Saturday, January 2, 2016

"The Girls In The Garden: A Novel" by Lisa Jewell

***Since publishing my blog post the title and cover of this book has changed***

Words cannot explain to you how much I loved this book. It is a beautifully crafted suspense/family drama/physiological thriller. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me an advanced copy to read and review. So let's get talk about this phenomenal book.

Dark secrets, a devastating mystery and the games people play: the gripping new novel from the bestselling author of The House We Grew Up In and The Third Wife.

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?

Midsummer night: a thirteen-year-old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

Utterly believable characters, a gripping story and a dark secret buried at its core: this is Lisa Jewell at her heart-stopping best.

I read the description and knew I had to read it. Once I started reading I was hooked. The characters are so well written. Character descriptions, both physical and emotional, really created complete characters that I could perfectly imagine in my mind. Bit by bit I was introduced into a widely different cast of characters that all live around this gorgeously described private park. 

Throughout the story Jewell gives small glimpses into the thoughts of one of the main characters, Pip, by way of letters to her estranged dad. Her no-holds-barred letters fill her father in on her new and complicated life. She pours her heart out to him about things she finds interesting, things she finds disturbing, and emotions she feels while navigating her pre-teen life with a new house, new friends, and new challenges. I loved that the letters also included little drawings done by Pip. It made it feel even more realistic. One of the many great small details in this novel. 

This book begins with a horrific event. I knew from the start that something bad has happened. I was then taken back to the start of it all, what lead up to the event. Little clues that made me question every character. I wasn't sure who could be trusted. I had my suspicions about "who did it", but then with a turn of a page the story twists and my suspicions were cast on a new character.

This novel is about relationships- mothers and daughters, sisters and sisters, daughters and fathers, friends and neighbors. How all relationships are somehow intertwined. Lies are told (sometimes little, sometimes big), truths are warped, and no one knows the complete story unless they are directly involved.

This story took so many twists and turns I truly was guessing at the outcome right up until the very end. Wonderfully written, completely relatable, and vividly described. Bravo Lisa Jewell!

Please add this to your TBR list. I really think you will love it as much as I did. The Girls: A Novel is set to be released June 7, 2016 here in the United States. You won't want to miss it!

Happy Reading! 

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