Blind Side, the debut novel by Jennie Ensor, begins in London with Georgie having sex with her close friend Julian just before he reveals he is in love with her and has been for quite some time. Realizing she does not feel the same way about Julian, Georgie meets Nikolai in a pub and they begin to develop a relationship. Nikolai is a former Russian soldier who fought in Chechnya and seems to be keeping secrets from Georgie. It becomes clear that Georgie’s friends and her father are wary of Nikolai and Georgie herself has a lot of questions about his damaged past. Nevertheless, their relationship develops quickly up until the 7/7 bombings of 2005 take place, at which point the atmosphere in London shifts and it is clear that the people of London begin to treat immigrants like Nikolai very differently. Meanwhile, Georgie is on the receiving end of a string of obsessive emails from Julian as well as some strange phone calls – all leading to the question, can you ever really know someone?
This is not what I anticipated from a psychological thriller and while I was a bit unsure of some of the characters at first and found them unrelatable; I can’t deny that this book was difficult to put down. It touches on real complex issues including immigration, terrorism, jealousy, and love, and it keeps you wanting more until the very end. I would certainly recommend Blind Side as a discussion-provoking Girly Book Club read.
Review By Sarah Doherty