Forbidden, passionate and all-encompassing, Margo and Richard’s love affair was the stuff of legend– but, ultimately, doomed.
When Richard walked out, Margo locked herself away, leaving her three daughters, Rachel, Imogen and Sasha, to run wild.
Years later, charismatic Margo entertains lovers and friends in her cottage on the Isle of Wight, refusing to ever speak of Richard and her painful past. But her silence is keeping each of the Garnett girls from finding true happiness.
Rachel is desperate to return to London, but is held hostage by responsibility for Sandcove, their beloved but crumbling family home.
Dreamy Imogen feels the pressure to marry her kind, considerate fiancé, even when life is taking an unexpected turn.
And wild, passionate Sasha, trapped between her fractured family and controlling husband, is weighed down by a secret that could shake the family to its core…
The Garnett Girls, the captivating debut from Georgina Moore, asks whether children can ever be free of the mistakes of their parents.
Publisher : HQ (HarperCollins)
Format: Ebook, Audio, Hardback (16 February 2023) | Paperback to follow
Source : Review copy
My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the tour invite. I had been fortunate to have already received a review copy of The Garnett Girls from HQ and now I have my own pre-ordered hardback copy. I was really excited about this debut from Georgina and I am delighted to say that it definitely lived up to my expectations.
Set mainly on the Isle of Wight, which I have a strong personal connection to, there was so much of this story to love. There are complex family relationships, not only between a mother and her daughters, but of that between siblings and also husbands and wives. Margo, the matriarch of the family, was in the main a forceful character, with her three daughters, Rachel, Imogen and Sasha all very different in temperament and circumstance. They all have different ambitions and desires and the story explores how the actions from their past have impacted on their lives.
At the centre of the story is Sandcove, the family home which Margo has since given to Rachel and her family. Not that it stops Margo from still treating the house like her own and holding court with a seemingly hedonistic lifestyle, despite having her own cottage ‘The Other Place’ nearby. Sandcove is almost a character in itself, a big rambling house, now needing repair, but it has always been home and its where Margo and the love of her life, Richard, began their family.
Margo’s refusal to discuss Richard or even mention his name, over the years has had an effect on the girls and leads to secrets and resentments which threatens the family dynamics. Rachel, the eldest, has had to shoulder the most responsibility from a young age, and feels trapped in her current life at Sandcove, whereas Sasha, the youngest, feels the absence of her father the most. Addiction, extra marital affairs, sexuality and controlling behaviour are all part of this character driven novel which gives rather more depth to the story than the pretty cover might suggest.
The Garnett Girls is a wonderfully immersive read. It’s beautifully written – a family drama with a hint of intrigue as to what secrets may be revealed. The vividly described setting of the Island which I loved and which is so familiar to me, the complex and at times oh so frustrating characters – both main and supporting made so authentic by their flaws and mistakes. For purely personal reasons, there was one aspect of the book that made me cry although its not a sad or downhearted read by any means but rather one that ultimately celebrates family and love. Highly recommended for your reading piles.
Georgina Moore grew up in London and lives on a houseboat on the River Thames with her partner, two children and Bomber, the Border Terrier. The Garnett Girls is her first novel and is set on the Isle of Wight, where Georgina and her family have a holiday houseboat called Sturdy. You can find her as @PublicityBooks on Twitter and @georginamooreauthor on Instagram.