Tag Archives: Lisa Jewell

Review: Watching You

Watching You

Watching You
By Lisa Jewell
Atria Books, 9781501190087, August 2019, 352pp.

The Short of It:

Twisty and full of surprises.

The Rest of It:

Melville Heights is one of those pristine English neighborhoods with brightly painted houses and manicured landscaping. Newly married Joey Mullen and her husband are invited to move in with her brother and his wife. Her brother and wife are expecting their first baby and could probably use the help down the line. Although Joey loves being close to her brother, she also feels like their company is not wanted and feels out of place at times.

In the same neighborhood is a good looking man who happens to be the head at the local school. Tom Fitzwilliams has this sure way of carrying himself and Joey finds herself looking forward to their run-ins as innocent as they seem, until they aren’t so innocent anymore and she can’t ignore this feeling of being watched. Tom has his own family but Joey doesn’t know much about them except that his son spends a lot of time at home and doesn’t seem to have many friends of his own.

Then, there is a murder. A woman is found dead and the details of the event slowly unfold and become more complicated as various parts of the story are revealed. There is so much more to this story than just the murder. The dynamics of family, teens, married couples and the past all collide in a satisfying way. At times I could see where the story was headed, but in the end, there are surprises that I did not see and it made for a very enjoyable read.

I’ve read four other books by Jewell, see below, but this is probably my favorite of the ones I’ve read.

Invisible Girl
The Family Upstairs
The Girls in the Garden
Then She Was Gone

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Invisible Girl

Invisible Girl 
By Lisa Jewell
Atria Books, 9781982137335, October 13, 2020, 368pp.

The Short of It:

There are a few side stories going on which normally distract me but they came together very nicely here.

The Rest of It:

The “Invisible Girl” in the title is not necessarily the main character of this novel which is interesting in and of itself. Saffyre Maddox is seeking treatment for self-harm. Her therapist, Roan Fours has been very good for her but after three years, he’s ready to cut her loose, feeling that she’s addressed her main reason for therapy. But Saffyre’s real reason is the abuse she suffered as a young child and she hasn’t even gotten to that part yet. Feeling abandoned, she becomes slightly obsessed with Roan and follows him around only to discover that he is hiding something from his family.

Owen Pick, is a neighbor across the street from Roan Fours. He lives with his aunt at the age of thirty and doesn’t know how to act around women. His awkwardness has caused numerous issues, including a workplace harassment case at the college he has been suspended from. His accidental interaction with Saffyre becomes a problem when she goes missing.

There are basically three main players in this story: Saffyre, Owen, and Roan. Other characters add to the complexity of what is going on, but don’t play major roles in what goes down. Jewell handles this quite well. I mean, no one seems “extra” just for the sake of being there. They all serve a purpose to propel the story forward in some way.

I’ve heard some say that there is a lot going on in this story. This is true but I felt that it was deftly navigated and had just the right pace for me to keep picking it up. Plus, Jewell is very good at characterization. I cared about these characters and wanted them to be okay, except for the ones who didn’t deserve it of course.

Overall, a solid read with a nicely wrapped up ending.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.