Sunday, June 12, 2016

(53)The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell


Clare Wild and her two daughters are still recovering from a traumatic event caused by their father when they move into a flat that is part of a charming little community.  The flat opens up into a communal park that is a bit of an oasis for the middle of London.  Green and lush, the park is a perfect place for families, and a perfect place for Pip and Grace, Clare's daughters, to seek some normalcy.   The community has an annual summer party that is perfect against the backdrop of the park.   There is food, drink, live music, and other activities that just make the whole even seem magical.   Until Pip is fetched to bring her thirteen year old sister home and discovers her unconsious.  Their little community is not as shocked as they should be, though, for years ago another teenage girl was attacked in the park. And even worse, she was killed.  Who rocked this quiet community by attacking Grace Wild and will they do it again?

I don't think there isn't a parent out there who doesn't dream of the kind of community where their kids essentially have their own private park.  The kind of community where the kids consider homes interchangeable and children do nothing but make memories.  Grace and Pip are welcomed into the fold with such ease, it was as if they had been there all along.  Clare is still dazed  by what happened with her husband that she is relieved the girls have settled in so well at their new home.  Their neighbors, Leo and Adele, instantly treated them all like family.  But like most communities, there are some dark secrets lurking in the corners.   I loved Clare, even though she wasn't as attentive as she should have been, it is easy to understand why.  Pip is is Grace's younger sister and often you see the stories through her eyes.  As a twelve year old she is hurt the most by what happened to her father and seems younger than her age, twelve, would imply. The way Lisa Jewell crafts this tale you are on the edge of  your seat trying to figure out who hurt Grace.  My mind went down several different paths before the truth was revealed, but you have to wait for practically the last page to find out the truth.  -- CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS

Bottom line - Lisa Jewell is becoming one of those "Must Read" authors for me.  She is so deliberate in the way she lays out a story that you are hanging on to her every word.  The Girls in the Garden is one of those summer stories transports you into another world.  Well worth the read.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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