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The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore

Originally published: 16 February 2023

Author: Georgina Moore

Published by: HQ Stories

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Length: 336 pages

Reading dates: 9-14 February 2023

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 tells the story of a family – the ties that bind them together and the secrets that tear them apart. Margo is mum to 3 women (although none of them call her mum, instead calling her Margo). She lives on the Isle of Wight and is a bit of a party animal, liking a drink and a flirt. Rachel is the eldest and is a solicitor who is married to Gabriel and lives in their slightly dilapidated childhood home, Sandcove, on the island along with her husband and daughters but feels suffocated and wants to return to London. Script writer Imogen is the next daughter – as the book starts she has just gotten engaged to William in Venice but her heart isn’t really in it. Sasha is the youngest – she spends little time with the family, instead travelling the world setting up medical crisis charities, married to her controlling husband Phil.

Overshadowing the family is Margo’s ex-husband and the love of her life, Richard. He left when the girls were young and the resulting fall-out meant Margo fell apart, the implications of which still haunt the family until this day. Margo and the girls haven’t seen or heard from their father since he left and they all have different feelings about him.

I loved that The Garnett Girls was set on the Isle of Wight – we have had many family holidays there and the book captures the atmosphere and joy of the island perfectly. The family are steeped in tradition, I especially enjoyed the annual Boxing Day party on the beach where some brave souls swim in the sea and a BBQ and hot rum are served around a roaring camp fire!

Told from the point of view of all 4 women, I loved the dynamics that play out between the sisters and their mother as well as each other. Each daughter is very different and although they are all exasperated by Margo at various points in the book, it is obvious the bond between them is strong. I liked that the author was able to acknowledge their flaws – they all have points where they come across as unlikable and self centred but overall their positive characteristics shine through.

A compelling character driven novel, The Garnett Girls is both heart-breaking and hopeful. An impressive and absorbing debut from Georgina Moore.

Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to HQ Stories for my finished copy. Check out what other reviewers are saying on their blogs below:

About the author:

Georgina Moore

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.


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