Today I am sharing my thoughts on THE GREAT GODDEN, by Meg Rosoff, a stunning story of family, love, and betrayal, set during one long summer.
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(This blog post also contains a review copy that was sent to me by publishers. However, all opinions expressed are my own and in no way influenced by external parties)
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.
One of the best new literary fiction of contemporary times, THE GREAT GODDEN is a beautiful story of a summer set by the sea, a summer that leaves devastating scars on the people of this family.
The Great Godden and The Great Gatsby
I loved how reminiscent it was of THE GREAT GATSBY. The title even, for that matter, felt like wordplay on this modern tale. Very much like how Jay Gatsby has put Daisy Buchanan on a pedestal and made this huge illusion of her, so much about the charming and enigmatic Kit Godden is all about illusions, all smokes and mirrors.
I loved the way the author let us know about the characters, all these players in the play, bit by bit. The relationships that bind them all are also explored in nuances. I believe that THE GREAT GODDEN is as much a study in human psychology as it was a tale of a family in the throes of summer before school starts again. While it wasn’t that strong on the psychology point, there were certain shades of it and I often wondered about why the characters did what they did. In the end, you are left to wonder, who is the ‘Great Godden’ – Kit or Hugo.
Overall, I loved this book and I definitely will be going back to it again! I recommend all to pick it up again and again! A definite 5/5 stars!
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