It’s a long time since I read a Lisa Jewell novel. I loved her first, Ralph’s Party, which still sits on my bookshelf along with four of her other books. I gave up reading somewhere about Vince and Joy, turned off by the pink chick lit branding and feeling that I had grown-up beyond the subject matter.
Then I heard that The Girls was ‘something different’, and it is. Satisfying dark, mysterious, unspoken danger lurks above the heads of the girls – Grace and Pip. The setting is outwardly comforting: a communal garden surrounded by houses and apartments, where residents mingle and have barbecues together, where children roam safe from roads and strangers. But are they safe? And what is the threat?
The two girls and their mother move to an empty apartment after the family home is burnt down by their father. He is now in psychiatric care, they lost all their belongings and walk cautiously into this cliquey community where everyone seems to know everyone else. Grace and Pip unknowingly trample onto secrets and the dynamics of teenage relationships, their mother Clare stumbles around the edge of tangled adult relationships, struggling to be there for her daughters while dealing with the betrayal of her husband. And at the centre of daily life is the garden, the hub of the wheel around which this community turns.
Then one hot summer’s day, Grace’s 13th birthday, it all comes to a head.
I finished this in two sittings, reading late into the night. A satisfying family thriller with hints of the truth and plenty of dodgy things to be suspicious about.
If you like this, try:-
‘Girl Runner’ by Carrie Snyder
‘The Art of Baking Blind’ by Sarah Vaughan
‘Kings and Queens’ by Terry Tyler
‘The Girls’ by Lisa Jewell [UK: Cornerstone] Buy now
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE GIRLS by @lisajewelluk #bookreview via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1Fm
Yes Ralph’s Party was huge – I don’t remember if I read it but the cover’s unforgettable! This sounds good – and I love your blog design. I wish I could do all this stuff. Any tips on where to learn bits and bobs would be massively appreciated!
Thanks, so pleased you like my blog! My author website is by WordPress, designed by Nicky Stephen Marketing, but I started out with a basic WordPress blog. For more info about the transition from blog to website, click this link for a blog post I wrote for the Society of Authors blog [and click February in the archives list]. http://www.societyofauthors.org/our-blog Re the blog content, as an author/journalist I just write about the reading/writing I enjoy myself. 🙂 SD
Sound’s good! I also remember enjoying ‘Ralph’s party’.
Quite different, but very good 🙂 SD