When Clare Wild moves into Virginia Cresent with her daughters Grace and Pip she expects it to be a new beginning. A place of safety where her husband can’t find them after burning down their home and every possession they have.
Virginia Terrace and Cresent is a complex mix of beautiful mansion buildings, apartments and flats all centred around a vast communal garden situated in Central London. A safe haven for some but a ruthless jungle for others. The gardens are gorgeous with a rose garden, playground and is laced with the terraces of all the residents sharing the green but as night falls, not all is as it seems.
As friendships develop and the Wild family get to know their neighbours, Pip soon begins to suss people out and appears to have a sixth sense and spot the snakes among the grass. Leo and Adele appear to have the perfect family. A Victorian style flat, their children Catkin, Willow and Fern are home schooled and are free to potentially do what they want. As the story progresses Adele realises that Leo has a few dark secrets and her children are not the innocent free spirits she thought they were.
Other characters such as Tyler makes my blood boil. Although a child, she is quite grown up beyond her years and has a very dark side to her. Dylan is also quite mysterious in his own right whereas I loved Rhea, with her knowledge and sharp but honest tongue. Add all these peoples parents and family members into the mix and things around Virginia Cresent get very complicated and the reader soon starts to establish that nobody is who they say they are.
When Grace is attacked and left for dead in the garden on the night of her 13th birthday the lives of the residents are turned upside down and secrets long since put to sleep start to creep back into the lives of which they belong. Is it a case of history repeating itself or is there more to it than originally meets the eye.
Lisa Jewell has written a thrilling, dark, compulsive masterpiece which literally has you hanging on every word. From the very first page the characters keep you hooked and wanting more. The nature of the writing and the portrayal of each individual person in the book keep the suspense alive of what happened to Grace right up until the very last page.
This book is superbly written and very easy to read, down to earth with a sinister side. The chapters are small which I love in a book and the characters are convincing and relatable. This is a definite must read this summer. I loved every page of it. This is a book that will consume your every waking hour.
Thank you to Cornerstone Publishing at Random House and Netgalley for an Advanced Reading Copy of this book.