The nearly girl

A fun and romantic thriller that explores the singularities of the human spirit.  

Henry is poet who is addicted to LSD and lives according to his unusual impulses. Megan is a young woman that yearns to be independent from her parents. Megan meets Henry at a poetry reading and they fall in love. Nine months later, after the contraceptive pill fails, Amelia is born, and from the beginning she shows the same character traits as her father.

Although Henry and Megan love each other, they are a completely dysfunctional couple; after months of therapy, things aren’t going well and Henry leaves. Megan becomes an obsessive bodybuilder while Amelia is cared for by her maternal grandmother. Even though Amelia’s parents are lovely and in love, they don’t give her the traditional life that a girl would hope for.

Amelia, now twenty-two, attempts to carve out a normal life. She seeks the help of an unorthodox therapist, Dr. Frances Carroll, who works with a method called D.T.O.T – ‘Do the Opposite Thing’. In the group therapy she meets nine other social misfits, including a hoarder, a kleptomaniac lawyer, a claustrophobe, a businessman with scenic panic, and Mike… with whom she soon falls in love.

Things start getting better, but not for long, as Dr. Caroll’s unorthodox practices have significant repercussions on his patients, sending them to spiral out of control.

After one of the patients commits suicide, Amelia discovers Dr. Carroll’s dark secret, but who will believe Amelia?

Amelia will have to use her special traits to confront the doctor, discovering along the way that normality is a social construct and that accepting her uniqueness is better than changing.



The Nearly Girl is a novel that, using different genres, gives us a fresh take on mental health. It begins as a love story between two atypical characters, only to turn into a coming-of-age and ending as a thriller where the villain is the person we least expect.

Lisa de Nikolits is an award-winning author who has published five novels. Born in South Africa, she lives and works in Toronto since 2003. Named the “queen of Canadian speculative fiction”, she was long listed twice for a Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of The Fantastic and was a finalist in the International Book Awards.


What the critics have said:

“The story builds with cinematic suspense and surprises, but one thing is for sure: The only crazy thing in this world is trying to be normal.” Jill Buchner, Canadian Living Magazine

“Lisa de Nikolits’ novel reads like a movie. It’s fast-paced and filled with colourful, loud characters, but Amelia is certainly the stand-out. Her fascination with the unusually beautiful fuels her need to prove that she, like her father, required an unorthodox way of living to truly be happy. The Nearly Girl is brimming with bright story lines and vivid themes. The story becomes a commentary on life through the artist’s mind and the impermanence of happiness.” This Magazine

The Nearly Girl by Lisa de Nikolits is a clever, fast-paced, and enjoy- able read with a cast of quirky characters.” Gina Buonaguro, co-author of The Wolves of St. Peters


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.


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