The Great Godden

Meg Rosoff

fiction young adult
emotional lighthearted slow-paced

256 pages

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 propulsive narrative carrying intrigue and a growing sense of unease, Meg Rosoff, best-selling author of the iconic How I Live Now, offers a summer tale of innocence lost that will find its place among the classics of young adult literature.

What the community thinks

summary of 108 ratings (see reviews)


emotional 60%
reflective 50%
funny 30%
lighthearted 30%
mysterious 30%
relaxing 20%
adventurous 10%
challenging 10%
dark 10%
sad 10%
tense 10%


medium 45%
slow 36%
fast 18%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 100%

Strong character development?

No: 50% | It's complicated: 40% | Yes: 10%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 55% | No: 44%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 77% | It's complicated: 22%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 22% | No: 11%

Average rating