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The Girls in the Garden

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  18,925 ratings  ·  2,001 reviews
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 real
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Atria Books (first published July 2nd 2015)
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Heather Truckenmiller
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Chelsea Humphrey
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
COVER LOVE! The first thing that drew me to this book on NetGalley was the cover. That mixed with the concept of living in a somewhat communal neighborhood sold me. I’ll be honest, I’ve always dreamed of what it would be like to raise my baby girls in a simpler time; one where “it took a village” and everyone’s door was always open to visitors. I think our generation has lost something important in the fact that we are so incredibly isolated as families now; not borrowing sugar from our neighbor ...more
Megan Johnson
I remember reading the description for this book a while back and being so excited about reading it. Set in a community situated on a garden, there's a sense of community to this book that I haven't read elsewhere. Everyone feels intimately connected (sometimes far too much so), and though each family has their own dwelling the bulk of what happens centers around this garden.

I hesitate to go into too much detail because each development is important to the progression of the story. Sure, you ki
Norma * Traveling Sister
Traveling Sisters Review by NORMA, BRENDA and JALINE!!

LISA JEWELL sure has a knack at keeping us totally engaged with all the red herrings and leaving so many cliffhangers throughout this book that had us all turning those pages as fast as we could.  

THE GIRL IN THE GARDEN by LISA JEWELL is an engrossing, intriguing, steady-paced, and a suspenseful mystery with lots of twists and turns along the way that kept us all reading and guessing right to the very end.  We were pretty much suspicious of e
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
'The Girls' is set in a terrace of houses and flats in London, and they share one of those picturesque communal walled gardens. Whilst providing lots of freedom for the kids who live there, it also has a claustrophobic feel about it - it's a place of secrets, whisperings and past misdeeds.
When Grace is found unconscious in the gardens on her 13th birthday, it opens a can of worms for the residents. Mysteries from the past are brought to light, along with many questions that need to be answered.
Diane S ☔
3.5 From the very beginning we know something terrible has happened, which lends an ominous air to all that follows. After a family disaster Clare and her two daughters move into this gorgeous place that because of its communal space, acres that are shared by all the houses surrounding it, seem like a good place to call home.

I kept thinking of Lord of the Flies as I was reading this. Children that seem to be basically raising themselves, either because of neglect, a hand off approach to child r
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This was a Traveling Sisters Read & Review with Brenda and Norma, and was my first experience with a group read. I can’t think of two people who could possibly have made it easier – or more fun!! For more fabulous Sisters Reviews as well as other Traveling Sisters Reviews, please visit their site at:

Lisa Jewell sure knows how to ramp up the suspense – and how to throw out a red herring or five or ten!

Luckily, there is a nifty map/diagram right on the f
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars for this reading experience

Fantastic read with Norma and Jaline! Such great fun and what a great choice for us!

Our full Traveling Sister reviews can be found along with Norma and my reviews on our sister blog:
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
What is it with all these books with “Girls” in the title? The last book I read was The Girls. Now I have just finished The Girls in the Garden – which I gather was titled The Girls in the UK. And last year I read Those Girls

And what is it with seat mates on flights who don’t get the hint when you have your nose in a book? Last year it happened when I was reading The Seven Good Years. Yesterday, it happened as I was reading The Girls in the Garden. Some drunken idiot sitting next to me kept ask
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a character-driven novel at it’s best. Odd, eccentric, maybe even a little strange, the characters in this book kept me in the dark until the end. I had a hard time deciphering who was legit and who was shady.

The story takes place in central London in a community that backs up to a large private park. A park where kids are free to roam from house to house, at all hours of the day, and the adults are in everyone else's business. It’s communal living and almost manages to comes off as cha
 Li'l Owl
A beautiful private garden where close-knit families keep the children safe from the dangers of urban London.
Or does it?

Pip watches him go, feeling that something is wrong.
"Grace!" she calls out. "Grace!"
There is something on the brow of the hill, a strange shape emerging from the hedge that encircles the Rose Garden. She heads toward it.
"Grace!" she calls again.
As she nears the shape she can see it is a foot. She holds her breath deep inside her body and rounds the corner timorousl
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
This is my first read by author Lisa Jewell, but it certainly won't be my last!

While the storyline had some issues for me-I had a good idea how this was going to play out relatively early on-it was Jewell's descriptive writing style and character development that really drew me in. This is a well written family drama with a good dose of mystery/suspense to keep everyone on their toes.

This whole story takes place in a neighborhood of London where the flats are all connected and they all share a
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell is a 2016 Atria publication.

This is my first novel by this author, but now that she is on my radar I plan to check out her other books, as well.

When Clare’s husband, Chris, has a psychotic episode, and winds up institutionalized, she and her daughters, Grace and Pip, move into a new apartment surrounded by a delightful communal garden. Grace begins to worm her way into the group of kids who hang out in the park, while Pip hangs back, writing her father let
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: two-star
This story really puzzled me, and not completely in a good way. I find it hard to decide exactly which genre it falls under - its a little drama, a little mystery, a little crime. Jewell is known for stories featuring complex family and friend orientated issues, which this book does well. However, there is no one lead protagonist, which makes it difficult to fully understand any one character.

When Clare and her two pre-teen daughters move into an open-plan housing estate (the synopsis touts it a
Alice Lippart
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
Great concept and enjoyed some of the characters, but in the end, it just felt like a very average book.
Bill Kupersmith
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Had I known by hearsay how The Girls would end, I might have have skipped it as too tepid. That would have been a mistake; it ended quite the way it ought to. It belongs to the world of romance more than the tragic. And the enclosed garden setting in a north London cresecent combines the perfect mythic locations, the mediaeval hortus conclusus (the enclosed garden) and the neo-classical rus in urbe (the country amidst the city). Not only is the setting perfect: the characters are beautifully dra ...more
Liz Barnsley
"The Girls" is a beautifully written family drama come psychological thriller - to sum it up simply, it is full of vibrant colourful characters involved in deliciously dark goings on...

After a fire destroys their home, Clare and her two daughters Pip and Grace move into a flat overlooking a community garden - in the garden all the kids from the surrounding homes mill about together, doing what kids do. 30 years ago a young girl called Phoebe died in the Clare, Pip and Grace become par
Jody McGrath
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
The actual mystery portion of the book was pretty good. A lot of twists and turns, with a ton of red-herrings thrown in.
Getting to that spot was a little less thrilling. Clare's complete abandonment of her husband, due to his mental illness, was harsh for me to get over. I realized they had gone through some scary stuff and she was scared for her girls, but he didn't hurt them. She kept saying he could have, but the fact was he didn't. Yes he needed to be institutionalized, but she abandoned hi
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I was completely entranced by this tale set in contemporary London. The book is divided into two parts; the before and after. My head was spinning as to who might have committed the crime, but the whole story was brilliantly executed.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

A solid (though not stunning) entry in the "not-gratuitously-violent" suspense category.

Several neighbors, each with different backgrounds and income levels, live in houses and apartments which surround a semi-private park in London. The gang of tweens and early teens who live nearby roam around (as kids that age do) until one evening -- the evening of a neighborhood block party -- when a very bad thing happens. Who is the perpetrator? Many have motives (and even more have secrets).

The Girls in the Garden is the first book I've read by Lisa Jewell and it won't be the last! Lisa's writing is descriptive, enticing, and completely beautiful. It reads as if it was made for the big screen.

This whodunnit mystery drew me in right away and the suspense throughout kept me engaged even though it's a much slower pace than I had originally expected. The communal park setting is so unique and unlike anything I've ever read. It's a very close knit community in Central London where th
Beth Hudspeth
Reviewed by: Hello Beautiful Book Blog

Beautifully written novel with an intricate story line, mysterious characters and an overall feel of unease brings a wonderful story of loyal ties that bind a community together for the worst.

After a family tragedy, Clare and her two young teen daughters moved to the garden community to start a new life. They soon find out the seemingly perfect community isn’t what it seems to be. The story begins with Pip discovering her sister, Grace, bloody and unconsci
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2016
*3.5 stars

First off, I really liked how this novel started out. You begin with the ending of Grace being on the ground....your left wondering: what happened? Is she dead, was she raped, etc....?? I loved it. I was hooked and bam! I wanted to begin reading to find out what happened. You have a couple of narrators; there's 11 year old Pip(sister of Grace), Adele(a neighbor), and Clare(Grace's mother). Mostly Pip and Adele are telling the story though. There's a lot going on this little community o
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was a good book overall. I have heard great things about Lisa Jewell's writing and decided to give her work a try with this book. For some reason I never seemed to be able to fit this book into my reading schedule so I decided to listen to the audiobook. While I didn't love the book, I did enjoy the hours that I spent listening to it.

This book takes place with a community garden at its center. Families have grown
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. My thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley.

This was a well written, nicely structured book that read right along. I can see how others would have greatly enjoyed it, and given it a high rating. Unfortunately, my dislike (and disbelief) of several of the characters impacted my enjoyment of the story.

I found myself getting fixated on things that you probably were not supposed to dwell on.

I truly don’t understand a worl
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed with the last Lisa Jewell book but am very happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one, again a darker read but very captivating. After their father burnt down their family home, a mother and her two daughters move to a communal living garden. At first all seems wonderful but we learn early on that all is not right. Disfunctional families, parents and kids that just pass each other by, neither kmowing what is really happening around them or within. A tradgedy occurs that h ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Lisa Jewell is one of my favourite authors. This is her introduction into the mystery/suspense genre. While it was a good story it just did not grab me like her other previous books. Sometimes her characters/families have a bit of "quirkiness" to them but are endearing. Not so much the families in this book. I did like the mystery in the book and that kept me reading. The book was divided into two parts. The BEFORE and AFTER a certain incident. I think I enjoyed the AFTER a lot more. I wanted to ...more
Maria (Big City Bookworm)

Note: An ARC of The Girls by Lisa Jewell was provided to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Girls In The Garden by Lisa Jewell is one of those stories that immediately feels disturbing and slightly off-putting. The kind of story that you know right away is going to give you goosebumps and make you feel slightly uneasy. As soon as The Girls In The Garden begins, you are hit with a troubling and disturbing scene, only to go back in time to a couple of months prior to this e
Judy Collins
A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Lisa Jewell returns following The Third Wife (2015) and The House We Grew Up In (2014) with her latest complex atmospheric domestic psychological suspense, THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN. From dark secrets, an intriguing gripping mystery, keeping readers glued to the pages.

A picturesque communal garden, in urban London, a midsummer night, in July--a party. Things go wrong. The mix of homes, families, personal
Ova - Excuse My Reading
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries-i-like
3.5 stars rounded to 4. (When will GR give us a more advanced scoring system?)

The first book I liked from Lisa Jewell. Although I didn't like the characterisation of her men, still a very good story and lots of interesting characters.

I loved how to plot swirled around the communal garden, very clever. Full review soon!
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
I was very impressed with the writing in this novel. Ms. Jewel is very creative in developing and describing her characters and there were some very unusual people we are introduced to.

I would categorize this as a suspense novel more than a mystery. Set in a London neighborhood with a semi-private park/garden at the back of the lots where the children often play without supervision. The parents, for the most part, seem to think that this is a safe environment for their children to play. There is
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Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & ...more
“Adele was struck by how often women undervalued their own efforts while being endlessly impressed by those of their peers.” 7 likes
“with parenting there’s a long game and a short game. The aim of the short game is to make your children bearable to live with. Easy to transport. Well behaved in public places. In other words, to make your own life easier. And, yes, you can achieve that with punishments, with discipline, with a clip here and there. But the aim of the long game is to produce a good human being.” 2 likes
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