Back of the book :
You live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other peoples houses.
You’ve known your neighbours for years and you trust them. Implicitly.
You think your children are safe.
But are they really ?
Midsummers night : a thirteen year old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her ? And who is responsible ?
What I think :
Claire and her daughters, Grace and Pip have just moved to a flat in the ‘gardens’. They had to move as Claire’s husband went a bit batty one night and burnt down the family home. He is currently in hospital, after being diagnosed with a mental illness.
Adele, Leo and their daughters, Willow, Fern and Catkin, have lived there all their lives. Adele home schools her girls and they live a bit of an ‘alternative’ life. Leo’s father, Gordon still owns half the flat. He lives in South Africa with his wife but returns to the Gardens to have a operation on his foot.
Then there is Cece the social worker, her daughter Tyler and Fiona and her son Dylan, who all also live in flats around the Gardens. And last but no means least there is Rhea, she has a giant pet rabbit called Fergus that she takes for walks around the gardens. She has lived there the longest and knows just about everyone and everything ….
The book begins with Pip finding Grace unconscious in the rose garden and in a state of undress. What has happened to her and who did it ? Its Midsummer night and also Grace’s thirteenth birthday. Everyone had been at the ‘Annual Summer Party’ which had been held in the gardens. So everyone it seems, is under suspicion.
The book is split into two parts, ‘Before’ and ‘after’ and also is peppered with little notes and letters from Pip to her Dad Chris whilst he is in the hospital.
The characters are expertly written, Lisa could have quite easily been writing about a little suburb just down the road from where you live, All the characters seemed very real to me, I especially liked balshy Gordon with his old-school ways.
This book is much darker and psychological than her other books, all the families that live in the gardens seem to be woven together in one way or another. There are plenty of secrets and lies that really keep you wondering what is going on till the end. And talking of ends its truly fabulous. I don’t think I would have guessed it. Its all really sewn together really beautifully. I couldn’t put it down, and when I could prize myself away from it I was thinking and wondering about what would happen next.
I have got to say that Lisa is one of my most favourite authors and I have really loved all her books and this is another excellent example of Lisa Jewell’s fabulous penmanship. I am really pleased that she has gone over to the ‘dark’ side for this one. I for one really really enjoyed this book and give it 10/10.
Published by Century on 02/07/15.
I purchased my copy from Tesco £7;00.