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Copycat [Paperback]

Gillian White
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2004

Dear God, how I wish I'd never met her... Sometimes I wished she was dead.

Jennie and Martha became friends when Jennie moved in next door to Martha. At least, Jennie thought they were friends. Jennie admired everything about Martha - her house, her gorgeous husband, her bohemian clothes and exotic children's names. And Martha seemed to take to motherhood so effortlessly and confidently, while for Jennie it was all such a struggle. Martha tolerated Jennie, took her on holiday, helped her with the children - but all the time she was wondering how much longer she could stand living next door to her.

As time went on, the roles seemed to reverse. As Jennie became more confident, more successful, Martha's life was falling apart. At times they seemed less like friends, more like sworn enemies. Their relationship became bitter, twisted - a relationship which only one of them could survive . . .

With insidious and unnerving accuracy, Gillian White once more shows us the horrors that can lurk within the most ordinary of families.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New edition edition (1 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552148857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552148856
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 432,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Gillian White writes truly scaring novels, one of which, The Sleeper, has recently been seen on BBC television. Jennie and Martha become close friends, though they are as different as chalk from cheese. Jennie is always worried and finds motherhood a huge effort. Only Martha delights her; and she tolerates this obsession even going on holiday together as families. As time passes the roles seem to reverse and Jennie becomes independent and successful while Martha's life crumbles. Then horror finally strikes. A truly chilling and hugely compelling tale; Gillian White at her very best. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A chilling story of the jealousy which ends in tragedy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one will keep you up all night! 17 Oct 2003
Having read almost all Gillian White's novels (some of which I have enjoyed more than others), I have to say this is the best yet. I read it in less than 48 hours, no mean feat as it's actually quite a chunky book.
The characters are brilliantly described; Gillian White has the skill of leaving just enough description to your own imagination, so that you can unconsciously fill in the details and make the characters your own.
Martha and Jennie are close friends...or at least, that's what one of them believes. This tale of love and obsession is drawn from a real-life case which ended, like the story, in tragedy. It is a brilliant depiction of what it feels like to be obsessed with another human being. The portrayal of the obsessive mind tormenting its owner is excellently told.
I would heartily recommend this novel to both general readers and also those working within the field of psychiatry.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Gripping! 27 Nov 2004
By angel65
I am a huge Gillian White fan, having read all of her books at least once. Second and third readings often reveal even more depth, but as another reviewer said, the brilliance in White's writing is that there is huge scope for your own imagination to build up an image of the characters.
'Copycat' on the surface is about two friends and neighbours who become victims of their reliance on each other, and it is hard to sympathise with one over the other. At first it seems a dark and unlikely tale, but I can guarantee that you will never again proceed into a friendship with your neighbours without caution! It is very believable and gave me quite a lot of insight into the misery of mental illness and behavioural psychology. When you have read 'Copycat' I would recommend that you go back and re-read Gillian White's other books. 'Chain Reaction' is absolutely brilliant and you have a whole host of deeply disturbed characters to absorb you. Come on Ms White, can't wait for another one .....!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual psychological drama 9 Oct 2008
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Tells the story of an obsessive friendship between two women, Jenny and Martha who begin as neighbours, become friends, then rivals, then develop a love-hate relationship.

It's a novel about how things go wrong between them rather than one that keeps you in suspense about what will happen. Almost the first line of the novel, in a prologue narrated from prison, makes clear that eventually one of the central characters will murder the other. It doesn't make clear who kills who. In the subsequent chapters, supposedly based on "edited extracts from the diary of the victim" alternating with "transcripts of statements by the accused" the perspective switches between that of Jennie and that of Martha.

When they first meet, as new mothers who move into adjacent houses, Jennie admires and is jealous of Martha - of her house, gorgeous husband, apparent success in society and as a mother. But then the roles begin to reverse - Jennie becomes more successful as Martha's life falls apart. And the obsession on both sides becomes more and more dangerous ...

Interesting and well crafted but a bit sad and depressing. The author also leaves to the reader's imagination to deduce in several important matters what is actually going on. Those readers who like to be able to use their own imagination will probably appreciate this, those who like to be told exactly what has happened should leave this book alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you guessing right to the end 16 Aug 2012
By Maisie
I love Gillian White books, if this is your first get the series, you won't be disappointed. This book kept me guessing right to the end and so I am not going to spoil it for others, buy it and enjoy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page-turner 19 Oct 2011
The build-up of tension in this story is wonderful - I couldn't stop reading! The author did a great job of making me empathise with both the main characters, despite myself. There was a lot of humour here, too, particularly regarding the little nastinesses that can lurk under the surface of friendships. The juxtaposition of this humour with the more sinister undercurrents really worked, I thought. Loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant page turner 1 May 2014
By H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ooh I liked this , it was intriguing we'll written and with each page there was added layer of building tension,
Totally a book u will not be able to put down,there are lots of novels with similar themes but this is different in that it starts at the beginning and you journey throughout years with them , I can understand the pressure and the mounting madness ,the codependency was marked at the end and satisfying,read n enjoy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 26 Jan 2014
By Lch
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first book of Gillian whites that I have read and it won't be the last. It's very well written and believable an obsessive love for her neighbour which ends in surprising manner. Loved it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "What a tangled web we weave..." 19 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Jennie and Martha. Martha and Jennie. Two women tied together by an obsessive infatuation...until death. We know from page one that the end result is that one murders the other, but we don't know which is the victim, which the murderess.

This is a clever, twisted and blackly funny tale of obsession, told by a mistress of the art of the tangled web. Jennie and Martha take it in turns to tell us the story of their parallel lives. When laid-back extrovert Martha takes her uptight, friendless neighbour Jennie under her wing, she unwittingly starts a chain of events that will shape both their lives forever. Jennie's admiration for Martha soon turns to obsession and jealousy. Martha is the centre of the social life of The Close - a small group of middle-class houses set so near to a sink estate that their house values have fallen meaning that none of them can afford to move away. In this claustrophobic atmosphere, Jennie does everything she can to try to keep Martha's attention all for herself and as time goes on her methods become more and more extreme until she's prepared to sacrifice anything - or anyone - to stop Martha from ending their friendship.

So given that Jennie is clearly a fruitcake, it's obvious who did the murder...isn't it? Except that there's another side to this story. Martha, the confident and out-going one, has problems of her own and they're growing. And perhaps, though she doesn't know it, she needs Jennie as much as Jennie needs her. Perhaps the obsession isn't such a one-way street after all...

This is only the second book of Gillian White's that I've read, the other being Unhallowed Ground.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling domestic drama
The opening chapter foretells the end by detailing a life-sentence for murder, the mystery of the book is what happened? Read more
Published 8 days ago by C. Bannister
5.0 out of 5 stars good
I will read this during the warm summer months we can expect this year. Blah, blah and many more blah
Published 1 month ago by Sonya
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and badly structured
I bought this book, despite being unsure about it after reading the sample on my Kindle, simply because the other reviews gave such glowing praise for this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by djeffrey
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
This was an ok book, bit silly in places and you are thinking "YEAH RIGHT, WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THIS WOMEN" and the ending was sooooo unrealistic, however you do want... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read of the Winter
I have been a fan of this author for years..This ( in my opinion) is one of her best. How quickly she turned my opinions and my sympathy around..Wont spoil this for anyone.. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Greedy Reader
1.0 out of 5 stars Janet D
Very difficult to keep track of which children belong to which family . Very tedious book . Would not recommend this to readers. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jane Dearing
5.0 out of 5 stars Gillian White novels
Gillian White is my favourite author - I have picked up excellent quality novels from Amazon sellers.
Published on 11 Nov 2009 by Julie Nicholas
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