. Some passengers would choose a brightly coloured piece of clothing, such as a jumper, to wave at the window so that their friends or relatives could identify them once on board.
Flying fascinates me. I love looking at departure boards, especially the older-style ones with the white numbers that would twist around as they listed the arrivals and departures. I still find it hard to believe how quickly people can be scattered around the world in such a short space of time.
From a young age, I yearned to be a writer and to travel as much as possible. I loved reading and libraries, bookshops, the smell of books, the different worlds. I recall always having a book to hand and feeling disappointed whenever I had to engage in real life.
I was fortunate to spend some time at a wonderful international school in Rome, where I was introduced to Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology by a wonderful, passionate teacher. We were given a lot of freedom to be as creative as we liked.
Upon leaving school, I obtained secretarial skills and became a secretary in a travel agency, supplementing this with part-time evening jobs in the catering and hotel industry before becoming airline crew. I wish I’d kept a diary of my travels as it would be such a rich source of information for me now.
About ten years ago, I decided to “become a writer.” I had no idea what to do, other than to write. And so I did. I set myself a daily word count which I stuck to (as much as possible). I gradually immersed myself into the writing world: local creative writing classes, literary festivals, meet-the- author events. I wrote a couple of books but didn’t get anywhere with them.
The idea for the protagonist in The Perfect Girlfriend, Juliette, came to me when I was changing out of my airline uniform one day in the airport toilets before traveling on public transport. I felt a sense of returning to “anonymity” and it made me think about the real personas behind public faces. I wondered what it would be like if a damaged or sociopathic character actually was deliberately hiding behind the illusion of the safety of a work uniform.
After giving up my flying career, I took a writing course in London. There, encouraged to experiment by our tutor, I wrote the first draft of what was to become The Perfect Girlfriend. I undertook research into sociopaths, nature versus nurture, and I also read a lot of self-help books as some of them use incredibly powerful language, wondering what it would be like if a character such as Juliette twisted the words in her mind to justify her actions.
I wrote a thriller as it’s one of my favourite genres and I found the idea of being “trapped” with a character such as Juliette at 35,000 feet very frightening and claustrophobic. I really enjoyed working as a flight attendant and the airline world that I loved so much is there in my book; it is the world of my characters.
- Karen Hamilton