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 neighbours for years and you trust them. Implicitly.
You think your children are safe.
But are they really?
Midsummer night: a thirteen-year-old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?
Utterly believable characters, a gripping story and a dark secret buried at its core: this is Lisa Jewell at her heart-stopping best.
The Girls is Lisa Jewell’s latest novel (her 13th!) and it’s a brilliant, wonderfully written story of mystery and obsession. Though the main theme could be deemed as relationships, the story has a really dark undercurrent running through it and deals with a range of issues.
I found this novel really atmospheric- so much so that I was still thinking about it long afterwards and could really picture the locations in my mind.The characters were all brilliantly developed and convincing, and each had their own personality which added wonderfully to the storyline.
The novel starts with the ‘incident’ and then takes the reader to the events leading up to it. We then see the ‘after’ part of the story, where we learn what actually happened. Both parts were really enjoyable to read and were quite eerie as I really had no idea who was at fault until very near to the end.
The story mainly focused on Pip, her mother Claire and friend Adele’s narratives, though we also saw events from various other characters’ points of view and this was really interesting. It keeps the reader wondering who was telling the truth and who was being deceptive.
Lisa Jewell’s writing is brilliant and really draws the reader in. It is a mark of her talent that she can turn something so ‘ordinary’- a communal garden and the people living around it- into almost a dark, threatening and mysterious place. As various characters mentioned, the garden is like a different world, and the usual rules don’t seem to apply. The descriptions are incredibly vivid and the story moves at just the right pace to keep the reader guessing.
I haven’t actually read any other Lisa Jewell books but it seems like her last few novels have been a bit darker and more serious- but still just as addictive. I certainly couldn’t put The Girls down and would love to read more of her work soon!
** Many thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC of this book in return for an honest review **