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The Neighbors Are Watching

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  676 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Set against the backdrop of the deadly 2007 wildfires that forced the evacuation of half a million San Diego residents, Debra Ginsberg’s new novel, The Neighbors Are Watching, examines the dark side of suburbia—a place where everyone has something to hide.

Aside from their annual block party, the neighbors on Fuller Court tend to keep to themselves—which doesn’t mean that t
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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K
I suspect this may be a book my sister would like more than I did, although that's never a safe bet. This novel describes a circle of suburban neighbors -- Joe and Allison, a happy-seeming couple; Sam and Gloria, two lesbians adjusting now that their husbands have commandeered custody of their children; Dick and Dorothy, a stodgy couple with a self-righteous insistence on propriety; Jessalyn, who works as some kind of private call girl; the mysterious Sun family who talks to no one; and maybe on ...more
Ron Hummer
The story begins when Joe Montana and his wife pull up in their car to their house in San Diego, seeing a Diana Jones, an African American teenager who is 17 years old and pregnant. Once Joe learns that Diana is his biological daughter, the story sets off a domino effect as everyone in the neighborhood feels the effects of the meeting.
Ginsberg’s story is character driven without a plot as the point of view switches between several neighbors as they watch Diana and talk with her and about her.
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Lena
Diana Jones is seventeen and pregnant when she shows up on the doorstep of the father she's never met. Joe Montana lives in a good neighborhood in San Diego, the kind where exteriors are well-kept and interiors are presumed to be tidy as well. But Diana's messy arrival, and her subsequent disappearance during the chaos of a wildfire evacuation, turns into the loose thread that causes large chunks of the neighborhood to begin to unravel.

The story starts from Diana's perspective but shifts back an
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Stephen Parrish
NEIGHBORS opens with one of the most subtly suspenseful introductions I've ever read. You won't be able to resist turning the page and reading further. Nevertheless, the story is more a study in character than a whodunit, however nicely aspects of the latter were executed.

Joe Montana comes home one day to find a pregnant young woman waiting in his driveway. She's his daughter from a previous relationship, one he never told his wife about. A wife who'd once reluctantly had an abortion because sh
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Alexandra
The cover of this book was very misleading, at least to me. I thought it would be a creepy book about a family who were voyeurs or killers or less than upstanding citizens; a book filled with sinister characters and twisted plotlines. But actually, the only types of characters in this book were tired, sad, washed up druggies and whores. There wasn't really any suspense, maybe some at the end. Not too much really happened in this book except depressing things happening to depressing people. Or ra ...more
Billjr13
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, Thanks. I liked this novel it was interesting and well written. I don’t think it was exactly what I was expecting but it was entertaining. I thought there would be a little more crime/mystery type element to the story. I would describe it is a tale of the American suburbs. What is going on behind the neighbor’s doors? Who is doing what, to whom, where and when? There are some of the standard stereotypes but I didn’t think they were too cliché. I didn’t fe ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This book just goes to show you, you really don't know what people are going through in their lives. I was totally shocked by the ending. I personally hate neighbor's that butt in and have to be gossip hounds. Karma will get those that continue to do damage. Until then. This is a great book and I highly recommend it!!! :)
Kathy
A fast read. Alternating between thriller moments and relationship issues, the author penned an engaging story. What intrigued me was the layers of relationship in the neighborhood (which is also what creeped me out to some degree). I didn't expect it to be as strong as it was, so was pleasantly surprised.
Marialacey4
I was dissapointed in this book. I got bored half way through the book. I was expecting alot more action and suspence wrapped around the fires, but got none of that. I struggled to finish the book without skipping pages.
Kimberly
So far, one of my favorite fiction books of the year!

This neighborhood is full of dark secrets, some you can figure out, and some you would never expect. It may not be different from Anytown, USA. Everyone has a secret.

The neighbors:
1. Christian woman with controlling husband and drug addict son.
2. Lesbian couple that recently had their sons taken away.
3. Seemingly perfect couple of teacher and restaurant manager husband.
4. Mysterious Asian family with son who plays piano every day.
5. Young neig
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Stacey
What goes on at your neighbor’s house? How well do you know them?

The drama on Fuller Court pulled me right into the neighborhood. Well developed characters had me turning the pages of this novel set in suburbia where everyone has a façade, hiding their dark side within. From the first page I was drawn in by the diverse group. It’s so true that someone is watching you, not like a stalker, but rather is aware of your coming and going. Enter 17 year old, Diana, pregnant and deposited on the doorste
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Robert
This was not my normal fare for reading material. However the idea seemed as if it would be of some interest so I thought I would give it a whirl. And I liked it, enough to come close to four stars, maybe more like a 3.5, would be my rating. The story kind of reminds me of that old classic country song that talks about what goes on behind closed doors. This is a story of a suburb street where everyone seems to have his or her own personal demons that they are hiding and nurturing. Nothing over t ...more
Linda
I'm rating this book three stars because found it an enjoyable read. It is a page turner that keeps the reader interested and curious about "the neighbors." This is not typical type of read, but Debra Ginsberg gives us a group of characters that she develops in such a way, you're hooked in. I also couldn't help thinking along the way, thank goodness that's not my neighborhood, I hope and pray! I just felt the plot was a bit predictable, but with a few good twists and turns. The characters are we ...more
Jenn
Nothing much really happens in this book. The way it's written, about 95% of the 'action' actually happens when characters are reflecting on something that already happened. This was especially annoying in the last third if the book when you realize that everything that's going to happen has already happened, you just have to wait for the characters to sit around doing nothing but remembering things. The effect of it all was a real feeling of inertia, not a page-turning type of book where you ca ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
The story is set against the deadly wild fires of 2007 that forced the evacuation of half a million San Diego residents, The story examines the dark side of suburbia- a place where everyone has something to hide. The neighbors on Fuller Court tend to keep to themselves- which doesn,t mean that they aren,t all watching and judging one another on the sly. So when pregnant teenager Diana Jones shows up on her biological father,s doorstep, the neighbors can,t stoptalking. But when Diana disappears i ...more
Mel
I won this book on Goodreads.
First off, I did think the story-line was interesting. I haven't read a book similar to this one before, and it does show uniqueness. However, I felt like I was drowning the entire journey of reading this book. The innuendo and cussing was what tipped the boat a little too far. More towards the beginning and on through the middle, there is cussing on every page. I'm the kind of person who believes a good story is not based on filthy words or phrases. I lose my respec
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Wendie
I got this book by winning the "Goodreads Free Book Giveaway," so I didn't know what to expect, but I had a hard time putting it down! The characters were so vivid: you really wanted to hate some of them; felt sorry for others; and vacillated between hating & feeling sorry for some. Debra Ginsberg has a way with characterization and I kept wanting to read more to find out what was going to happen to each, since they were all struggling with some dilemma (some of which you don't even find out ...more
Lisa
This was a great quick read. Loved that the story was set in Del Mar and centered around an event (Witch Fires) that really happened. Characters were developed to the point where you felt they could have been "your neighbors" - the only part I didn't like was the ending where one neighbor turns out to be a long lost criminal - just felt that this was an "add-on" and I would have liked to see this developed a little more but maybe the author did that on purpose so we would read her next book whic ...more
Smitha
against all odds, I somehow liked this family melodrama involving a pregnant teen who comes to live with the father she had never met, his shocked wife, who never knew about the daughter and a neighbourhood of curious people of varying attitudes. The events steam up when the girl disappears in the chaos caused by an uncontrolled forest fire which requires immediate evacuation. This event is after the birth of a cute daughter. The clueless father, the girl's mother, his current estranged wifr and ...more
Gina
The general plot is interesting: everything is seemingly fine in this southern California neighborhood until a husband finds his pregnant 17-year-old daughter from a previous relationship on his doorstep. The neighborhood is evacuated because of fires and the young woman disappears, leaving her daughter behind.

The reality, however, was that the book got worse as it progressed. The characters were altogether unlikeable and the ending felt hasty. I liked it enough to finish it, but wouldn't recom
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John
No time for more than a sentence or three . . .

This is an absolutely absorbing character study not of a single individual but of a chi-chi neighborhood near San Diego -- not even a neighborhood, really, but a single street. The inhabitants are all stale in their lives, repressed by their lives, almost -- even Jessalyn, a not-quite-prostitute, and the statutory lesbian couple, Sam and Gloria. But things are thrown haywire when Diana, long unacknowledged bastard of a solid joe called, appropriatel
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Autumn
I picked this book up because in one of the reviews said it would appeal to mary higgins clark fans--so i thought i would love it. (because mary higgins clark is one of my favs) Obviously whoever wrote that review as never read mary higgins clark because ginsberg is not even remotely close to mary higgins clark. This book was awful. Poorly written and hard to follow. The characters are just pathetic people. The suspense for me was when will this story be over!
Read It Forward
Debra Ginsberg writes a completely different book every time, and her latest novel is amazing. It's got the turn-the-pages speed of a thriller, the quiet and explosive drama of the best kind of small-town novel, and characters you won't forget. Really provocative - makes you wonder what you'd do if you ever saw what was really going on behind your neighbors' curtains....
Laura Ruetz
I picked up this book in a bargain bin sale and knew nothing about it. Honestly, I picked it up because it takes place in San Diego, a few hours from me and so I thought it would be interesting to read something that took place close to home. I remember the fires that went through the area, and the fear and the destruction so I thought it would give another dimension.

What I got was book that had many layers...a neighborhood where not everybody is what they seemed, although some certainly were. S
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Amber
I didn't like this book at all. I won it from goodreads first reads
I found this book to be boring and hard to finish. I found that I didn't like the characters. I think some issues the characters had were drawn out and others not brought out enough.
Annie
Kept waiting for it to get good, and it never did.
Amy
take desperate housewives and add a wildfire.
Denise
The Neighbors are Watching is a gritty tale of one hot and fiery summer and fall in a San Diego neighborhood. The people on Fuller Court could be the neighbors on any affluent, middle class block. They mostly keep to themselves, furtively watching each other as they go about their daily business, but never really becoming involved. Until one blistering summer day when Joe Montana's pregnant, 17 year old daughter, the one his beloved wife didn't know he had, shows up on his doorstep. The arrival ...more
Danelle
...but who knew what went on in people's houses when there was nobody else around to watch what they were doing?

This novel is out to prove that everyone in a picturesque suburban cul de sac has something to hide. In July of 2007, amdist the wildfires near San Diego, Diana is waiting on her father's front steps. Seventeen and pregnant, Diana's mother sent her away to the father who's never had a thing to do with her, inciting neighborhood gossip and snooping.

In this neighborhood we've got a Chri
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Purple Iris
I'm not sure how to classify this. It's not a mystery in the sense that who did what to whom is not the most pressing question of the book. It's almost an afterthought. In fact, that aspect of the book really reminded me of Something Might Happen. Which is not a bad thing. I'm just not sure why the publisher chose to promote it as a mystery. If I was really in the mood for a mystery and was tricked into reading this, I'd be pissed. On the back cover, it says this book will appeal to fans of Lisa ...more
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Debra M. Ginsberg is a London born, American author. She is the author of three memoirs as well as two novels. Her first memoir Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress was published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2000, followed by Raising Blaze: A Mother and Son's Long, Strange Journey Into Autism, which chronicled her longtime struggle to get her son the education he was entitled to.

Find Debr
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More about Debra Ginsberg...
Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress The Grift Blind Submission Raising Blaze: Bringing Up an Extraordinary Son in an Ordinary World What the Heart Remembers

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“One never really knew what went on inside the hearts of other people, even those hearts you thought you knew as well as your own.” 10 likes
“It would almost be easier to have woken up and found that everything about her life was a lie, instead of just this one awful truth.” 5 likes
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