The idea of living in a gated community where children run around freely, in and out of each other’s houses, sounds delightful. But perhaps this freedom doesn’t protect the children as much as one might think. After all, sometimes the danger is within the gates. The Girls in the Garden, by Lisa Jewell, gives us a taste of that kind of a life.
After Clare’s husband Chris burns down their house without knowing whether his wife and two daughters are inside (they weren’t), he is committed to a mental health facility. Clare and her daughters, 11-year-old Pip and 12-year-old Grace, move to just such a place. Things seem fine. The girls make friends. Clare learns to survive without her husband.
And then the night of Grace’s 13th birthday party, Pip finds her sister unconscious and near death, overdosed on sleeping pills. Until Grace awakens from her coma, no one knows how this travesty happened.
Readers are led down one path and then another. Just when you are certain you know who tried to kill Grace, that person becomes just another red herring.
Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors. I believe I have enjoyed every book of hers that I have read. While The Girls in the Garden was not necessarily my favorite of her’s, I think the author’s writing is exceptional, and was enough to make me enjoy the book.
And enough to want to put my arms around my grandkids and keep them close.
This one is a thumbs up.