The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I liked everything about this book except the ending. I thought it was rushed and a let down. Pip and her sister Grace have just moved with their mother to a small community centered around a communal park. Their father is in a psychiatric hospital after he attempted to burn their former home down and the family is dealing with the aftereffects of that. Grace seems to make new friends quickly leaving Pip feeling lonely and abandoned. Grace quickly finds her first boyfriend, and at 13, she's drawn into all the drama of adolescence. After a neighborhood party, Grace is attacked. The attack is similar to one that occurred many years earlier where a young girl died, which puts the entire community on edge. A lot of the story is told from Pip's perspective and through her letters to her father, and the book is divided into a timeline --- the discovery of Grace's body, before the attack, and then an after section, ending with an epilogue. As the investigation into the attack unfolds, all sorts of neighborhood secrets are uncovered, with many potential threads revealed that might explain both the previous murder and the current situation. But, as mentioned earlier, the explanation is somewhat of a letdown.
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