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
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.