ARC Book Review: The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell


ashley | A few years ago, I read Lisa Jewell’s The House We Grew Up In. Though the review was lengthy, I was at a loss for words after finishing the book. It was so tragically beautiful, I didn’t think my own words could possible do it justice. So when I was sent an ARC for Jewell’s book, The Girls in the Garden, I prepared myself for a lot of feels.

Jewell has an amazing talent for building characters. No matter how they fall on the hierarchy, whether they are a main character or more of a b-character, there is always this incredible depth to their story that makes them so real. And somehow she does this without overdoing descriptions or talking too much about their past. You get this incredible insight into the character without spending too much time analyzing them. It’s such a talent and honestly, the characters I’ve met in Jewell’s stories are some of the best I’ve met in all my reading.

This communal garden community is full of girls of different ages and different status. One thing I mention over and over again in my reviews is how dangerous the power of being a girl is and you see that quite clearly here again. These are teenage girls in their natural habitat and it’s quite a scene. When one of these girls ends up beaten and possibly raped, it digs up a whole lot of secrets and ghosts from the past. None of this actually happens until towards the end of the book, but that doesn’t matter, the beginning is so rich with characters and learning how they all tick, for once I wasn’t even anxious for the “big stuff” to happen.

It doesn’t take too much to put the pieces together in the end, but how it all comes together isn’t the important part. It all comes back to the characters. It’s about the human reaction, a mother’s protection, what is right, what you can possibly live with or without knowing.  And these questions are never asked outright, you feel it through the characters, through their actions and their reactions. That is what I loved about this. The story happened, it was good and it was heavy, but it kind of took a back seat to the characters and it was done so well, blended so beautifully.

I enjoyed this a lot. Jewell has definitely has won me over, I can’t wait to read whatever comes next.


more information
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today! june 7, 2016

copy provided for honest review by