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The Poison Garden

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Shocking, tense and sharply written, The Poison Garden is the gripping new novel from the international bestseller and Edgar award-winning Alex Marwood.

Where Romy grew up, if someone died you never spoke of them again.

Now 22, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. But Romy is young, pregnant and completely alone - and if she is to
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by Sphere
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    Erin It will be! It will be released in the UK first, though, If you don't want to wait, you can order from Book Depository (they have free and fast…moreIt will be! It will be released in the UK first, though, If you don't want to wait, you can order from Book Depository (they have free and fast shipping to the US)(less)

    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 3.98  · 
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     ·  222 ratings  ·  85 reviews


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    Paromjit
    Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Alex Marwood takes the reader into the toxic, tragic and unwaveringly bleak territory of the dangerous world of cults and communes as she immerses the reader into the horrors of their ways of living. A multilayered narrative provides us with insights and observations of life before, during and the repercussions that follow in the aftermath of the cult with its different timelines and characters. A young vulnerable and pregnant Romy has been shaped by the cult, and has to negotiate life after the ...more
    Liz Barnsley
    May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This is a novel I’ve been waiting for and it was worth every second of that wait- nobody engages me with thought provoking characters and stories like Alex Marwood and The Poison Garden is tense, beautiful and utterly gripping.
    The thing about this book is it is full of layers, Romy is unforgettable and her life experience and how it defines her sets the anchor for the wider story. This is a dark dark tale indeed, edgy and unpredictable, the cult theme expanded upon in hugely compelling way
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    Gary
    Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
    I have previously read 'The Darkest Secret' by Alex Marwood and enjoyed it a lot but for some reason I just couldn't connect with this book. I love the writing style but this particular book didn't do it for me.
    In this story Romy escapes the cult she was raised in and the only world she has ever known. But when she enters 'normal' life it does not hold the excitement you would expect. Now twenty-two, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. Romy is young,
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    Indieflower
    Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I really like Alex Marwood's style of writing and this had me hooked from the first chapter, a young pregnant woman is found alive inside the grounds of a sprawling rural property owned by a cult, where everyone else appears to be dead. I became totally engrossed in this thought provoking, character driven story, I found it dark and gripping and not quite what I was expecting. The characters were fascinating, the differing time lines really helped to get to know them and perhaps to understand ju ...more
    Gary
    Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I have previously read 'The Darkest Secret' by Alex Marwood and enjoyed it a lot but for some reason I just couldn't connect with this book. I love the writing style but this particular book didn't do it for me.
    In this story Romy escapes the cult she was raised in and the only world she has ever known. But when she enters 'normal' life it does not hold the excitement you would expect. Now twenty-two, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. Romy is young,
    ...more
    Tracy Fenton
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I am a HUGE fan of Alex Marwood's previous books and was thrilled to learn she has a new book being published this month and delighted to get an early copy via Netgalley of THE POISON GARDEN.

    THE POISON GARDEN is a real departure from the authors previous books focusing more on the characters and digging deeply into cults, brainwashing and the followers apocalyptic beliefs. 

    Told through the viewpoint of several main characters, the story begins in Wales when two police off
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    Bill Kupersmith
    Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This is the fourth novel by Alex Marwood that I’ve read. I loved The Wicked Girls, The Killer Next Door, and the Darkest Secret, and The Poison Garden does not disappoint. It fascinates each of Marwood’s books is distinctive and different, all excellent but if you didn’t know, you’d swear they are by different authors. This one is a story about a cult that very much resembles Jim Jones’s People’s Temple, though located in Wales instead of Guyana. It also resembles Rebecca Wait’s The Followers: i ...more
    gem
    May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I love Alex Marwood’s books, I’ve been a fan since reading The Wicked Girls and with each book she offers an insight into some kind of dark and twisted world.
    Within The Poison Garden we are forced to confront the controversial issue of cults, communes, and how they treat each other and how they view the outside world.
    Differing time lines allow us to see the story from varying perspectives and I loved that. I really liked Sarah and Romy but wasn’t too fussed about the others.
    It’
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    Helen Carolan
    Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Another excellent read from Ms Marwood. The members of a cult are fond dead in Wales but there have been some survivors. When Sarah learns that her sisters children are still alive she agrees to have them live with her. But the children struggle to adapt to life outside the cult and may have a hidden agenda which may not involve Sarah. Eerie read and terrific.
    Jillian Doherty
    Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Cult fiction is salaciously interesting; there’s so much curiosity into this evergreen fascination.

    The Poison Garden offers different points of view in cascading timelines- we see within their communal life, as well as when they’re forced to live amongst the dead- love the way she built the character’s perceptions toward both realities.

    A hauntingly compulsive read, with Marwood’s dark signature storytelling.

    Galley borrowed from the publisher.
    Clare
    With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

    I have enjoyed all Alex Marwood`s books so I was excited to read The Poison Garden.

    The prologue started when the police were called to The Ark, a large commune set in the countryside. Within the commune the dead bodies of adults and students were found lying on the ground.

    When the police arrived they found twenty two year old Romy was found in the commune `hospital. She was
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    peggy
    Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I know very little about cults and their beliefs, this book certainly opened my eyes.
    Toxic and darn right scary. A survivalist cult is always preparing for the end of the world. Now imagine what would happen if someone decides to give it a helping hand.
    This book is beautifully written and so easy to get into. I really did not want this book to end. This read had me gripped from the first page and spent most of my time sat on the edge of my seat and tapping my kindle faster. I like the way the
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    Karen R.
    Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I enjoyed this book....I love Alex Marwood’s books, and am a sucker for anything involving cults. So this book was a slam dunk.
    When Romy escapes the cult she was raised in, we expect her to become enthralled with the new world she was kept from her whole live. But she surprises us, and you are left wondering how someone makes the choices they do. Is it ingrained in them, or free will? While I wished the book evolved a bit more at the end, that may be because I can’t wrap my head around certain
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    Angie
    May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    When Alex Marwood writes I don't feel as though I'm reading a book. I feel as though I'm living it. “The Poison Garden” is no exception. This is my most eagerly anticipated novel of the year and wow! It's even better than I expected. Marwood manages to create characters who evoke empathy as much as they are deeply unlikeable, and the weaving  together of their stories leaves the reader with a sense of dark fascination. “The Poison Garden” shines a spotlight on a world alien to most of us and sta ...more
    Rachel Bridgeman
    Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: july-2019
    I have to be extremely careful to avoid spoilers here as this is a book I would want as many lovers of thrillers, dark suspense and horror to read without knowing where they are going.

    After escaping the Plas Golau cult, Romy(who has lived there since she was 8 months old) has to adapt to modern life, without her family around her. The way that the modern world is viewed through her eyes after being embedded into a very strict caste structure with defined roles and ways of behaving th
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    Gulnaz
    Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I’ve really enjoyed Alex Marwood’s previous novels like The Darkest Secret so was really excited to read this especially learning that it’s about cults, a topic that intrigues me.
    The book opens with a scene in Wales where two officers have been called down by a farmer because of a strange, putrid smell coming from his neighbours: a private and secluded farm. The officers break through and find a river of dead bodies...
    The story then breaks into 3 narrative strands:
    * Sarah is a 31-ye
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    Sarah Stone
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    The Poison Garden was amazing, unputdownable, disturbing, and heart wrenching. I think I experienced every range of emotion throughout the book. I could not fathom how Romy, Ilo, and Eden physically and mentally survived the day their lives changed forever. As they recovered from the fall of the Ark, the reader journey's through how the Ark came to be. Next of kin is contacted to care for Ilo and Eden. Their aunt Sarah takes over as caregiver and is a combination of genuine good nature and a lit ...more
    Kat
    May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    As soon as I read the overview of this book and it mentions a cult that was me hooked !! I have always had a big fascination for reading about cults and this book was brilliant, told in two timelines and from different points of view it draws you in with its descriptions of life in the cult and to life after and the horrific consequences of being brainwashed by fear. In a lot of ways this is a sad read but at the same time very compelling and difficult to say more as I think this is a book that ...more
    Emma Shaw
    Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    "None of us will be the same, by tomorrow, she thinks."

    Two police officers are called out to investigate an awful smell on a farm by a neighbour: a seemingly innocuous call that gives them no warning of the life-changing and terrible sight they’re about to discover: lifeless bodies piled one on top of each other, frozen in death as they tried to flee. All the adult members of the Ark, the cult that lived on the farm, are dead apart from Romy who was in the infirmary unable to walk, l
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    Rachel Sargeant
    Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Although the author’s previous novels were psychological thrillers that didn’t shy away from graphic and visceral detail, The Poison Garden is even harder hitting as well as more literary. You know you’re in for a disturbing read when an apparently stereotypical police procedural prologue descends into a scene reminiscent of the Allies entering a concentration camp at the end of the Second World War.
    After the prologue, the main narrator is Romy, the sole adult survivor of a cult that lived
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    Heather
    Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I’m always excited by Alex Marwood books – she addresses difficult issues sympathetically but unflinchingly. The book is about cults and belief systems, and the toxic effect they can have on people and relationships.
    It opens with a gruesome discovery on a remote farm in Wales, when a group of people having been living a communal life, cut off from the outside world, for many years.

    Romy is a survivor of this apocalyptic cult who is brought to live among the Dead (the rest of us,
    ...more
    4rachel
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Poison Garden grabs you from page 1 .
    A shocking discovery is made -of what appears to be a Jones like mass suicide in and around the grounds of the head quarters of a cult in rural Wales.
    Their main purpose was to prepare for the Apocalypse under the watchful eye of their leader - Lucien
    The story is then told from 3 perspectives - Romy one of the survivors - who knows hardly anything about life outside the cult - Somer her mother - and Sarah -Somer's younger sister .
    This
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    Claire Wilson
    Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Poison Garden by Alex Marwood is a gripping thriller that I couldn't put down. When Romy escapes the cult she grew up in, she relies on the support of social workers on the outside world. But Romy is keeping a secret. 4 stars
    Andrea Hicks
    Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Thank you to Little Brown Group, Alex Marwood and Net Galley for my ARC.
    Thoroughly shocking and actually believable. because it could and does happen. This exploration of a cult and the brainwashing of its followers is harrowing. When the survivors made it into the 'real' world it's tempting to believe they have a chance of redemption but the children raised within its confines are nurtured to believe that the rules they follow are the only correct ones. I wasn't expecting the killing spre
    ...more
    MarmottanReads
    Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I’ve read all of Alex Marwood’s excellent books and this one does not disappoint. I’m very stingy with my stars, but this was an instant five star read. It’s the tale of two sisters who grow up in a closeted Christian sect, one of whom builds a life outside that group and one of whom segues into a rural survivalist closed community. When tragedy befalls the survivalist community, the sister on the outside has to take on the parenting of her nephew and nieces.

    Deeply creepy and unsettling, this b
    ...more
    Helen (TBC)
    Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: tbc, netgalley
    to follow
    Blair
    Jul 14, 2019 marked it as dnf-arcs  ·  review of another edition
    A solid, intriguing idea but the writing doesn't live up to the premise. I think the point at which I 'noped out' was when a chapter told from the perspective of a five-year-old used the word 'horripilate'.

    Review copy via Edelweiss.
    Fiona Mccormick
    Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Oh this was excellent - and extremely dark! It is terrifying how some people can get caught up in a cult like existence by blindly following an ideology headed up by charismatic personalities. I found myself getting angry at some of the characters, thinking stop being so ridiculous and get out of there! Frighteningly realistic portrayal of how people can be manipulated with their insecurities and vulnerabilities being exploited for the benefit of the 'elite'.
    I am a huge fan of Alex Marwood
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    Sarah
    Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    An unflinching and multi-layered depiction of the complicated dynamics of an apocalyptic cult.

    Romy is one of the main voices of this book. Her navigation of the world outside the cult creates a completely skewed narrative that adds to the reader's feeling of being off-balance and yet is surprisingly revealing about the insidious nature of the apocalyptic cult she was part of. In flashbacks to her life in the cult, she is clearly warring with the others unwavering conviction that the charismatic
    ...more
    Hilary Mortz
    Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Poison Garden is a real departure for Alex Marwood – I started reading expecting a crime thriller but it quickly turned into something else entirely and it was a fabulous surprise. Strange, other-worldly and shocking, I loved this book and didn’t want the story-telling to end.

    Perhaps there will be a sequel (which would be cool) perhaps not, because the ending was so skilful and satisfying in itself. I am full of fresh admiration for Ms Marwood, hence the five star rating.

    Many t
    ...more
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    Alex Marwood is a former journalist who worked extensively across the British press. Her first novel, The Wicked Girls, achieved widespread acclaim and international bestsellerdom. It was shortlisted for ITW, Anthony and Macavity awards, was included in Stephen King's Ten Best Books of the Year list, and won the prestigious Edgar Award. The Killer Next Door, her second novel, won the coveted Macav ...more