Tag Archives: Marriage

Review, Tour & Giveaway: The Girls in the Garden

The Girls in the Garden

The Girls in the Garden
By Lisa Jewell
Atria Books, Hardcover, 9781476792217, June 2016, 320pp.

The Short of It:

The “girls” in this garden have plenty of secrets and that made this a really hard book to put down.

The Rest of It:

*No Spoilers*

After their house is burned down by their mentally ill father, Grace and Pip find themselves in a new flat in London. Their mother, Clare, hasn’t given them all of the details of their father’s care but the reality is that she’s afraid of what their future holds and not sure if the marriage can be saved.

In the meantime, she’s moved them to this lovely neighborhood which includes a private park (garden) for the inhabitants who live there. This common area is where all of the families hang out, mainly the children, so Grace and Pip find themselves the focus of much scrutiny if not friendship. As they begin to make a place for themselves, Clare finds herself fascinated with her neighbors, mainly the seemingly perfect Adele and her attractive husband Leo.

Then, in the midst of all this perfection, one of the girls is found unconscious after a neighborhood celebration and everyone has their own suspicions as to what happened.

This was a really good read. There is so much to consider. The characters are well-developed and Jewell does an excellent job of tossing doubt around without being too obvious. The setting was a huge draw for me. You know that scene in the movie Notting Hill where Anna Scott and William Thacker jump the fence into that private park? Well, the setting in this book is just like that one. Green, lush, private and filled with secrets. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so much beauty but also alarming to always be on display, There is no privacy since all of their homes open onto this common area. Imagine kids coming and going and adults partying at all hours, etc.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Each and every time I picked it up I just wanted to keep reading. Jewell’s handling of what happened that night, along with the very real concerns that Clare has regarding her family, are balanced beautifully.

Jewell has written lots of other books so now I feel the need to read them all. Have you read any of her books?

Lisa Jewell

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TLC Book Tours

GIVEAWAY

This tour includes a giveaway which closes on 10/3. Click here to enter. 

Source: Review & giveaway copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies
By Lauren Groff
Riverhead Books, Hardcover, 9781594634475, September 2015, 400pp.

The Short of It:

Imperfect people joined together in marriage makes for some entertaining reading.

The Rest of It:

Lancelot is this gorgeous, Greek god of a guy. He marries his female equivalent, Mathilde and the two, although quite young, throw caution to the wind and create a happy marriage for themselves.

Or, do they?

This book has gotten a lot of attention! Mainly, due to President Obama naming it his favorite book of 2015.  But even without that endorsement, I can see why this book became popular with readers.

  • It’s well-written
  • Has a somewhat complex story structure to wrap your brain around
  • It has a lot of gratuitous sex
  • It contains Greek mythology references
  • It’s a page-turner
  • Flawed characters galore
  • It has a lot of gratuitous sex (oh, did I already say that?)

I don’t think the book has been optioned for a movie yet, but I can absolutely see that happening. The story is twisty and a bit deceptive and a little dark without being too dark. As a movie, I think it could be quite good.

My book club read and discussed it last week and there was a lot to discuss. Yeah, the sex came up quite a bit but the really big question we all had:

What makes a good marriage good?

Do love and trust come into it? Is it a good marriage if the end result is somewhat shallow in nature as long as both parties are happy with the end result?

We also spent a lot of time talking about the narrative structure. The story is told in two halves, one being Fates and the other being Furies.  As interesting as these halves were, some members of the group felt manipulated by this structure.

Overall, I found it to be a fun book to discuss but a bit tedious with all the sex scenes. Well-written, but a little slow in the middle because of the repetitive nature of some of the content but overall, very entertaining.

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