Thank you to Atria Books for providing me with an advanced copy of Lisa Jewell’s The Girls in the Garden, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT – Clare has recently left her husband and moved with her two daughters, preteen Pip and thirteen year old Grace, to a seemingly perfect community in London. What could be better for a fresh start than a family friendly neighborhood with a stunning community garden? When Grace is found lying unconscious and half-naked in the garden in the middle of a summer evening party, suspicious spreads like wildfire and neighborhood secrets come to light.
LIKE- Jewell has created vibrant characters that are highly sympathetic and relatable. I thought that she did an especially good job writing the teenage characters; capturing the social structure of teenage girls with its angst, tension, and emotions.
Equally well done, is Jewell’s pacing, the way she structures The Girls in the Garden, with flashbacks to build the mystery surrounding the assault on Grace. This story is a page turner. Besides the mystery of Grace, the moral questions posed in this work of fiction, give plenty for the reader to consider. How well do you really know your neighbors? How much can you trust them or even your own family?
Admittedly, at first I didn’t like the ending. Without revealing any spoilers, it was an ending that had to grow on me. I knew the story had affected me, when I couldn’t stop thinking about it and now, writing this review over a week later, I think that the ending was pitch perfect.
DISLIKE- Nothing. The Girls in the Garden is an engaging read from start to finish.
RECOMMEND- Yes! Jewell is a gifted writer and The Girls in the Garden is a story that lingers with you. It would be a great pick for book clubs.