One of People’s, Glamour’s, and BuzzFeed’s Best Reads of Summer, from the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone
“Jewell expertly builds suspense by piling up domestic misunderstandings and more plot twists than an SVU episode. It’s a page-turner for readers who like beach reads on the dark side.” —People
“Faithful to the thriller genre, Jewell makes liberal use of red herrings and plot twists… The answer to the whodunit is a sly—and satisfying—surprise.” —The New York Times
Imagine that 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 neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really?
On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After her husband’s mental breakdown, Clare Wild moves with her two daughters, Pip and Grace, into a cramped London flat that opens onto an idyllic communal garden. When something terrible happens to 12-year-old Grace, The Girls jumps back in time, charting the events leading up to the violent tragedy. Novelist Lisa Jewell puts a fresh spin on crime fiction, sucking you into the stories of the varied characters who live around Virginia Terrace, the seat of old resentments and simmering tensions. We were glued to this emotional rollercoaster of a story from start to finish, unable to fathom where the ride would finally end.
Clare and her two daughters, 12-year-old Pip and 13-year-old Grace, move into a "cute little flat" near a Narnia-like park in London. When the girls make friends with the neighbors and the park clique, it looks like they are on the right path. But on the night of Grace's birthday, she goes missing. When she is found, she is partially undressed, unconscious, and bloody. No friends, neighbors, or even husbands are above suspicion as the taut mystery unravels to reveal the neighborhood's dark secrets. Jewell (The Third Wife) jumps straight into the story with the discovery of Grace, then flashes to the past, setting up an eerie foreshadowing of the events to occur. Rich characterization and intricate plot development are combined with mid-chapter cliffhangers that cut from one character's point of view to the next, resulting in a riveting pace. Vivid descriptions of the bucolic park contrast with the evil lurking around the themes of teenage sexuality, perversion, peer pressure, and the desire for a complete family. Jewell adeptly creates a pervasive atmosphere of unease in this well-spun narrative.
Fantastic... til the end
Loved 95% of the book, was nearing the end and was sad it would be over soon. I didn’t love the conclusion, so I gave 4 stars.
Disappointing ending ruined it
Really enjoyed this until the last 10 pages, which were so unsatisfying that it made me mad I'd read the book at all. It felt like the author had a deadline but no ending and just threw something together at the last minute. Really annoying.
Good story but disappointing ending.
The ending was lacking. So many aspects being introduced and built upon, only to have it not lead to anything.