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The Girls Hardcover – 2 Jul 2015

3.9 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews

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  • The Third Wife
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Century (2 July 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780893590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780893594
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.7 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Lisa Jewell’s characters are so real that I finish every book half-expecting to bump into one of them. Modern, complex, intuitive, she just goes from strength to strength." (Jojo Moyes)

"An engaging and atmospheric read, Lisa beautifully conjures up the half-child half-adult lives of young teenagers." (Jane Fallon)

"Oh but I loved this book – a magical garden right in the centre of the city, a long, hot summer simmering away, a group of young teens, lurching between boredom and passion and ripe for their lives to start. And at its centre a dark and disturbing mystery that keeps you turning the pages long into the night. Lisa Jewell is the most compassionate storyteller. She writes with such lightness of touch, yet her books pack a powerful punch. A stunning, beautiful, mesmerising book that everyone will be reading this summer." (Tamar Cohen)

"I was utterly gripped from the start… basically a great read." (Irish Independent)

"Another winner. Beautiful writing, believable characters, a pacy narrative and dark secrets combine to make this a gripping read." (Daily Mail)

"A dark, propulsive thriller about teenage relationships, family secrets and dysfunctional parenting." (Metro)

"[Lisa Jewell] is moving into fascinating, more complex psychological territory with each book" (Jojo Moyes)

"A dark, compelling story." (Woman & Home)

"Full of twists and turns." (Prima Review)

"A compelling read." (Good Housekeeping)

"Dark and scarily believable, this is a must-read" (Fabulous Magazine)

"Lisa creates beguiling characters, which dazzle from the page. This is a terrific suspense story told with that brooding promise of danger that taunts us to read on, to chase the elusive truth at the heart of the book." (Rachel Hore)

"Compelling, intriguing and unputdownable" (Candis)

Book Description

Dark secrets, a devastating mystery and the games people play: the gripping new novel from the bestselling author of The House We Grew Up In and The Third Wife.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I've never read Lisa Jewell before and was half expecting something formulaic and a bit chick-lit meets domestic thriller - but I'm glad to say I was completely wrong. This is a mature and well thought out book that is built on excellent and subtle characterisation, an astute understanding of personal and teenage dynamics, and the ability to unsettle without being melodramatic or lurid.

The story opens with a 13 year old girl being found attacked in the supposedly safe space of a communal garden in Hampstead, and the two main sections of the book are 'before' that event and then 'after'. It's not so much the plotting, though, that makes the book - tight as that is - but the way in which the lives of the various families who live around this green space is scrutinised. From 'new age', alternative Adele to out-of-her-depth Clare we come to know these women intimately, and share in their anxieties, suspicions and tensions.

Jewell also captures beautifully the edgy, dangerous phase in girls' lives when they are 12-13: no longer children but certainly not adults however grown-up they might consider themselves, and some of the most potent moments are when we are taken into the secret lives of these adolescent girls.

Overall, then, a brilliantly gripping read with a satisfying ending.

(Thanks to Random House for a review copy via Netgalley)
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Format: Hardcover
After a terrible incident caused by their father Pip and Grace have to move together with their mother Clare. They move into an apartment in Virginia Terrace. There's a big communal garden which sounds ideal. There are also children of Pip and Grace's age. Grace fits right in. She has friends, she finds a boyfriend she's crazy about and all of a sudden she's a teenager with secrets. Pip misses her father and she prefers to stay at home, she doesn't want to spend all of her time with the other children in the garden. Then something awful happens to Grace in the garden and the safe place they thought they'd found has turned into a nightmare all of a sudden.

Adele loves her apartment in Virginia Crescent. She's homeschooling her three girls and she's happy with her husband Leo. He's very popular among the girls and other mothers in the garden. Adele loves her unique family. From the start she tries to include Clare and her two daughters. Everything is going well until that awful day in the garden. What exactly happened to Grace?

The Girls is a thrilling read about a family that has experienced something tragic. The book starts with Pip who finds an unconscious Grace in the garden. I think it's a great choice to start with the most impressive scene. I had to find out what happened to Grace and couldn't put the book away. I loved the idea of the communal garden. It's a fascinating and unusual setting. Lisa Jewell tells the story from different points of view that are all equally intriguing.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved Pip, she's such a sweet girl. Most of the characters are a bit strange, which I liked a lot. I love it when a story is different. There are so many questions and when the truth finally comes to light it's quite shocking. The ending is fantastic. I highly recommend this amazing read. It's something different and I think the book really stands out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd never read any of Lisa Jewell's books prior to this one, and came to it from reading a preview of the first chapter. It's an intriguing story of family life, relationships, jealously and community. However, while I found it quite gripping and enjoyable initially, there was so much that was annoying and irksome about the plot, the characters and the writing, and there were so many plot holes it felt like a piece of lace by the end.

The children's ages don't seem to sit comfortably with the way they're written - these are very middle class children, with a certain naivety, not some street wise, all-knowing, older than their years types, so for it to pan out the way it does is slightly ludicrous and unbelievable.

The adults fare no better and some there merely as plot devices - why all the mystery about Dylan's mother? It serves no actual purpose.

Pip's father, who is an Oscar nominated director no less, and has burned down their house during a schizophrenic episode, but not charged with arson? Really?

The police investigation - or lack of it. Door to door inquires but no DNA testing or even collection of evidence? Totally unrealistic again. If you're going to write for the thriller genre, research it properly, so you can write convincingly.

The final third of the book is just so frustrating - plot holes, such as how there must have been more than one person involved, the eventual emergence of cctv evidence but implausibly only the main perpetrator is seen, a killer who has got away with murder and continues to do so, there were just too many red herrings, which made it confusing and cluttered. And without adding a spoiler, the resolution for Tyler's story is derisible.

A brave attempt but lack of research and knowledge and an over ambitious plot condensed into too few pages spoiled what could have been so much better. A very convenient ending for all except the reader.
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Format: Hardcover
A story centring around a single mother Clare and her two daughters Grace and Pip who move to a small flat with a huge communal garden after a sad estrangement from the girls' much loved Dad . The 'crime' of the plot is revealed in the first chapter and draws you in ( so much so I didn't want to leave the book and go to work !) then the rest of the novel is divided into 'before' and 'after' chapters . Throughout the book I found myself swapping and changing my mind about various possible 'villains' . I never did guess !

I've read all of Lisa Jewells books and each one just mesmerises me with how well she writes . Once again I feel Lisa Jewell has evolved from the early slightly quirky chick lit to the last few novels which have tackled graphic , depressing and realist personalities , flaws and illnesses . Throughout this book I was struck by how similar in writing style it was to a Ruth Rendell / Barbara Vine - a big plus for me . The story of a teenage summer spent in a communal garden reminded me very much of Vines 'A Fatal Inversion' and I recommend anyone who enjoyed this novel to check that one out too .
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