Girl One is the second novel from Sara Flannery Murphy after The Possessions was published in 2017. A twisty supernatural thriller about female power and the bonds of sisterhood, this novel follows Josephine Morrow as Girl One, the first of nine “Miracle Babies” conceived without male DNA, raised on an experimental commune known as the Homestead.
Sara Flannery Murphy was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. When she was growing up, her family divided their time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small town in the Ozark Mountains. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis and has since had two novels published.
Josephine Morrow is a taboo in the world of science, conceived without male DNA in 1971, and a miracle not yet fully realised. Born within in a commune under the assistance and guidance of Dr Joseph Bellanger, she was one of nine or ten as we later learn to realise that broke the conceptions of biological science, causing controversy and uproar.
When a suspicious fire destroys the commune and claims the lives of two of the Homesteaders, the remaining Girls and their Mothers scatter across the United States and lose touch.
In 1994, Josephine (Girl One) is studying in Chicago in the dream of following in her “father’s” footsteps, until she learns of her mother Margaret’s disappearance. She returns to her mother’s home and finds that again there has been a fire, and despite losing touch with her makes it her mission to find Margaret Morrow.
The only clue to her whereabouts is a phone number for a reporter from the Kansas City Telegraph, Thomas Abbott; her mother had called him slightly before her disappearance. With his desire to write a book about the nine girls and hers to find her mother, they take a road trip, which leads to many though not all of the other mother/daughter duos, taking havoc and suspicion with them.
Tracing the clues Margaret left behind, Josie joins forces with the other Girls, facing down those who seek to eradicate their very existence while uncovering secrets about their origins and unlocking devastating abilities they never knew they had.
Girl One is a riveting page turner that will not only lead you to desperately uncover the whereabouts of her mother but also learn more about each of the miracle babies. A fast-paced sci-fi tale spread across the U.S. it’s another exploration of a female led society that we have seen from the likes of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Margaret Atwood. Well written with feisty characterisation, it’s precisely the type of read to curl up with on a dreich October’s eve.
Girl One is out now, published by Raven Books