The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney (Book Summary)

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After losing her first child, Jane Cavendish is looking for a new place she could stay. She wanted to find the perfect apartment for her – a secure & beautiful place, but at the same time, within her budget. She was led by an agent to One Folgate Street. The moment she saw the area, she knew she wanted to live there. The agent, Camilla, told her that the house comes with many rules and conditions, but Jane was very willing to compromise if it meant living in that beautiful place.

One Folgate Street is different from any other apartment. It is run by technology, and everything seems to be automated. However, to rent the apartment, one must pass the application process, answering many forms and being interviewed by the architect. Fortunately, Jane was chosen to live in One Folgate Street.

While living in One Folgate, Jane discovered some strange things about it. On her first days in the apartment, a man kept leaving flowers at her doorstep, and she kept getting them, assuming that it was for her. When she finally caught up with the man who had been leaving the flowers, it was revealed that the flowers were not for her. It was for the previous tenant, Emma Matthews, who died in One Folgate. The man bringing the flowers is his ex-boyfriend, Simon. When Jane talked to Simon, he insisted that the architect, Edward Monkfield, had killed her.

Aside from Emma’s death inside One Folgate, there was another death – Elizebeth Monkfield and her son. Wife and child of the architect, Edward Monkfield. It was said that an accident killed them both. Instead of being scared, Jane felt like she belonged even more to the house. Like One Folgate, she also went through losing someone – her daughter, Isabel (stillbirth).

A few days after staying in One Folgate, she was visited by Edward Monkfield at work. She finds Edward really attractive, and she was pleased to know that Edward was attracted to her – although he was straightforward – he doesn’t want a commitment. He wants a very casual relationship with her. Their relationship works best in bed. The more Jane falls for Edward, the more she gets curious about the previous Tennant in One Folgate, Emma Matthews, since Simon mentioned that Edward poisoned her mind. Jane asked Edward about her, and it turned out that both of them have the kind of relationship he and Jane has. Growing very curious, she tries to find out more about Emma Matthews.

When Emma was alive and so into Edward, she was curious about his late wife, Elizabeth. She tried finding out more about her, and she was informed that it was Edward who killed his wife and son. She did not leave Edward because of that. Instead, she believed that she and Edward were perfect for each other – since she is a liar too. She lied about being raped by a burglar when a video of her giving someone oral sex was found in her phone. She lied about the man on the phone, who became her friend’s husband, Saul. She lied once again and told HR that Saul had raped her. Since Emma was shortly arrested because of lying to the police, she told Edward about this. When Edward knew, he broke up with her.

Emma stayed in One Folgate, hoping Edward would come. She was feeling hopeless and alone. She no longer has friends, and Edward no longer wants her. Also, One Folgate feels like it is playing along. Out of the need to have someone, she called Simon and tried getting back to him, telling him that she had made a mistake with Edward. Simon offered several times to stay with Emma. However, she refused but promised him that they would be getting there. However, one night, while Simon was bound to come over and meet Emma, she received a text from Edward. She immediately canceled her plans with Simon so she could be with Edward. She showered and prepared herself for him, but she was joined by Simon while in the shower. Without her knowledge, Simon was hiding inside her house, in the cupboard, spying on Emma. Also, he was the one who texted Emma and not Edward. It was his kind of test for Emma. Emma got scared and ran, but Simon grabbed her by the arm harshly. Emma died that night, with Simon getting away with it since no one knew he was there. He was able to hack One Folgate’s system. He knows the passcode because he used to live there with Emma before she threw him out.

Presently, Jane had been talking to Simon and the other people who knew about Emma Matthews. Eventually, she and Edward broke up when he saw his name in a list Jane created, as one of Emma’s suspected murdered. By that time, she was already pregnant, and she plans on keeping it. Along with keeping the baby is keeping it safe, and at that moment, One Folgate no longer felt safe. The more she talked to anyone who knew about Emma, the more convinced she was that Edward may have something to do with the premature deaths in One Folgate. And it creeps her out even more, being reminded that she looks very similar to Emma and Elizabeth, and it may happen to her what happened to them.

When One Folgate was acting up (the lights flicker, the appliances are not working correctly) and she got scared, she accepted Simon’s offer to keep her company if she no longer felt safe in the apartment. She cooked with Simone and talked with him, and she found it a little weird since he called her Em one time. Also, while having Simon inside One Folgate, she realized that there is a considerable possibility that Simon was the one who murdered Emma. She realized this when she observed that the appliances work perfectly when he is around and rarely functions in his absence. She tried finding a way to call Edward. However, Simon has a signal blocking device. She realized that Simon could kill her the way he killed Emma. Willing to fight because she was thinking of her future child, she fought Simon, and this time, it was Simon who died on the same spot where Emma died.

When Jane gave birth, they discovered that her baby, Toby, had down’s syndrome. Edward visited her, offering her to start a new life – but she needs to give up Toby for adoption in one condition. Knowing that Edward was innocent after all, it was a little tempting that he didn’t kill his wife and son. It was also tempting because Edward offered her One Folgate Street and a promise to try again, to have a baby that doesn’t have down’s syndrome.

It was not specified what Emma chose, but it looks like she decided Toby over Edward since, in the last Chapter, a new girl named Astrid is checking on One Folgate Street, eager to rent it. 

The End of The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney.

Published by

Forever Winter

Just reading and writing my way out of this messy adult life! I have transitioned from having piles of notebooks stacked underneath my bed from writing on the internet and allowing people worldwide to read.

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