Review: now everybody knows I am a massive Lisa Jewell fan, this novel has been marketed as being a bit different from the others, as her last novel was and so I did feel a bit of trepidation going into it. But, like all the others, once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down again! This is definitely very different to her other novels, a lot darker and much more of a mystery quality about it but it still has her wonderful writing, her detailed description and her way of unravelling the story in her own unique way, something which is utterly gripping!
The plot of this one is definitely on the dark side and so don't go into this thinking that it will be a light and fluffy read, there are some shocking revelations in here and you find yourself assuming the worst in people just because of the way the novel has been constructed and so in that way, this novel is a bit of a psychosocial thriller, you imagine the worst but that's not necessarily what you get. In others though this is a story about a family trying to piece itself together again and other families trying to do a similar thing at the same time.
The whole novels centres around a communal garden and the descriptions of the garden and the summer in which the novel takes place are seriously to notch. You really feel like you are there, can feel the grass beneath your feet and smells the roses of the Rose garden. You feel like you are part of the Han of children that are the main characters in this story. There is one moment in particular where two of the children are going from the garden out onto the street and you really can feel that harsh concrete beneath your feet as they step from the grass to the pavement, just like when you had to come off the field and go back to class at the end of playtime at school!
It was interesting having children and teenagers as the sort of main characters in this novel, ever though they are obviously a lot younger than I am, I really could relate to them and sympathise with them as the story went on. I almost felt more of an allegiance to them than to the adults on the novel, such is the beauty of this writing. Of course I could feel for the adults in the story somewhat, Clare trying to find a place for herself and her girls, Adele trying to do the same thing and leo just trying to be liked by everyone and be happy, it was an interesting mix.
This novel is definitely a summer read because of the description of the long days and light evenings, I think if I read this book again when it was cold and dark I would feel really down, missing summer. There is some dark content so reader should go into this one with an open mind. As always Lisa Jewell's writing gets under your skin and so I am sure that whenever you pick up this novel, like me, you won't be able to put it down again!