The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

I really like Lisa Jewell-I think she’s a smart writer weaving interesting stories that draw you in and simultaneously repel you a little bit as they delve into negative character traits, possibly unseemly choices or secrets,  and an atmosphere of general unease and suspense. Kind of like Tom Perrotta! Or Liane Moriarty, but with a bit less humor.
I liked the structure of this story-showing us an event, then the bulk of the book is going back and leading up to that event, and then some more after the event. That structure really builds suspense for me and creates so many questions: how did everyone get to that point? what’s the timeline? Is it almost time for the event? How is the story going to get there from here?
So this story is set in London with a variety of characters who all live around a private park. I don’t know if that is common in London, but I had a hard time imagining this. Well, that’s not true. I did create a picture in my head, but i have no idea if it’s accurate. So that right there was a novel setting and I loved how it was such an important part of the atmosphere and the influence it had on the characters. It was like this bubble in the city where characters’ best and worst traits were amplified.
I was most intrigued the character Adele. Was she a good mother? Doing the best she could? Too hands off? Judgmental? I liked seeing her from Clare’s point of view.

One of the most interesting things about this whole story was that there were both adult characters and their points of view, and the children of the story and their points of view. A fully adult story with the plot mostly being about the wild children in the park and their actions.

This was a pretty solid story. Would recommend.


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