Title: The Garnett Girls
Publisher: 1st February 2023 by Harlequin Australia, HQ & MIRA
Pages: 322 pages
Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary
My Rating: 4 cups
In this brilliant debut novel full of heart and warmth, three very different sisters--and their free-spirited mother--must grapple with life, responsibilities, and family secrets.
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. 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 novel from Georgina Moore, asks whether children can ever be free of the mistakes of their parents.
"Those Garnet girls. Lookers all of them - brains too. Hard to decide which one I fancy most."
The Garnett Girls is a wonderful debut narrative that explores the dynamics between a mother and her three daughters. Theirs is no ordinary relationship due to a dysfunctional upbringing but there is never any doubt about the love they hold for each other. The story traces how their childhood affected them in the choices and actions as their lives evolve over the years.
This is such a well written tale that is highly character driven. But gosh! How well are these characters portrayed as real life and personal shortcomings come into play. Margo the matriarch is a force to reckon with and her parties would have been an eye opener. The interactions between the mother and each of the daughters is reflective of the ups and downs in life. Add into this their partners and the wider community from the Isle of Wight and it makes for engaging reading. It just goes to show how much of an impact the loss of their father had on each of them individually and as a family unit.
‘The only place she found certainty and conviction was in her writing. The rest of the time she quaked in the face of the Garnetts passionately held opinions.’
The setting of the Isle of Wight is wonderful and adds another rich dimension to this tale, as does their home. Here is an old house (needing some repair) that holds so many memories - both good and bad - for them all. In many ways, it's what calls them back time and again. The house has stood witness to so much and has a story to tell. I am not sure whether I found necessary some of the passages that went back in time explaining events prior to the current storyline. I felt that the author did such a good job of the contemporary timeline that in many ways, it was not needed.
The Garnett Girls is a debut novel I highly recommend for readers who love strong family, character driven tales. The writing flows effortlessly as it weaves a story full of the light and dark moments in life - there will be loss and there will be laughter. Most of all, this is a tale about family relationships, mistakes made and how, through love, a family can make it through it all.
"I'm not sure we'll ever really understand. We might have to accept that some things about our family can't ever be known."
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.