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Lisa Jewell’s “Invisible Girl” Is a Compelling, Dark, and Sharp Exploration of Toxic Masculinity

by BUST Magazine

Toxic masculinity takes center stage in Lisa Jewell’s latest domestic thriller, Invisible Girl. Driving the narrative are three very different individuals: Saffyre, Cate, and Owen. Saffyre is a 17-year-old holding onto something terrible that prevents her from connecting with the world around her. Cate is a middle-aged stay-at-home mom working to keep her strained marriage intact. And Owen is a lonely, recently unemployed 30-something with unexamined misogynistic tendencies. When Saffyre goes missing on Valentine’s night, their lives collide. In order to untangle, they must pull the curtain back from the very things that they’ve consciously, and unconsciously, been hiding from.

From seemingly minor incidents like dismissing the female perspective because it’s just that, a female perspective, to the dangerous efforts of the incel subculture, Jewell showcases the many ways that sexism can creep in and infect everyday moments. This book is dark, sharp, and thought-provoking. The pace is slower than Jewell’s previous works, but the topic she grapples with makes Invisible Girl more than just a popcorn thriller.

By Lisa Jewell
(Atria Books)

By Samantha Ladwig

Invisible Girl was published August 4, 2020. This article originally appeared in the Fall 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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