The Garnett Girls – Georgina Moore

Who exactly are The Garnett Girls, do they know themselves and will we ever find out by the end of this mesmerising debut novel from Georgina Moore.

Margot, mother to Rachel, Imogen and Sasha takes her to her bed when her husband and the girl’s father, Richard leaves. Their whole world is turned upside down and when Margot emerges from this pause in her life, that man is never to be spoken of again and it is simply these four women against the world.

Trouble is everything that happened in them formative years and the life their mother has led since has had a lasting impact on the siblings.

Rachel the eldest daughter and the one who suddenly has to grow up and look after her younger siblings, is still the most level headed and practical of them all into adulthood. With husband Gabe, and two young daughters, Rachel lives in the family home Sandcove.

Imogen the middle sister feel very much that, stuck in the middle and her engagement to Williams seems only to give everyone else joy apart from her. A discovery about herself sets her on a different path and one that won’t fit in with her mother’s perception of a life well led.

Sasha, the youngest perhaps always missing that male influence whilst growing up now has Phil. But she is trapped and cannot see a way out. Will anyone notice what is going n.

All these women are tied up with their own lives, their personal struggles of the present as well as the influences of the past. All of them it seems tied up with the larger than life mother of Margot. A character I grew to dislike and like in equal measure, her actions leave a lot to be desired in both the present day and the past. Her self centeredness made we want to scream in frustration as she seems to be really only interested in her own happiness, forgetting that her three daughters all needed their mother at some point throughout their lives. Margot is simply a wonderful character who was created by this debut author with so many layers, you continued to find out more, I changed my mind about her and I don’t think I really have settled on what I think once I had finished the book.

The same can be said of all the main characters and to a degree the secondary ones as well. They were all there in the story for a reason, they drove the plot, they ensured that we really got to understand this family dynamic.

As a reader I didn’t know where this book was going to take me. It successfully took me to the Isle of Wight, which was the main setting for the overall book and a place I am familiar with as a trip down the road for me, can see me looking out across it. Beautifully described and brought to life in the height of summer on those beaches that I have walked on as well as the grey miserable weather of the winter which can isolate a place so well.

I knew the setting, I got to know these characters and this book took me on an examination of a family that had been stripped back, to see what structure it had, to see what malignancy still lingered after events and years had passed.

A fantastic debut novel which was something a step above being simply women’s fiction it is on a much deeper level than that. For anyone who wants to peep into family life and be completely absorbed.

Thank you to the author, the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

The Garnett Girls is published 16th February 2023.

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