“I was in junior high and on my way to a week long camp when I realized I hadn't packed a book to read. On a whim I picked up this one (then a current bestseller) at a convenience store en route and read it. I remember thinking it was especially titillating and felt like a sneak reading it. I had...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Writing is a bit formulaic; OK characterization. Chick-lit with an interesting plot that gets rather stale. I also found the book as a whole rather depressing.”see full review » see other reviews »
“I was in junior high and on my way to a week long camp when I realized I hadn't packed a book to read. On a whim I picked up this one (then a current bestseller) at a convenience store en route and read it. I remember thinking it was especially titillating and felt like a sneak reading it. I had been thinking for years that it would be interesting to re-read it and see what I thought of it now, 20+ years later. Would it be as thrilling? Or would it be trashy drivel? I could barely remember anything about the plot, though bits and bobs came back to me as I read.
As expected it wasn't as steamy as I had remembered, though I can see how it would seem that way to someone of that age. I'm kind of surprised I got through it at such a young age. It deals with some really heavy stuff that I'm pretty certain was way over my head. No doubt I got much more out of this reading of it than I did then. It is a fantastically put together book. Each of the three main women pulled at my heartstrings. There were points when I wanted to knock everyone's heads together and tell them to stop with the lies. It is a aptly named book!
I almost can't believe Goudge managed put extra marital affairs, babies switched at birth, the Vietnam war, orphaned children raised by an extra Catholic grandmother, doctors, lawyers, abortion, long-lost lovers, weddings, divorces, infertility and tons of other issues all into one story without it feeling overdone and crazy. It was actually just crazy enough to be believable. It probably also helped that it kind of spanned two generations. All of that didn't happen in just a few short years.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this book. I'm very glad I did. I hadn't ever known there was a second book with these characters until I got to the end of this Kindle edition and read the author bio. I will most certainly be reading that soon!”
“Writing is a bit formulaic; OK characterization. Chick-lit with an interesting plot that gets rather stale. I also found the book as a whole rather depressing.”Cindy R wrote this review Sunday, September 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Rachel and Rose were raised in two different worlds but have become intrincately entwined. Sometimes it seemed that it was too perfect. It is a nice romantic read but predictable.”Peggy F wrote this review Thursday, August 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read this years ago and loved it!!”LynD wrote this review Monday, July 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A must book along with the sequel, Thorns of Truth!”Barbara W. Bennett wrote this review Tuesday, July 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was nice. If my mom every left me I would prob. hate her... IDK. Love is complicated...”RestlessImagination: High School=No time to read... >.< wrote this review Tuesday, January 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A wonderful, at-times heart wrenching, beautiful tale of what becomes of a web of lies spun out of fear and love itself. It was definitely a well written book, and even when I was frustrated and angry at the characters, I loved it and wanted to keep pushing through to see how it would end. ”Nikki G wrote this review Monday, August 30, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very good story & well written -- superb first novel by this author. The story line was easy to follow...enough romance and "what's going to happen?" to keep the reader interested.
The basics of the story is set in the 1940's and follows Sylvia who is married to an older man who she loves, but they cannot conceive (and don't have a great bedroom life). She has an affair with their Greek handyman & then finds herself pregnant. 9 months later she gives birth to a dark skinned baby girl. She is devastated as she believes her husband will leave her. Then, a fire rips through the hospital & Sylvia carries out another woman's daughter, and then finds out that the other woman has perished in the fire. Sylvia decides to keep this fair-skinned child as her own. And so begins the "Garden of Lies". The story follows Sylvia, her fair-skinned daughter (born to privilege) Rachel, and her dark skinned daughter (gone to live with a poor family in the Bronx) Rose. Their stories wind back together with a common love interest between Rose and Rachel.
As a reader I also loved each character, I didn't want any of them to be sad. I thought the book was the perfect length. I felt satisfied with all the story line resolutions & felt that she wrapped everything up quite well.
The only part of the story that didn't meet my expectations was religion. The author seemed to write a lot about Sylvia & Rachel being Jewish & that Rose was raised in a devoutly Catholic home. I really thought that this would come to play at some point in the story line, but it never did. This is rather minor, and I would still highly recommend this novel.