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The Girls in the Garden

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  41,042 ratings  ·  3,627 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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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  41,042 ratings  ·  3,627 reviews

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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
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.
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
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 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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 first
Katie B
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

While this might not be my favorite out of the four books I have read by the author, I do think this is her best attempt at a mystery that has you guessing until the end. Normally I have a good idea when reading her books where she's going to take the story but with this one she left enough room for multiple possibilities. Unfortunately there was something missing with this book and I wish it could have been more of a page turner.

Right off the bat you find out something terrible has ha
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Captivating and atmospheric. The best mystery I've read in a long, long time.

Set in London, this is a story about a close-knit community surrounding a central 3-acre park, complete with a playground, rose garden, even a secret garden. Many of the people who live here have known each other for a lifetime, since they were children, and many have stayed in this same neighborhood until adulthood, now raising their own children here as well. So the children of friends are now friends themselves, play
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
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:
May 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Well, I am going to be in the minority here. I had heard a lot of good things about this book. I anxiously awaited my copy to be available at the library. I waited and waited and waited. Then finally it was ready.

Yay! I was so excited to start it. Then it began with a fizzle. It was slow as in sloooooooooow. I hung in there. I found that this book took some time, but eventually it became more interesting. It is a mystery whodunit. At the end I found it to be good - not great. I wanted to know wh
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
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'Have you seen Grace?'

They all look at each other and shrug. Dylan sits up straight. 'Isn't she at home?'

Pip feels a cold chill of dread pass down her spine. 'No,' she says. 'I haven't seen her for hours.'

'She said she was going in,' says Catkin. 'About an hour ago. She must have changed her mind. Have you checked our flat? Maybe she's hanging out with our parents?'

Pip wanders across the lawn, through the remains of the party, bunting fluttering darkly from trees, bin bags in piles read
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-fiction
I've been a Lisa Jewell fan for a few years and read the last several books she's written. I'm now going backward to catch up on a few that look interesting. Since I love stories about gardens, and The Girls in the Garden from 2015 had a cool-sounding vibe, I decided to make it my next read. While the story had tons of merit and intrigue, it fell a bit short for me. I enjoyed it, ending somewhere around 3.5 stars. I'll round up because I do enjoy the writing style and character creation.

In a lov
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
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
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
Jun 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
*spoiler alert* Adele knows who did it. She manages to piece everything together to the point that she knows exactly who did it and how and 90% of why. In figuring it all out she also solves a 20-some-year-old murder. She could prove it to the police if she wanted. But she does nothing. At all. She doesn't even attempt to help reform the girls involved. She just sticks her fingers in her ears and tries to forget it happened. Tries to ignore the fact that these girls are growing up to be horrific ...more
 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: mystery, netgalley
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
Alice Lippart
Great concept and enjoyed some of the characters, but in the end, it just felt like a very average book.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

At this point I pretty much resemble this when it comes to Lisa Jewell books . . . .

I want to nom nom nom them all anytime I’m feeling like . . . .

The Girls in the Garden follows sort of a Liane Moriarty path as it begins with a possible superbadawful having happened to one of the neighborhood children followed by the reader actually getting to know the neighbors as we wind our way back to post potential superbadawfu
My mind keeps screaming that this should be a one star read but I am giving it two stars. Why? For two reasons: I liked the character of Pip and I can't deny that I think Lisa Jewell is a talented writer. But, honestly, this book has left me feeling disturbed. I was really uncomfortable with a lot of the things she had twelve year olds doing and I felt even more uncomfortable when all the adults wanted to turn a blind eye to it all. Through out the book Adele and Clare talked about how protectiv ...more
Stephanie Nicholas
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
The suspense in this book is fantastic. It was a quick and very enjoyable read, with an unpredictable ending. I'd never read Lisa Jewell before, but I'll definitely read another of her works. Well written! ...more
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
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a book by Lisa Jewell. She is just a fantastic author. Having said that, this one was my least favourite so far. Don’t get me wrong - it’s really good, but just not AS good as her others. I think the ending was a bit of a let down. There wasn’t the ‘OMG!!!!!’ moment that I’ve normally had in her other books. In this book, the ending was more of a ‘Really? That’s it?’ moment!
Jan 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
i just logged onto goodreads for the first time in two years to say that i absolutely hate this book
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.
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
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).

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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 & De ...more

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