It was a real pleasure to be part of the cover reveal for The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore in a post you’ll find here. I cannot thank the author enough for sending me a copy of The Garnett Girls in return for an honest review. I’m delighted to share my review today.
Published by Harper Collins’ imprint HQ on 16th February 2023, The Garnett Girls is available for purchase through the links here.
The Garnett Girls
‘Love makes you do things you never thought you were capable of.’
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.
My Review of The Garnett Girls
The Garnett family have secrets bubbling beneath the surface.
The Garnett Girls is an astonishing debut. The prose is achingly beautiful and enormously affecting, so that I found myself weeping on more than one occasion. It’s not just the stunning descriptions that capture the reader, but the thrum of life, of longing, and of emotion vibrating under the surface of every syllable. The Garnett Girls is not so much a book you read as one you feel. Georgina Moore has created a kind of emotional tuning fork in her narrative that the reader experiences viscerally.
I loved the Isle of Wight setting because it created a claustrophobic atmosphere that suited the intensity of the narrative. It is as if The Garnett Girls could not have been set anywhere else. Similarly, I found the London settings added a sense of relief in me as a reader that echoed the increased freedom the characters felt when they were there, so skilled is the writing.
The plot has its moments of high drama, but that isn’t the point of The Garnett Girls. Rather, it is a story of how and why Margo, Imogen, Rachel and Sasha are as they are. Their characters are so acutely observed that it feels as if Georgina Moore has peeled back their physical attributes to expose their very souls. She writes about family dynamics, marriage and relationships, shining a mature, incisive and totally understanding spotlight that shows the reader exactly who these people are and what makes them behave as they do, even whilst the characters themselves don’t have self-knowledge, or, when they do, they prefer to deceive themselves. Indeed, deception and lies form the bedrock of this story and hold the reader captivated.
I loved the way Imogen’s play echoes Margo’s life so that there are layers and depths to uncover as you read. Similarly, the powerful emotional pull between characters, particularly between Margo and her daughters, is akin to the relentless implacable pull of the tides around the Isle of Wight conveyed by Georgina Moore so effectively. She creates an atmosphere of brittle hedonism overlaying a murkier realism and vulnerability that I found incredibly affecting.
The Garnett Girls is an intense, beautifully wrought portrait of family and the lies we tell, especially to ourselves. It’s fierce, passionate and affecting and I absolutely loved it.
About Georgina Moore
Georgina Moore is an award-winning book publicist who has worked in the publishing industry for twenty years. She has worked with a huge variety of authors across all genres and at all stages of their careers – from debuts to household names.
The Garnett Girls is Georgina’s first novel and is set on the Isle of Wight where Georgina and her family have a holiday houseboat called Sturdy. Georgina’s main residence is a houseboat on Taggs Island in the River Thames, where she lives with her partner, two children and Bomber, the Border terrier.