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Book Review: The Great Godden by Meg Rossoff

  * I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *

Title: The Great Godden 
Author: Meg Rossoff
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Source: NetGalley

(Bookshop UKHiveGoodreads | Storygraph)

Book Summary:

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 …

That’s what happened when I met Kit Godden.

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, one dreamy summer – the summer when everything changes. In a holiday house by the sea, our watchful narrator sees everything, including many things they shouldn’t, as their brother and sisters, parents and older cousins fill hot days with wine and games and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers – irresistible, charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s a serpent in this paradise – and the consequences will be devastating.

From Meg Rosoff, bestselling author of the iconic novel How I Live Now, comes a lyrical and quintessential coming-of-age tale – a summer book that’s as heady, timeless and irresistible as Bonjour Tristesse and The Greengage Summer.

Book Review:

I have loved Meg Rossoff's books in the past, especially How I Live Now, so when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I jumped at the chance to read it. Although it does have some problems, I really did enjoy The Great Godden so much that it was a favourite of mine back in 2020. 

So even though I am a little late to this review, this is a book that I still think about today. I have to admit that one of the reasons why I really enjoyed the book is because of Andrew Scott's narration on the audiobook. The book's plan is to have a genderless narrator and although I thought that the character was a female when reading it, it is up to you what you make of it which is a really unique concept. I can definitely see that it would make it for queer that way. 

I think also I just love a whimsy story and this definitely has that it in buckets. It is a perfect summer nostalgic romance. The story can be a bit slow sometimes and it did take me a while to get through but I think that after reading it, it definitely did stay with me. 

I also did enjoy the characters and the family drama in the story as it does make the story more mature as a whole. The Godden boys and all unique in the story and make a compelling story as the narrative unfolds in a way that I definitely did not expect. 

More importantly, the book also goes and bridges the line between YA and adult books, which is something that I have discovered that I really love in books. This is also great itself as it is a more mature story that I feel like I am growing up to love. Although the reviews are somewhat divisive, it is definitely a worthy read, even if you just get the audiobook to listen to Andrew Scott. 

The Verdict:

The Great Godden has the perfect summer whimsy vibes, perfect for those that like some complexities in their YA. 

Have you read The Great Godden? If so, what did you think? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments.


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