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Harriet Walker Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The New Girl (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wedding Night (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Harriet Walker is a journalist and author best known for her debut novel “The New Girl” that she published in 2020. She currently works for “The Times” as the fashion editor and has worked for various newspapers and magazines such as “Harper’s Bazaar,” “Elle,” and “Vogue” among many others. Walker was born in Glasgow and brought up in Sheffield. She then went to Trinity College in Cambridge where she studied English. She currently lives with her husband their daughter in South London.

The idea for Harriet Walker’s debut novel “The New Girl” came to her when she got pregnant and started a family. She would often get an unsettling dream where she heard some stranger watching game shows in the downstairs living room. How did they get into her house? In the meantime, her belly was growing larger every day as The New Girl had moved in with the kicks and hiccups. She would pen her novel while on maternity leave working out aspects of plot in between feeds and naps, while pushing her baby in the buggy. While she was a full-time journalist, it was the first time she had ever attempted to write a fiction novel. The book seemed to arrive together with the stranger in her dreams as she felt compelled to write even as she changed, fed, and shushed her child. It was a glitchy time for Walker as she had to deal with existential crises of carrying and then caring for the baby. It was at this time that she had the time to analyze the beatific expectations that persist about a pregnant woman or one with a newly minted child. She would jump at the tiniest of noises and would feel the adrenaline pumping through her blood even at cars hooting several streets away. It was the endless self-doubt, the paranoia, and the jumpiness that was the starting point for “The New Girl” her debut novel.

Early motherhood was a wonderful and magical time for Harriet Walker. However, it was also a period of frighteningly strong emotions, complete sublimation of the self, and a period of amnesia that left her in a whirlwind of emotions. While she got some confidence back as the baby grew older the old anxieties about her own personality came flooding back. She was now thinking about what she was missing while away on leave and whether her trousers would ever fit her as they did before her pregnancy. The fact that she had someone stand-in for her by taking over her desk, her decisions, and responsibilities was hard to take. It is normal for many women to think about who was replacing them and whether they were good enough or even more important if they were so good that they would have no job to go back to. These are all anecdotes she heard and had to deal with while she was pregnant and taking care of her child. Since Harriet Walker is a fashion editor, image is part of her job and with every stretch of the waistband, she felt further away from what she used to define her personality. By the time she had to go on leave before giving birth and someone had to take over from her, she had all manner of images in her head. It was very easy to conjure a prettier and thinner woman that she would never have thought about in a decade if she had not gotten pregnant.

According to Harriet Walker, “The New Girl” is not intended to be an airing of how women go for each other in malicious ways. While this is something that has been talked about for so long the novel is about someone who could unintentionally trigger a painful memory, a mood, or worry even without realizing it. People can also trigger such emotions themselves because of the things they have carried in their minds over the years. The novel is about the shadowy darkness that is always present even when you are having the best moments of your life. Besides, it is also about a fear which tends to galvanize rather than incapacitate someone. Walker has asserted that she became more resilient since she went through the rigors of motherhood that she was before. She wanted to pen a thriller novel that was about wrongdoing as it was about the atmosphere. It is a novel where women come to the battle armed with emotions and not weapons and above all, it is a story about identity. It tells of how harrowing it can be when another person takes what you believe is rightfully yours. Nonetheless, Walker asserts that motherhood, the changing of diapers, and feeding can be a very exhilarating experience despite all the negatives that come with it.

“The New Girl” by Harriet Walker is a story about a fashion editor with Haute Magazine named Margot Jones. She has a successful career, a gorgeous house, a loving husband, and is also pregnant. She is used to living a life of glamor as women all over the place envy her life. This is the reason she wants to find a suitable person who will take over her role while she is on maternity leave. She wants someone that will do a good job but who should not take her job by being better than her when she wants to come back. Maggie Beecher is a freelance journalist and she never expected that an opportunity for working at Haute would ever come her way, even if only for a short time. But then Margot gives birth at a time when her oldest friendship crumbles and she finds herself in a spiral of suspicion and paranoia. In the meantime, Maggie is having the time of her life with exclusive perks, global travel, and fashion shows that the idea of leaving it all when her contract comes to an end is hard to contemplate. Over time, Margot is targeted by social media trolls who bring back memories of her darkest days and her suspicion that her stand-in wants to take her job for good become even stronger. Harriet masterfully ratchets up the tension and analyzes the complexities of female rivalries and friendships ad the danger they present.

“The Wedding Night” by Harriet Walker opens to the cancellation of a destination wedding. Several friends had traveled to the South of France to cheer up the bride who was in grief over the cancellation of the wedding. They will be living in a gorgeous villa and they intend to make the best of an already paid for holiday. But after a night of partying and drinking, the group wakes up with amnesia with no memory of what happened the previous night. All around them are traces of a wedding that they know should not have happened. As their hangovers start wearing off, they have very few answers but a lot of questions. There is a strange message congratulating the newlyweds but they are not sure if the nuptials happened. The bride looks frightened while a shadowy and mysterious figure lurks around the villa. They need to find answers fast before something bad happens.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Harriet Walker

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