Hi! As the old saying goes: “when in quarantine, do as those in quarantine do”, which is just Greek for I’ve been reading a lot. Lol, I’ve been devouring books left and right and have been loving every minute that gives my brain a break from the America’s Next Top Model marathons. The most recent book I finished was called The Girls In The Garden by Lisa Jewell. It was… Okay I guess?
Without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss. But, please be warned that there is some subject matter in The Girls In The Garden that could be very triggering. Now, let’s get to it:
Virginia Park may seem like the perfect, picturesque place to raise a family. Quaint flats, a communal park that stretches close to three acres, and tons of children running about. However, the situation that brought young mother Clare and her two daughters Pip and Grace into the neighborhood was anything but picture perfect.
Clare, who is estranged from her husband, is weak and vulnerable upon their arrival. This, in turn, leaves her twelve year old daughter, Grace, and eleven year old daughter, Pip, free to explore the park and get acquainted with the other kids. Handsome Dylan, frigid Tyler, and the eccentric sisters Willow, Catkin, and Fern. The parents of the three sisters, Adele and Leo, are essentially the “cool parents” and their house is constantly full of kids running in and out.
As the preteens and teenagers hang about the park, cliques begin to form and catty attitudes cause a palpable tension. All the while, the children’s parents aren’t doing much better, shielding dark secrets of their own that span from their childhood. Long buried memories begin to reveal themselves ranging from pervy old men to affairs and, oh yeah, murder.
One fateful summer night, the present mimicked the past after a young, pretty girl is found bloody, unconscious and uncovered in the park. So similar to the death of another young, pretty girl in the park decades prior. Who is responsible for the past and present attacks? And will history try to repeat itself once more? Read The Girls In The Garden to find out more!
Okay, so I know what you guys are thinking: A whodoneit with intertwining stories and secrets. How did Sarah not like it? Believe you me, all of that is very fair and I did enjoy certain aspects of the story line. However, there were a lot of parts that made me just plain uncomfortable to read. This includes some insanely inappropriate displays of affection between a freshly turned thirteen year old girl and her boyfriend.
After that part went down, I really didn’t care what happened next in the book because I just didn’t care anymore. It was such a stomach churning thing and it literally made me feel disgusting after reading it. It’s really too bad too because if the author wasn’t so focused on being “edgy”, she would have had a hell of a book on her hands. Although, I did see the ending coming.
Had a crucial part of this book not made me nauseous, I would have rated The Girls In The Garden much higher. But, that is not the case. So, for the first time in history, Lil Red will be awarding no stars out of ten stars. I really didn’t care for the direction this book took towards the end and I couldn’t look past it. Not sorry about it and I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for your next book club meeting!
Which book is currently on your night stand? Do you have any reading recommendations for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah