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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

From National Book Award Finalist Meg Rosoff comes a lyrical, compulsively readable coming-of-age tale that is heady, irresistible, and timeless. Everyone talks about falling in love like it's the most miraculous, life-changing thing in the world. Something happens, they say, and you know . . . I looked into his eyes and I knew. Only, everyone else knew too. Everyone else felt exactly the same way. This is the story of one family during one dreamy summer—the summer when everything changes. In an eccentric, turreted vacation house by the sea, our watchful narrator sees everything, including many things that shouldn’t be seen, while brothers and sisters, parents and theatrical older cousins fill the hot days with wine and tennis and sailing and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers, the sons of a fading film actress—irresistibly charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s a serpent in this paradise, and the consequences will be devastating. In a pro…

The Great Godden

by Meg Rosoff

Overall Book Review:

The Great Godden is one of those beachy, summer reads.  The kind you lay out on your towel and soak up as a good story, but don’t derive any life-altering benefit from.  However, it’s the perfect companion to a little bit of sun and relaxation.

Meg Rosoff does a great job of pulling together a small band of characters.  You’re going to instantly relate to one of these folks, although, by the end of the book you might be surprised by who you relate to the most.  The story centers around a close-knit family and the return to their family summer home for six weeks of rest, holiday, laughs, and togetherness.  The introduction of two unknowns in the form of the Godden boys sets off a tale that highlights just how different families can be.  The story is told through the voice of one of the girls of the larger family as narrator and even though the perspective is very one-sided, the story does not suffer one ounce for it.

While set in the United Kingdom, the setting is easily transferrable to anywhere beachy that the reader needs to use as reference.  The language was straightforward and American English readers won’t be confused by any British English references.  This novel is an easy read and younger mature readers may find it interesting.  This book also threw in some amazing twists and turns that I truly never saw coming and never could have predicted.  These surprises made the book even more enjoyable to read.

Overall, this is a great summer read with a good story line, an enjoyable cast of characters and enough unforeseen turns that you will keep page-turning till the very end.

Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Candlewick

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  12 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities; 3 derogatory names; 3 scatological words; 2 anatomical terms; 6 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Recall of various injuries from horseback riding; character tipped off chair leaning back (funny, no injuries); teenager breaks arm requiring surgical repair.

Sex /Nudity:  Reference to female breasts; head on shoulder; 2 instances of hand-holding; 4 instances of kissing; hand on inner leg; 3 references to having sex with 1 between same gender couple; 2 instances of teens skinny dipping with 1 leading to kissing and implied sex; male hand in female’s shorts.

Mature Subject Matter:


Alcohol / Drug Use:

Teens and adults drink wine.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.