“With parenting there’s a long game and a short game. The aim of the short game is to make your children bearable to live with. Easy to transport. Well behaved in public places. In other words, to make your own life easier. And, yes, you can achieve that with punishments, with discipline, with a clip here and there. But the aim of the long game is to produce a good human being.”
While I was browsing the English books section during my trip back in August, my eyes fell on a copy of The Girls. The cover triggered my memory of having it on my wishlist and the blurb sounded great, so I decided to just buy it. I was really looking forward to this novel by Lisa Jewell, but somehow it didn’t manage to grab my attention like I thought it would. It’s not exactly a bad read and I can see why other people might enjoy it better, but I personally wasn’t completely convinced. First of all, I had a hard time keeping track of all the different characters and their role in the story. That definitely slowed me down quite a bit… Also, the first half of The Girls felt a bit ‘weak’ compared to the last part of the story, which turned out to be a huge improvement. I can’t say I liked the main characters either; including Grace, what happened in the gardens and the whole deal with the sister’s father. It honestly felt like there was too much drama squeezed into a limited amount of pages. Like I said, it’s not necessarily a bad read, but it didn’t really stand out either.
A mother and her two daughters move to a picturesque communal garden in urban London looking for a fresh start after what happened to their family. Their new home seems to be an oasis where children can run free and neighbors can be trusted since most have known each other for ages. You think children would be safe, but are they really? One day the past repeats itself and 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? And has it anything to do with what happened in the past?
It might just be that I don’t like too much drama in general, it might just be that I set my expectations too high, but I didn’t like The Girls as much as I thought I would. It’s not a bad read and the second half of the novel is a lot better, but still I felt like it was missing something. Unlikeable characters and too much drama lowered the rating considerably for me, but if you don’t mind those I can still recommend this read.