The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell starts with Pip a pre-teen, finding her older sister Grace, a young teenager, hurt and possibly dead and/or assaulted in a park in Central London. This isn’t a spoiler since it happens within the first few pages!
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The plot quickly moves to “before” the incident. Jewell introduces a cast of characters while building up to the actual event three quarters of the way through the story. Clare has moved to a flat in London with a communal Garden with her two daughters. Adele and Leo have three girls named Willow, Fern and Catkin who seem like a collective group of misfits. There is also a gang of kids, a nosy neighbor and a host of other characters who are all slightly eccentric in their own way.
They said good-bye, and they walked away from each other,………in opposite directions, toward different lives, all their secrets buried safe and sound” – Lisa Jewell, The Girls in the Garden
Girls in the Garden was fine. It wasn’t a chore to read; however, it wasn’t the type of book that you “have to” find out what happened next. Girls in the Garden is well written but I felt that there was no real plot advancement throughout the story. Despite the authors attempt, there was not enough suspense for me. Jewell leads the readers on a wild goose chase by having numerous characters as possible suspects (Leo, Gordon, Tyler, the girls, pip and Grace’s dad, etc.) but, I didn’t think they were very plausible as foils for “who dun it”. I felt the police investigation was also not very realistic. What kind of investigator doesn’t search the grounds where a minor is found unconscious? This made no sense to me.
The end of the book provided no real resolution or answers. It ended abruptly with no explanation or reasoning. I felt that the ending wasn’t true to the characters. I don’t want the ending to be any different; however, I wanted the ending to be congruent with the characters and less rushed!The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
Published by Simon and Schuster on June 7th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Family Life, General
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One of People’s, Glamour’s, and Buzzfeed's Best Reads of Summer
“Jewell expertly builds suspense by piling up domestic misunderstandings and more plot twists than an SVU episode. It’s a page-turner for readers who like beach reads on the dark side.” —People
Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really?
On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?
“Full of suspense yet emotionally grounded…Fans of Liane Moriarty, Paula Hawkins, and Carla Buckley will adore this peek inside a gated community that truly takes care of its own, no matter the consequences." —Booklist (starred review)