Title: The Girls in the Garden
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publication: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Women’s Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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?
Dark secrets, a devastating mystery, and the games both children and adults play all swirl together in this gripping novel, packed with utterly believable characters and page-turning suspense.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
A picturesque setting with a group of pre-teen children enjoying their days running around after school and enjoying each others company. A sudden attack on a young girl. Sounds intriguing, right? I was instantly drawn in and wanting to know what was happening. I loved how author Lisa Jewell started off “The Girls In the Garden” with the scene that would catch us all. The moments leading up to the attack on the small girl. Yet she didn’t reveal how the attack happen. Directly following we jump back a few months to when Pip and Grace were first introduced to the communal garden behind their new flat. A large “park” if you will where all the surround houses kids all ran and played, disappearing for hours on end. Parents never worried though. It was all on camera and the kids always came back unscathed. Until Grace did not.
I loved how we got to know a bit about each of the characters in this book when Jewell jumped back the few months and slowly introduced each of the neighbors in the garden. We got to meet the three sisters, the cute boy-next-door, the rowdy, somewhat abandoned girl around the corner, and all the crazy parents that went along with. While I found the characters interesting, I did find that the book dragged on a bit in the middle. I understood what Jewell was trying to do. She was trying to get us to know all the possible culprits of the crime that took place when the book first opened, but there were many times when I felt there was unnecessary filling or dialogue. Those were the times I found myself putting the book down and not really looking forward to picking it back up. I was also slight disappointed in the ending. Without giving it away for readers, I felt there was no justice served. The entire book was all about figuring out who hurt the young girl, and when we finally found out it was as if nothing happened. It was like expecting a hurricane and getting a little rain shower. A bit of a let down. However, Lisa Jewell’s writing is great and intricate. The characters are developed enough to let the story unfold, but mysterious enough where you have constant questions about each and every one. I think this is what kept me moving forward. I always wanted to know more about the characters.
So while I may not say I loved the book, it was definitely a good one and I’ll be checking out the next book by Lisa Jewell. She definitely has a good story-telling voice and a creative side to her that is unlike others. Three out of five stars.
You are highly encouraged to pick up your own copy of “The Girls in the Garden” by Lisa Jewell on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also check her out on Goodreads, add the book to your To Reads list, and leave feedback for the author when you are done! Lisa Jewell is author of many more books, so make sure to check them all out here on Amazon.