This psychological thriller tackles dilemmas of daily human interactions – trust, honesty, secrets, sexual encounters – and turns them into deep moral and ethical debates. A psychologist who believes values are stagnant person to person, manipulates circumstances, under the guise of a research study, to test the faithfulness of her husband.
In the end, the morality of a decision, as depicted by Hendricks and Pekkanan, is circumstantial. A person with strong values may make different decisions under different circumstances. Generally speaking, it’s wrong to lie to a loved one, but An Anonymous Girl pursues the idea that there may be instances when it’s just. For example, when the truth causes harm.
The story unravels at an engaging pace, with increasing suspense, surprise twists and turns, and only unveiling the full picture at the very end. Needless to say, I read it in one sitting, eager to find out the result of the study as much as the decisions each character made and how their lives ended up as a result.
It reminded me of an earlier GBC read – Dark Matter – which emphasized the importance of each decision on the grander life and the resulting personality of the character in question. The storyline and unanticipated twists resembled Gone Girl.
I would highly recommend this read. It gave me a unique type of book hangover. Despite being fiction, the psychological hypotheses and the question of what is right and what is wrong has me thinking twice about the repercussions of my own mundane decisions – a great way to start off the new year.