Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Review - The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
Narrated by Colleen Prendergast
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date:  June 7, 2016
Date Read: June 25, 2018
Length:  320 pages
Source: NetGalley / Library via Hoopla
★★★☆☆
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.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40091737-iron-and-magic
My Review

I thought that this was a good book overall.  I have heard great things about Lisa Jewell's writing and decided to give her work a try with this book.  For some reason I never seemed to be able to fit this book into my reading schedule so I decided to listen to the audiobook.  While I didn't love the book, I did enjoy the hours that I spent listening to it.

This book takes place with a community garden at its center.  Families have grown up around this garden where children have been free to play and watch out for each other.  This book does have a rather large cast of characters and we hear from several main points of view. Pip is a new resident and doesn't seem to fit in quite like her older sister, Grace.  Adele has lived in the community for a long time and is the mother of some of the girls that Grace has become friends with.  Clare is Pip and Grace's mother and has recently had some major life changes and is trying to find her way.

The book opens with Grace being found after an attack then goes back to the events that lead up to that moment.  Despite the fact that I knew there would be some excitement, I found that the book seemed to move pretty slowly.  There were a lot of characters and I never really connected with any of them very well.  There were a lot of side stories that were interesting but never seemed to take the book to the next level for me.

I believe that this was the first time that I have listened to Colleen Prendergast's narration.  I thought that she did a good job with the story overall.  There were a few times that it took me a moment to determine which character's point of view the book had moved to.  I did think that she had a nice quality to her reading voice and it was easy to listen to this book for hours at a time.

I would recommend this book to others.  This wasn't a favorite for me but it was a quality story that did keep me guessing.  I definitely plan to read more of Lisa Jewell's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Atria Books via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library via Hoopla.
About the Author

Lisa Jewell was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifteen novels, including Then She Was Gone, I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In.

Author Links: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

28 comments:

  1. It's a pity it was a bit slow as it sounds like it had some interesting things in it.

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    Replies
    1. It wasn't bad but it didn't wow me either.

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  2. I have never read anything by Jewel, but she seems to have quite a following. Glad the plot at least kept you guessing, and was overall, enjoyable.

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  3. This was my least favorite books that I have read of hers. There was just something that didn't click for me. I have loved her last two though.

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    1. I do want to read more of her work so that is good to know.

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  4. Sorry you didn't really love this one, but good to know it mostly kept you interested and that you'd more from the author. All the different characters do seem like it could get confusing!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    Replies
    1. There were a lot of characters to keep track of in this one!

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  5. a little slow you say? Not really my cup of snail though

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    1. It did feel a bit slow to me in parts.

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  6. too bad it wasn't a bit much more

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  7. I have not read Jewell in aaaaages

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    1. This was my first time with her work. I will read more at some point.

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  8. I've always been curious about this one. Maybe I'll skip it but I'm glad it was at least OK for you.

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    Replies
    1. Others have liked it more than I did so it could be worth a try.

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  9. This sounds like the kind of book I like. In fact, there is a Duncan Kindcaid / Emma James mystery by Deborah Crombie, set in London with a similar murder in the communal backyard garden. I'll have to keep an eye out for this author as I had not known her before. Anne - Books of My Heart

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    Replies
    1. I do want to read some more of her work. She seems to be pretty popular.

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  10. I've not seen the author or narrator before I don't believe. Glad you enjoyed it overall even if it wasn't a knockout.

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    1. This was my first time with both the narrator and author. It was good even if it wasn't great.

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  11. I've not read any Lisa Jewell myself, but have heard good things about her books. I'm glad you could enjoy this one despite its pacing.

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    1. It was a good start with the author. I have heard great things about her writing as well so I do plan to read more of her work.

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  12. I have this book on my review pile, too, and have yet to dive in. Shame on me! I have been trying to use audio to catch up, so I may go that route, too. I'm sorry this wasn't a complete win for you. But it's nice to get a taste of an author and think you might click with another of their books.

    Great review.

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    1. I thought the audio was well done so I do recommend going that route with this book. It was a decent read even though it didn't wow me.

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  13. This book sounds like a good read but nothing too amazing or ground breaking. I am glad you could still enjoy reading it nonetheless and that the audiobook worked better for you!

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    Replies
    1. It was entertaining enough even though it didn't wow me.

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