The Poison Garden

The Poison Garden

Shocking, tense and sharply written, The Poison Garden is the gripping new novel from the international bestseller and Edgar award-winning Alex Marwood.Where Romy grew up, if someone died you never spoke of them again.Now 22, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. But Romy is young, pregnant and completely alone - and if she is to keep h...

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Title:The Poison Garden
Author:Alex Marwood
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Poison Garden Reviews

  • Liz Barnsley

    This is a novel I’ve been waiting for and it was worth every second of that wait- nobody engages me with thought provoking characters and stories like Alex Marwood and The Poison Garden is tense, beautiful and utterly gripping.

    The thing about this book is it is full of layers, Romy is unforgettable and her life experience and how it defines her sets the anchor for the wider story. This is a dark dark tale indeed, edgy and unpredictable, the cult theme expanded upon in hugely compelling ways. The

    This is a novel I’ve been waiting for and it was worth every second of that wait- nobody engages me with thought provoking characters and stories like Alex Marwood and The Poison Garden is tense, beautiful and utterly gripping.

    The thing about this book is it is full of layers, Romy is unforgettable and her life experience and how it defines her sets the anchor for the wider story. This is a dark dark tale indeed, edgy and unpredictable, the cult theme expanded upon in hugely compelling ways. The author manages every aspect of the drama pitch perfectly, leaving you the reader feeling off kilter and concerned for the outcome as if these were real people. She absorbs you into their world immediately and unrelentingly, less a read more a life experience.

    If happy endings, rainbows and kittens are your thing then this will not be for you – however if you like your reading to push the boundaries of your usual thinking, if you like to see the world from a different perspective and most of all if you want those characters and tales that take you out of your comfort zone then The Poison Garden will no doubt be one of your books of the year.

    Highly Recommended. All the way.

  • Sarah Stone

    The Poison Garden was amazing, unputdownable, disturbing, and heart wrenching. I think I experienced every range of emotion throughout the book. I could not fathom how Romy, Ilo, and Eden physically and mentally survived the day their lives changed forever. As they recovered from the fall of the Ark, the reader journey's through how the Ark came to be. Next of kin is contacted to care for Ilo and Eden. Their aunt Sarah takes over as caregiver and is a combination of genuine good nature and a lit

    The Poison Garden was amazing, unputdownable, disturbing, and heart wrenching. I think I experienced every range of emotion throughout the book. I could not fathom how Romy, Ilo, and Eden physically and mentally survived the day their lives changed forever. As they recovered from the fall of the Ark, the reader journey's through how the Ark came to be. Next of kin is contacted to care for Ilo and Eden. Their aunt Sarah takes over as caregiver and is a combination of genuine good nature and a literal inability to parent. More and more details of The Ark continually unfold and the ending will leave you shocked. A note to Berkley Press: sequel because I MUST KNOW MORE.

    As a bookseller, I cannot wait to share The Poison Garden with patron of The Twig Book Shop.

  • gem

    I love Alex Marwood’s books, I’ve been a fan since reading The Wicked Girls and with each book she offers an insight into some kind of dark and twisted world.

    Within The Poison Garden we are forced to confront the controversial issue of cults, communes, and how they treat each other and how they view the outside world.

    Differing time lines allow us to see the story from varying perspectives and I loved that. I really liked Sarah and Romy but wasn’t too fussed about the others.

    It’s difficult to say

    I love Alex Marwood’s books, I’ve been a fan since reading The Wicked Girls and with each book she offers an insight into some kind of dark and twisted world.

    Within The Poison Garden we are forced to confront the controversial issue of cults, communes, and how they treat each other and how they view the outside world.

    Differing time lines allow us to see the story from varying perspectives and I loved that. I really liked Sarah and Romy but wasn’t too fussed about the others.

    It’s difficult to say much about this without giving away any spoilers, but suffice to say it’s sometimes uncomfortable reading because it’s so plausible that this kind of brainwashing/radicalising behaviour is happening... but that just makes it even more believable and unputdownable.

    Yet another hit!

    Thank you to Netgalley for the chance to read this.

  • Jillian Doherty

    Cult fiction is salaciously interesting; there’s so much curiosity into this evergreen fascination.

    The Poison Garden offers different points of view in cascading timelines- we see within their communal life, as well as when they’re forced to live amongst the dead- love the way she built the character’s perceptions toward both realities.

    A hauntingly compulsive read, with Marwood’s dark signature storytelling.

    Galley borrowed from the publisher.

  • Karen R.

    I enjoyed this book....I love Alex Marwood’s books, and am a sucker for anything involving cults. So this book was a slam dunk.

    When Romy escapes the cult she was raised in, we expect her to become enthralled with the new world she was kept from her whole live. But she surprises us, and you are left wondering how someone makes the choices they do. Is it ingrained in them, or free will? While I wished the book evolved a bit more at the end, that may be because I can’t wrap my head around certain

    I enjoyed this book....I love Alex Marwood’s books, and am a sucker for anything involving cults. So this book was a slam dunk.

    When Romy escapes the cult she was raised in, we expect her to become enthralled with the new world she was kept from her whole live. But she surprises us, and you are left wondering how someone makes the choices they do. Is it ingrained in them, or free will? While I wished the book evolved a bit more at the end, that may be because I can’t wrap my head around certain lifestyles. An engrossing story

  • Paromjit

    Alex Marwood takes the reader into the toxic, tragic and unwaveringly bleak territory of the dangerous world of cults and communes as she immerses the reader into the horrors of their ways of living. A multilayered narrative provides us with insights and observations of life before, during and the repercussions that follow in the aftermath of the cult with its different timelines and characters. A young vulnerable and pregnant Romy has been shaped by the cult, and has to negotiate life after the

    Alex Marwood takes the reader into the toxic, tragic and unwaveringly bleak territory of the dangerous world of cults and communes as she immerses the reader into the horrors of their ways of living. A multilayered narrative provides us with insights and observations of life before, during and the repercussions that follow in the aftermath of the cult with its different timelines and characters. A young vulnerable and pregnant Romy has been shaped by the cult, and has to negotiate life after the cult, isolated and alone, with trust issues, facing an unfamiliar world and with questions about her family, only to find the past is not that easy to leave behind.

    It is truly terrifying how so many will blindingly follow a charismatic leader, irrespective of how insane they may be, although the brainwashing does explain a lot. This is a hugely unsettling, shocking and uncomfortable read, one which quite frankly I could not wait to shake off, but this is a story that managed to get to me. I did not find myself emotionally investing in any of the characters, but here's the thing, it is frighteningly scary just how realistic it felt, mirroring and grounded in real life cults and their twisted dynamics. It proves to be thought provoking and eye opening about a world I have no experience of, and no desire for any, it outlines with skill just how difficult cults are to walk away from. This is a relentlessly haunting and monstrous read, one that gave me the shudders, and in my view, not for the faint hearted. Many thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC.

  • Gulnaz

    I’ve really enjoyed Alex Marwood’s previous novels like The Darkest Secret so was really excited to read this especially learning that it’s about cults, a topic that intrigues me.

    The book opens with a scene in Wales where two officers have been called down by a farmer because of a strange, putrid smell coming from his neighbours: a private and secluded farm. The officers break through and find a river of dead bodies...

    The story then breaks into 3 narrative strands:

    * Sarah is a 31-year old divor

    I’ve really enjoyed Alex Marwood’s previous novels like The Darkest Secret so was really excited to read this especially learning that it’s about cults, a topic that intrigues me.

    The book opens with a scene in Wales where two officers have been called down by a farmer because of a strange, putrid smell coming from his neighbours: a private and secluded farm. The officers break through and find a river of dead bodies...

    The story then breaks into 3 narrative strands:

    * Sarah is a 31-year old divorcee who had moved back to her parent’s house in Finborough after their death three years ago and works as a school administrator. When news about this cult breaks in the media she’s contacted by social services. Her older sister, Michelle (later renamed Somer) who was thrown out of the house by their strict Christian parents after discovering she was pregnant as a teenager was a member of the cult and has two adolescent children. As next of kin Sarah faces the dilemma of being their guardian.

    * Present day Romy. Romy is twenty-years old and one of the surviving few members of the cult. She’s also Somer’s daughter. We see her try to assimilate to this new world while keeping her pregnancy a secret and going through with a surreptitious task.

    * Past day Romy and Somer. Here we learn more about the cult and how it worked.

    My favourite parts of the story was the present day arc. I loved seeing how the characters struggled with cognitive dissonance, how Sarah dealt with her guilt over how her sister was treated and how she tries to put aside the feeling of ‘otherness’ when she meets her niece and nephew in attempt to understand what they’ve been through. I also found Romy to be an engaging and intriguing character, and kept wondering what she was up to. My least favourite parts was cult sections. I think for me personally I’ve just read so many psychological suspense novels that look at cults and have done it better. I wanted more of an explanation on how the cult started, how was it being financed, and what are their underlying beliefs. I understood that they were a survivalist cult obsessed with the inevitable apocalypse. For me there just wasn’t any emotional or psychological involvement, and I found Lucien’s and Uri’s characterisation really wooden and one-dimension. Also plot-wise I found this section predictable.

    On the whole this was an immersive read on how survivors from cult struggle to assimilate and a character driven book. However this isn’t your usual mystery/thriller which makes this book for me hard to define. This is a pacy, Psychological drama with suspense elements. 3.5/5

  • Tracy Fenton

    I am a HUGE fan of Alex Marwood's previous books and was thrilled to learn she has a new book being published this month and delighted to get an early copy via Netgalley of THE POISON GARDEN.

    THE POISON GARDEN is a real departure from the authors previous books focusing more on the characters and digging deeply into cults, brainwashing and the followers apocalyptic beliefs. 

    Told through the viewpoint of several main characters, the story begins in Wales when two police officers are called to a sc

    I am a HUGE fan of Alex Marwood's previous books and was thrilled to learn she has a new book being published this month and delighted to get an early copy via Netgalley of THE POISON GARDEN.

    THE POISON GARDEN is a real departure from the authors previous books focusing more on the characters and digging deeply into cults, brainwashing and the followers apocalyptic beliefs. 

    Told through the viewpoint of several main characters, the story begins in Wales when two police officers are called to a scene to discover hundreds of dead bodies.  This begins the multiple narrators; Sarah, a divorced school administrator who has moved back into her deceased parents house and learns that her sister is one of the dead; Romy, a young girl who is one of the few survivors of cult and Somer, Romy's mother and Sarah's sister who was one of the followers of the cult.

    This is a much slower pace than her previous books, but it still kept me hooked and gripped throughout.  The details surrounding the cult and the brainwashing of the followers and the enigmatic leader Lucien Blake made the story plausible and realistic.  There were moments and scenes which were so disturbing and uncomfortable that I had to stop and gather my thoughts before continuing on.  

    An interesting and thought-provoking story.

  • Gary

    I have previously read 'The Darkest Secret' by Alex Marwood and enjoyed it a lot but for some reason I just couldn't connect with this book. I love the writing style but this particular book didn't do it for me.

    In this story Romy escapes the cult she was raised in and the only world she has ever known. But when she enters 'normal' life it does not hold the excitement you would expect. Now twenty-two, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. Romy is young, pregna

    I have previously read 'The Darkest Secret' by Alex Marwood and enjoyed it a lot but for some reason I just couldn't connect with this book. I love the writing style but this particular book didn't do it for me.

    In this story Romy escapes the cult she was raised in and the only world she has ever known. But when she enters 'normal' life it does not hold the excitement you would expect. Now twenty-two, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. Romy is young, pregnant and completely alone. In a world that is completely new to her, she needs to learn there are some people you can trust and others to fear.

    I don't doubt that this book will bring a lot of entertainment to the majority of its readers but sadly not for me this time. Enjoyed the writing and will read others by this author so don't be put off by me it is only my opinion.

    I would like to thank both Net Galley & Little, Brown Book Group UK for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Gary

    I have previously read 'The Darkest Secret' by Alex Marwood and enjoyed it a lot but for some reason I just couldn't connect with this book. I love the writing style but this particular book didn't do it for me.

    In this story Romy escapes the cult she was raised in and the only world she has ever known. But when she enters 'normal' life it does not hold the excitement you would expect. Now twenty-two, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. Romy is young, pregna

    I have previously read 'The Darkest Secret' by Alex Marwood and enjoyed it a lot but for some reason I just couldn't connect with this book. I love the writing style but this particular book didn't do it for me.

    In this story Romy escapes the cult she was raised in and the only world she has ever known. But when she enters 'normal' life it does not hold the excitement you would expect. Now twenty-two, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. Romy is young, pregnant and completely alone. In a world that is completely new to her, she needs to learn there are some people you can trust and others to fear.

    I don't doubt that this book will bring a lot of entertainment to the majority of its readers but sadly not for me this time. Enjoyed the writing and will read others by this author so don't be put off by me it is only my opinion.

    I would like to thank both Net Galley & Little, Brown Book Group UK for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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