If you’re a keen follower of this blog, you should already know I wasn’t in love with other Lisa Jewell books I’ve read. ( I Found You and then She Was Gone)
Both of these books I’ve read before Jewell were a bit over the top. Usual people, unusual, a bit exaggerated events. I am not really a fan of that- I like my mysteries more mainstream.
Girls (or Girls in the Garden on another publication) is set in London, around people living in a block of buildings. These apartments share a communal garden; which is described as a secret oasis throughout the book. I quite enjoyed imagining the characters coming in and out of this gardens.
Clare moves to a flat with these communal gardens with her two girls, Grace and Pip. The book opens where we know Grace have been found unconscious in the gardens. So we now something BAD has happened but don’t know what, why and how until the end. Clare’s husband Chris isn’t with them and we don’t know why. After their sudden move, Grace and Pip are apparently forced to transform into a new life and begin to make friends in this new setting. There is the quirky bunch of girls, Catkin, Fern and Willow -home schooled and outcast by choice from the society by their hippi-ish mum, Adele. There is Tyler, the wild child, Dylan, the handsome boy. As Clare’s kids develop relationships with other teenagers and adults in living around the flats, secrets from the past will surface, and we slowly will discover what actually happened to Grace.
The story is told then and now, and it’s beautifully written. I really liked how Clare and Adele were formed, rock solid and perfect characterisation. Lisa Jewell has such a talent in writing normal people going under abnormal situations. I think The Girls was a very good read. After all is revealed, everything made perfect sense. I can’t say this for her other two books so I hope her next one out is more like this one.
I also loved Pip’s letter to her dad. A few tears shed here and there. 4 stars.