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The Family Next Door

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A gripping domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Amanda Prowse and Kerry Fisher.

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It's the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn't fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.

But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange's compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won't let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park - and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread - and they'll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.

335 pages, Hardcover

First published March 6, 2018

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About the author

Sally Hepworth is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels.

Sally's books have been heralded “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally's novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 20 languages.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,132 reviews
Profile Image for Deanna .
664 reviews12.4k followers
January 31, 2018
My reviews can also be found at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

This is my second read from Sally Hepworth. I wondered if I could possibly enjoy this novel as much as I enjoyed her previous novel, “The Mother’s Promise”. Well I did, I absolutely loved this novel.

“Do you ever really know your neighbours?”

The suburb of Pleasant Court really lives up to its name. It’s a perfectly pleasant place with perfectly pleasant people. An ideal place to raise children.

Essie Walker had quite a hard time adjusting to motherhood the first time around. In fact, one day almost ended in disaster. Thankfully, disaster was averted, and Essie improved. Now it is three years later, and Essie has another daughter, Polly. Things have been easier this time around and Essie is lucky to have her mother living next door, able to help out. Polly had been quite an easy baby at first. However, lately, she’s been waking almost hourly and almost never naps. Essie’s mother and husband are a little worried about how Essie is handling things.

But now everyone is distracted by a newcomer to Pleasant Court. Isabelle Heatherington has apparently moved to Melbourne for work. But why would a single woman with no children rent a four bedroom home for just her to live in? And why is she asking so many questions about her neighbours and their children?

When Essie meets Isabelle she feels an instant connection. She could use a new friend. Though she gets along with her neighbours, Fran and Ange, they aren’t what you would consider friends…more like friendly acquaintances.

“If Ange was the image of the life you wanted to lead, Fran was the image of the person you want to be”

But there’s more to Fran and Ange than meets the eye….

Fran constantly has the feeling that her life is a moment away from unraveling completely. Her husband, Nigel wonders why she is constantly breaking down in tears. Fran runs for miles every day until her legs and chest burn. It's almost like she’s punishing herself, literally running herself into the ground.

Then we have Ange and her gorgeous husband, Lucas. The perfect husband and father…though she can never seem to find him when she needs him. Why won’t she ask the questions that continue to plague her? Are the pictures she constantly posts on Instagram really to show everyone how great her life its? Or is she #tryingtoconvinceherself

So many secrets!!!

During this Melbourne summer heat wave, things definitely start to heat up around Pleasant Court.

As I said at the beginning of my review, I LOVED this novel. Sally Hepworth has a remarkable ability to create stories with relatable characters that are completely entertaining. The story is told from multiple points of view, which can sometimes be hard to keep up with, but I honestly had no problem keeping things straight.

This novel deals with many different issues, some that I wouldn't have expected, and I can clearly see that the author has done her research. It made me think about the things we will do to keep the peace. The questions we don’t ask. How complicated marriage, relationships, and parenthood can be.

I hated having to put the book down. I HAD to know how things were going to turn out. Everything is revealed at a perfect pace. We learn what’s happening in each household, and it all comes together in what I thought was a fantastic and satisfying way.

Sally Hepworth has written another thought-provoking and entertaining novel with the perfect amount of intrigue and suspense. A story of love, family, secrets, lies, forgiveness and so much more.

“The Family Next Door” was one of my top ten most anticipated reads for 2018 and I can honestly say that although it’s still the beginning of the year, I’m pretty sure that this book will be on my top ten best reads of 2018.

I can’t wait to see what Sally Hepworth comes up with next!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,109 reviews2,793 followers
September 25, 2022
The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth, Barrie Kreinik (Narrator)

Such a perfect neighborhood, perfect families, perfect lives. Although Essie messed up that look when, during a bout of post partum depression, she left her newborn daughter at the park and went home, three years ago. But the baby was fine and Essie was treated for her PPD and now she's doing great with her second baby. Her husband, Ben, and her mom, Barbara (who now lives next door) watch her like a hawk, though.

Ange is the star when it comes to perfection. She's married to the gorgeous, outgoing Lucas, and Ange is groomed and lightly botoxed in a manner deserving of such a hunk. She is also a successful realtor and mom of two boys, someone who is always on top of her game, and her success allows her husband to take care of the boys while also working part-time at his photo studio.

Fran shows how it's done when you have a three year old and a newborn. Her husband, Nigel, is as hands on as Ben with the kids but she doesn't need a mother to help her out. In fact, Fran has the time and energy to run two or three times a day, but she is really running away from herself, it seems. Still, who can fault her when she handles motherhood so well. For some reason she doesn't want Nigel to touch her newborn any more than absolutely necessary.

Barb is the perfect "mother next door". She's never late, devotes most of her time to Essie and her family, and there is never a chance for her daughter to fall when she's there to support her all the way. She loves children so this neighborhood is great for her.

Into the lives of these women comes Isabelle, a single, unmarried, childless woman...what is she doing moving in a family oriented neighborhood like this one?

Everyone's secrets are about to coming busting from the shadows where they have been hidden. I like how the men are portrayed as good fathers and good husbands while we find that the women each have their doubts, fears, suspicions. and feelings of guilt. Life really isn't one cliffhanger after another like in this book but it's fun to get lost in the craziness that ensues in this story. My goodness, what is the rest of this neighborhood hiding behind their walls? We don't find out, but these five women make me wonder.

Pub March 6, 2018 by St. Martin's Press
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
October 2, 2017
5 stars.

How well do you know the people closest to you? Are they who you think they are? Is anyone?

These are the questions at the heart of Sally Hepworth’s new novel “The Family Next Door.”
It is a phenomenal novel that delves into the minds of several families and specifically five complicated women. Some are mothers and daughters; others friends or neighbors. The only thing I can tell you is that nothing is as it seems. Essie and her mother Barbara, as well as Ange, Fran and Isabelle live in a community where your become friends with your neighbors - and you think you know them and you think you know them well. All I can say is that no one is ever who you think they are. Eye-opener!

What Sally Hepworth does here is nothing short of brilliant. She writes about people’s idiosyncrasies; their secrets, what makes them human, what makes them tick and how they operate. And in “The Family Next Door” no one is left unscathed.

“The Family Next Door” is a must read. Like all of Sally Hepworth’s other novels it is compelling and extremely well written. Ms. Hepworth lured me in from the first sentence and kept me enthralled throughout. She has a way with words my friends. If you haven’t picked up one of her books, I highly suggest you do so.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Sally Hepworth for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Twitter on 10.2.17.

Will be published on Amazon on 3.13.18
Profile Image for Sally Hepworth.
Author 17 books37.3k followers
September 7, 2017
Dear Reader,

As someone with an unhealthy interest in other people’s lives, I’ve long held the belief that the most normal-looking among us are the ones with the most to hide. Who hasn’t watched the news and seen the neighbours of a serial killer talking about how he was a quiet, friendly who always mowed his lawn and took his bins out on time?

I wrote this book while I was pregnant, and edited it with a newborn at my side, so naturally, being relatively house bound, I spent a lot of time wondering what my neighbours were up to. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the book filled itself with the secrets we keep as new mothers--from our husbands, from our friends … even the secrets we keep from ourselves.

Because we all have secrets, don’t we? The people of Pleasant Court have some doozies.
Read it and find out what they are.

Profile Image for Julie .
4,026 reviews58.9k followers
March 24, 2018
The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth is a 2018 St. Martin’s Press publication.

The secrets of suburbia are always deliciously scandalous…. And sometimes they are downright criminal.

The perfect neighborhood, perfectly manicured lawns, perfect families. It all looks so picturesque from the outside, but when new neighbor, Isabelle, moves into the neighborhood of Pleasant Court, cracks suddenly begin to appear in that perfect veneer.

Elle, Fran, and Ange, are very curious about Isabelle, wondering why an older, single woman has moved into their family- oriented neighborhood. But, the three ladies all have major issues, besides drawing out their new neighbor, that are commanding their time and attention, behind closed doors, where their seemingly perfect lives are, in fact, unraveling.

I have not read any of this author’s other books, but this one was advertised as ‘for fans of Liane Moriarty’. I’m not sure if this is SH's usual style of writing or not, but while the comparisons to other authors is a marketing ploy I despise, in this particular case, I can see some similarities, but this author takes that format and puts her own unique spin on it.

There is just something about taking a nosy peek into your neighbor’s private lives that is irresistible. Getting to be the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’, this novel allows us to vicariously live out our unrequited desire to get a glimpse into what our neighbors are really like, without being accused of spying on our nearby residents.

But, what makes this story really work is that each of the three featured women are coping with identifiable issues we are all sympathetic to. Postpartum depression, infidelity, money issues, and the everyday challenges of parenting are real problems many marriages face. But, while these subjects are highly dramatic and always engrossing material, the author manages to somehow take these common enough domestic issues and give them a more sinister tone. I was on pins and needles as the author unveils secrets and crimes at a tantalizing pace. I was furiously turning pages, completely lost in the lives of these seemingly ordinary suburbanites. There are a few shocking twists, but at the end of the day, there is also plenty of character growth. The characters made much needed progress, and adjusted bravely to a new normal, which set each character in an entirely different frame of mind than the one they were in, when we were first introduced.

I liked the strictly feminine viewpoint and the fluidity in which the author segues one POV into another, making it easy to keep up with all the characters and gain more insight into their personal feelings and struggles, in the process.

I truly enjoyed this novel! I am really looking forward to reading more books by Sally Hepworth!!

4 stars
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
January 9, 2018
5 Big, brilliant, beautiful stars!🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Sally Hepworth
, sure can write a book! The question is why have I not read anything from this author before? This book checked off all my musts for a fabulous book.... wonderful characters... fabulous relationships... perfect pacing... some fun twists and turns....

This book focused on the relationship between five very well developed and relatable females... their relationships with their significant others... their relationships with their children... their relationships with one another... I always love reading about positive female friendships.... these ladies had a few bumps along the way, but they really were truly there for one another....

The book grab me from the very beginning and never let go..... it started with Essie struggling with postpartum depression and leaving her newborn at the park.... and then just took you on a crazy twisty ride.... I really was certain we were headed in a particular direction, and then we took a big turn into something I did not see coming.... well done Miss Hepworth....

Strongly recommend! for fans of books with well develop characters.... entertaining Drama filled plotlines... brilliant relationship Dynamics... and just plain old fun!

PS: pack some tissue for this crazy ride, you might need it!

*** thank you too Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this amazing book ***
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,004 reviews36k followers
November 11, 2017
This story centers around a neighborhood- “Pleasant Court” - of primarily married couples with children. It’s a family friendly community.

Ange & Lucas - Essi & Ben - and Fran & Nigel each have two kids.
Barbara is a single woman who lives next door to Essi — Barbara is Essi’s mother...and a hand’s on grandmother.
The only single women mentioned in this community (or of significant interest) is newcomer, Isabelle. She lives next door to Essi ( we assume the opposite side from her mother)

The men play a small role in the novel. It’s the women who are in the drivers seat.

With plenty of snide remarks, prissy attitudes, trials and tribulations, judgements, jealousy, gossip, infidelity, secrets and lies......”The Family Next Door”, is equal parts a serious soap opera, soap opera parody.....
.......a sympathy card to the pressures of raising a family and a satire jab at suburbia and the women who can always find something to gossip and complain about.

Personally, I felt this book was ‘readable’ but not inspiring. Besides the fact that I felt the plot was thin - lacking authentic depth - I felt there were too many roads that lead to nowhere. A path got carve out ... but then we didn’t get to walk on it.

At the start of this story Essi leaves her baby in a park and goes home — there was potential to move the story in many directions - much could have been explored .....
but instead the author quickly moved us to 3 years later — and essentially moved on to learn about everyone else in the community ( yes Essi spent time in a psychiatric institution- but it was simply mentioned).... ZIPPY-DO-DA.... Essi is well with another baby in hand.
I never felt Essi’s forgetting her baby -leaving it in that park - ever tied in with the rest of the story.

Later — Ange wanted to begin a “Neighborhood Watch”....and invited the ladies to her house. NOTHING about that idea got developed.

One of the kids broke his wrist - it was another tidbit detail no more important than eating Froot Loops for breakfast.

The big question this novel brings up is “how well do we know our neighbors”? Fact is ..... I think the topic is very thin. To get me/ the reader to ‘care’ one way or another I would need another story than the one we read. At times the writing was a bit too clever and smug for its own good.

If I knew this book was straight black comedy I think I might have liked it better...
As it was .... otherwise — it’s hard to read an entire novel with most of the women so tightly-wound up to their issues.

However .... I like this quote very much.... I read it a few times. And it made me sad .....because the people who suffered most in this novel were the children.

“One thing you didn’t realize until you were a grandparent was that little children were a tiny glimpse of magic in a dreadfully difficult world”. ...... absolutely the authors best line in this book IMO!!!

3 Stars .... I actually considered giving it less to be honest.... but I feel there ARE women who will eat this type of book up —
The PLUS for me in reading it —� and I’m not kidding is TRYING to articulate WHY I didn’t feel inspired. - THAT’s a reading lesson in itself too. NOT EASY TO DO!

Thank you....VERY MUCH to Saint Martin’s .... for the many years of being really wonderful to so many of us early readers ... always appreciated! Thanks to Netgalley.....and a TRUE THANKS.....
Last: THANK YOU to author Sally Hepworth .... I hope you are not personally offended by my review if you read it....
It’s NOT personal.... and so many of my good friends LOVE this book!
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,067 reviews3,609 followers
March 7, 2018
Do you ever secretly gaze at your neighbor and think, “wow, they have it all.” A beautiful home, a loving marriage, happy, healthy kids and a cute designer dog. Don’t you ever wish you could just have a fraction of that serene, picturesque life?
Well before you wish too hard...maybe just take a peek behind the scenes. As often happens, maybe their lives aren’t so perfect after all. And maybe, you in fact are the lucky one at the end of the day.

When a beautiful single woman moves into the neighborhood, everyone’s heads tilt with curious apprehension about her background and how she’s going to fit in. After all, she is single with no children in sight. And, she seems to be asking a lot of questions...🤔

Told from several POVs each with their own secrets and fears. Each voice is strong and distinctive. I joyfully had no trouble keeping all the characters apart. (Love that)

These are my favorite types of domestic shockers. I’m always trying to guess what lies each character is telling in order to keep their facade going. This book was so well done and kept me glued throughout. If domestic fiction is your thing, don’t miss out on this one!

A Traveling Sister read!

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Sally Hepworth for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

For this review and our Full Traveling Sister review please visit Norma and Brenda’s fabulous book blog:
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
812 reviews1,861 followers
March 11, 2022
Why in the world did this beautiful single woman move into our family oriented cul-de-sac?

This is the question everyone on the street is asking and wondering about because she has no children. There are quite a few characters/families to keep up with, but it doesn’t take long to sort them out because they each have have a unique story. I enjoyed the multiple POV’s from the ladies themselves. It was like getting to peek behind their doors and see behind the facade.

I liked the way this mystery unfolded and caught me off guard. At times, I felt the tension jumping from the pages and wanted to shake some of the ladies and ask them what they were thinking. I enjoyed Hepworth’s writing style and was totally pulled into all the drama of each household. A page turner with a tidy ending (that left me wanting something a bit more tangled).

Each chapter ended with mini cliff hangers that had me devouring this one in no time. Fans of domestic suspense are in for a ride! Lot’s of fun here.

Thanks to Netgalley for my ARC.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,733 reviews14.1k followers
March 7, 2018
Welcome to Wisteria Lane, or maybe Knots Landing, for those who remember that show, and of course Desperate Housewives. This book contains elements of all those shows. Good looking characters, drama, post partum depression, adultery, affairs, a missing child, and of course secrets. Where would fiction be without secrets. A rare book where except for one, I felt sorry for and liked the men more than the women.

A entertaining read, I have to admit, did want to find out how everyone's relationships turned out, what happened when their secrets were finally revealed. One plot twist was quite surprising, but all in all, a soap opera vibe, which isn't quite my thing. An ending that while I applauded one woman's decision to put on her big girl panties and grow a backbone, was just too good to be true. Too tidily resolved.

A sisters read where most liked it more than I did. It happens.

ARC. From Netgalley.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
April 5, 2018
I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounding up for a good twist.

"The truth was, despite appearances, she didn't know much about her neighbors at all."

I've been reading a lot of books over the last few years about tight-knit neighborhoods in which secrets are brewing below the surface—Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies , Marybeth Mayhew Whalen's When We Were Worthy , Jessica Strawser's Not That I Could Tell , and now, Sally Hepworth's newest book, The Family Next Door , just to name a few.

Reading these books certainly makes me wonder just how many secrets were hidden in the suburban New Jersey neighborhood where I grew up years ago!!

Pleasant Court, in the Australian town of Sandringham, has always been a quiet spot, where houses are quite expensive because there is a beach at the end of the road. No one new has moved in for quite some time, especially no one single, so the neighborhood is thrown a bit when Isabelle (who lives alone but spoke of a mysterious "partner" to the real estate agent) moves in alone. Everyone wants to know more about her—is she straight or gay, what brings her to Sandringham, why is she renting her house, and what secrets is she hiding?

The thing is, despite their curiosity about Isabelle, there are other residents of Pleasant Court who have things to hide as well, despite how picture perfect their lives seem. Why is Fran out jogging for long stretches of time two, sometimes three times a day? Is she punishing herself for something? Why is Ange's husband never where he says he is, even though he always seems so willing to help her with the kids or household chores? Why is his phone ringing all the time? And should people be worried that Essie, who several years ago left her baby daughter alone at the park, might be suffering from postpartum depression again after the birth of her second child?

As each individual struggles to navigate the chaos of their own lives, they still want to know more about Isabelle. While she's friendly to everyone, she seems to know a lot about Essie and her life, and it's Essie with whom she really wants to build a friendship. And as Essie's initial unease around Isabelle starts to deepen into something more intense, her family and friends start to get concerned. What does Isabelle want? Why did she move here? The secrets threaten to upend many lives, and roil the relative calm of Pleasant Court.

So many people raved about this book, and I was excited to read it not long after it was released. I found it took a while to build up steam, but once Hepworth started ratcheting up the suspense, it became pretty fascinating. I will admit there was one twist I just didn't see coming, and given how many thrillers I read, it's no mean feat to surprise me. The characters are certainly quirky and flawed, but for the most part, the issues they're dealing with are commonplace, so it doesn't feel like you have to suspend your disbelief.

I'd imagine this is going to be a book you see lots of people reading over the next few months, as it's a perfect vacation/beach read. This may have been the first of Hepworth's books I've read, but it won't be the last, because she's a talented storyteller, not drowning her story in lots of extraneous subplots, and throwing in enough red herrings to keep you guessing.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,122 reviews30.2k followers
January 8, 2018
4 entertaining, dramatic, neighborly stars to The Family Next Door!🏠 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I’ve learned I can rely on Sally Hepworth for a well-written, entertainingly indulgent read. Some of my friends have mentioned that The Family Next Door has a Desperate Housewives feel, and it most definitely does. That angle makes it a little dramatic at times, and some of the things that happened were a bit of a stretch; however, there is an emotionality to Hepworth’s writing that I find exceptionally endearing. You have to keep the tissues handy.

The Family Next Door also had a Liane Moriarty Big Little Lies feel to it because it was a little twisty and kept me on my toes. Who are your neighbors? What really happens behind closed doors? What secrets does a family hold? Even when I thought I had this story figured out, I was wrong.

An intricate web of plot with well-developed characters, I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this indulgence!

Thank you to Sally Hepworth, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the complimentary, most entertaining ARC.

The Family Next Door will be released on March 6, 2018.
Profile Image for Crumb.
189 reviews526 followers
September 15, 2018

Domestic Noir where nothing is as it seems..

This book has been on my radar for some time and I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it. I adore Sally Hepworth. However, I have to say, this one was a bit of a disappointment. It wasn't like The Mother's Promise which kept me turning pages so fast, my eyes couldn't keep up.

This story opens with a sleepy sort of suburb, called "Pleasant Drive." Such an ideal name, lying a foundation for what lies ahead. All the residents residing there have children and are married. However, when Isabelle moves in, mixes things up. She doesn't fit the the cookie cutter "Pleasant Drive" mold. She's single, with no children. It becomes clear to Essie that she has ulterior motives for being there, yet, she is also intrigued by this individual. Why is she there? What does she want . All too soon it becomes obvious. It isn't what she wants.. it's whom she wants.

This book was fine. But that's the worst thing I can say about a book, IMHO. Something being fine, is the kiss of death. At least if I hate a story, there's passion behind that emotion. There's something there that makes me want to write about it and be vocal. When I am ambivalent about something, it's so difficult for me to conjure quality material. Can anyone relate to this? When there's nothing special about it, when it's just meh, I literally freeze up. So, I apologize about this review. It's hard to review a book when you really could care less.

Profile Image for Linda.
1,226 reviews1,275 followers
October 23, 2017
A true spider's web......

And there are plenty of buzzing flies caught up in sticky situations that finally encase them. The more that they struggle, the tighter the grip.

Pleasant Court may not be so pleasant after all. Houses in this neighborhood may resemble one another in architectural style, but the occupants differ on so many levels. Smiles produced on long driveways and friendly waves to neighbors diminish once the front doors close. These complicated individuals carry more baggage than the underbelly of a Greyhound bus.

Meet Essie who suffers from deep postpartum depression. The cries of her demanding newborn are like a mechanical winch that keeps tightening and tightening until Essie leaves little Mia's pram in the park in order to escape. Thankfully, Essie's mother comes to the rescue, but how long can she be a safety net for the unwinding Essie?

Fran and Ange, with those pasted on smiles, have mega issues of their own that will determine the futures of their own families. After all, confiding in others may come at a great cost. How can we allow others to see us as less than best?

Barbara, Essie's mother, has moved next door to Essie in order to offer 24/7 support. In her heart, she knows that Essie's life is coming undone at a rapid pace. Sometimes even a mother's love is not enough.

Oh, enter Isabel. She's the new young neighbor who has just moved in. Single and immaculately dressed at a moment's notice, Isabel will add quite a dose of jalapeno to these chips. There is definitely something about Isabel here. Is she another fly in the web or is she the crafty spider herself?

Sally Hepworth creates quite the neighborhood scene throughout these pages. She allows the readers to peek behind those drawn kitchen curtains in order to get an eye-full. And an eye-full is what we get here. We will meet husbands who go through the motions, challenging children, and untruths that ooze onto kitchen floors. Hepworth keeps you turning pages in order to get a glimpse of the spider's crouching position. Quite the read, folks. Quite the read.

I received a copy of The Family Next Door through Giveaways on Goodreads. My thanks to St. Martin's Press and to Sally Hepworth for the opportunity.

Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.2k followers
March 20, 2018
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR by SALLY HEPWORTH was an extremely enjoyable, entertaining, and fast read! It's a fascinating, thought-provoking, and dramatic tale with some unexpected twists and surprises along the way. I was definitely shocked and pretty excited with a couple of the reveals! The ending was satisfying and pleasant! Would recommend!

This was a Traveling Sisters Group Read, and thank you so much for another wonderful reading experience ladies!

Publication Date: March 6th, 2018

Our full Traveling Sisters Review for THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR can be found on our blog:
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
625 reviews1,536 followers
January 1, 2021
Pleasant Court sounds...wait for it...pleasant! If anything sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

Essie, Fran, and Ange are three of the residents who live on the same street in Pleasant Court, a suburban town in Melbourne, Australia. They each have husbands and children...like most of the people on the block. The one standout is newcomer Isabelle, who recently moved onto the block. She doesn’t have a husband or a child. So what brings her to Pleasant Court?

Even though the ladies are curious about Isabelle, they each have secrets of their own....Secrets that are unpleasant...Secrets that will crumble the perfect facades they hide behind if revealed.

This is an intriguing domestic suspense story that pretty much grabs hold from the get-go. I couldn’t wait to find out what each character was hiding, and why. The POVs alternate between chapters. As interesting as it was, I had a difficult time remembering who was who until I was well within each chapter.

The atmospheric writing is captivating, which doesn’t surprise me in the least...since I awarded the first two Sally Hepworth books I read 5 stars each. I think my expectations for this were slightly heightened. The ending was a little too fluffy for my tastes. Still, this was an enjoyable read that went in a couple directions I wasn’t expecting.

3.5 stars

P.S. Be on the lookout for Hepworth’s upcoming novel, The Good Sister. It comes out April 13, 2021 and it’s definitely a winner!

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Debra .
2,283 reviews35k followers
November 6, 2017
Pleasant Court in Melbourne Australia seems like a pleasant place to live...or is it.? This is another book that asks the question "Just how well do you know someone?" You live with a person, share their bed, share meals with them, raise children with them, you know them right??? Well, do you?

Ahhhhhh, small towns. Lovely scenic places. They are supposed to be safe. Nothing bad ever happens there. How can it? Bad things don't happen when things are so pleasant do they? What a joy to live in a community where you know your neighbors and your neighbors know you. A place where you can get together for neighborhood watch or just to chat about your day over a cup of tea or glass of wine. A place where one can smile and wave, believing that everything is okay, everything WILL be okay, everything should be okay...but what happens when it isn't?

Have you ever know someone who looks like they have their shit together? Seriously, he/she is the one who looks great, smells great, is healthy, always smiling, always on time, never seems to have a bad day and you envy them...because life is hard and they make it look so easy. Well as they say, you never know what goes on behind closed doors. What drives someone to exercise excessively, what drives someone to always smile even thought their heart is breaking, who acts as if everything is honky dory even thought he/she is harboring a HUGE secret?

Every family/person in this book has something to hide.

Ange works out, gets her hair and nails done. She wants to look good for her handsome husband. He is a good looking man and women throw themselves at him. Ange wants to -no she needs to look good for him.....

Essie once took her daughter to the park and left her there. Her husband and Mother keep close eyes on her to make sure she is "Okay" Her mother, Barbara helps her out a lot as she had postpartum depression. She has even moved closer to Essie to help her out. A Mother's job is never done.....

Fran runs all the time. Several times a day and she is uncomfortable when her husband is left alone with their youngest daughter. Why? She doesn't seem to care when he is with their eldest. Their marriage seems fine so what is her issue?

Isabelle is the single woman who moved into the neighborhood. Single and childless, she sticks out and everyone wonders about her. But Isabelle also wonders about those in her neighborhood. She watches them and makes her observations.

It soon becomes evident that not everything is as it seems once you get behind closed doors. Characters have their secrets and as the book unfolds, their secrets come out. Some we see coming and there was one that was a shocker!

This was a really enjoyable read. It is fun, the plot moves along at a nice fast pace and nothing felt rushed or drawn out. I felt that the revelations came at just the right time. I liked how the story is told through the various women's point of views. This is a great way to see what is motivating them, what is going on behind that smile, a look at their personal feelings and emotions. We learn their secrets and the secrets of other's in their lives.

I have read a couple of Sally Hepwoth's books (The things we keep, The Mother's promise) and have enjoyed them! This is another wonderful book by her. So far she has not disappointed and I will continue to be a happy reader of her work.

I received a copy of this book from St. Martin's Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to them for the opportunity.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,573 followers
September 13, 2020
The Family Next Door is the fourth book I've read by author Sally Hepworth. After devouring the first one a couple of years ago, I decided to read all her past books this year so I could be caught up on future releases. I really enjoyed this one, which took only two days to read as I kept getting pulled back in to spend more time reading it before bed each night. I highly recommend the author and think her writing style jives superbly well with my reading style.

The story takes place in Melbourne, Australia. Four families are neighbors. Three of them have known each other for a little while and one is new. Three of the women are married and each have two kids, but the newcomer seems single and might be gay based on a few comments she's made. It's intriguing to the other three women but this is really not a major piece of the plot. What is a major puzzle has to do with the birth of a few of the women's children. Since I don't want to spoil any surprises, I will say that I was totally shocked when a new chapter began and just dropped the bombshell in the most unexpected of places... and then we spend the remainder of the book trying to determine whom the secret is about. Which of these women has a bigger past than we were led to believe... and truth be told, they all do... it's just a matter of how BIG one secret is!

It's rare I get surprised. I might be slightly off on a killer or not realize a few shocking endings... but Hepworth did such an amazing job leading us down a path that I never saw the truth coming. And when it did... it's a 'hmm... how on earth did this happen?' type deal. As the story unwinds, alternating between all the women, we really get to know their relationships with their husbands and families. Some of the women are not so nice. Some of the husbands deserve a good kick in the ass. A few are just trapped and unfortunately impacted in unexpected ways. Through it all, I found myself very curious and excited to get to the big reveals.

A few times, I had a couple of confused moments; some were intentional to mislead us. Others were in the similarities: 3 couples, each with 2 children. While some had boys and some had girls, there were too many overlaps in background that made it slightly hard to keep it 100% clear. That mostly is due to intentional red herrings, so I ultimately am totally okay with it. It took me 5 seconds to stop and recall everything about the character so I could try to solve the puzzle. That's a good thing too, as it shows how much I invested in everyone in the book.

Looking forward to another Hepworth read... two more left before I'm current, and I really really hope she has a new one out in 2021 as I already read the one that just dropped this summer.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,154 reviews1,514 followers
March 6, 2018
My oh my. Have you ever noticed when people post on social media they are grabbing their popcorn to watch the drama? That is exactly what The Family Next Door made me want, a nice big bowl of popcorn while I sat back and read the drama that oozed from the residents of Pleasant Court.

The story starts off with a flash of Essie’s life as she suffers a breakdown as a new mother. The lack of sleep dealing with a restless baby finally made her snap and she wandered off leaving her baby at the local park. One may ask just how could any loving mother possibly get to that point??

But then we dive into the suburb of Pleasant Court a few years later after Essie seems to have gotten her life back on track with the help of therapy. Thankfully her daughter was safe that day and now she has a second baby in her life and hopes to not repeat the past.

As a new resident moves into the neighborhood the ladies of Pleasant Court are left wondering just who has joined them. Isabelle is single and childless so she doesn’t exactly fit the family friendly picture of perfection but she quickly dives in and begins to get to know the residents.

The story switches the point of view between several of the characters as it dives into the secrets and lies of several of the families of this neighborhood. Along with all of the drama the story has a bit of a mystery involved with the new neighbor and a mysterious missing baby.

Practically everyone in the sleepy suburb had things to hide and problems behind their closed doors that kept the drama coming all throughout the story. Much of the story is reminiscent of a daytime soap opera that I just couldn’t turn away from as we take a peek at the lives of the characters in the story but with a bit of mystery mixed in it became even that much more addictive. With great writing and a non stop story I found myself engrossed until the very end and will definitely look for more from this author in the future.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
March 6, 2018
Norma and I were lost in the sunny, cultivated rich lush coulee with five of our Traveling Sisters reading The Family Next Door and we all ended up in the same Coulee enjoying this thought-provoking and engaging story that led to an interesting and fun discussion amongst us.

The Family Next Door is an entertaining, emotional, compelling, and suspenseful domestic thriller that explores the secrets, deceits, and lies of five women who live in a small seemly perfect suburban neighborhood.

Sally Hepworth does a good job creating a group of interesting women here with all the secrets and conflicts in their lives and relationships. She also does a great job showing us how the conflicts affected the men in the story, allowing us to feel for them as well.

We do really love these types of stories and find them fascinating and often wonder what goes on behind those closed curtains in peoples homes. We enjoyed pulling back the curtains and discovering the layers of secrets as they were revealed leaving us all shocked with a twist that we didn’t see coming.

Even though we ended up in the same Coulee a couple of us ended up tangled in the weeds thinking this was a little too much drama. For the rest of us, we ended up soaking up that drama on the sunny side with a nice crisp glass of white wine not wanting to leave. We highly recommend.

Publication Date March 6, 2018

Thank you to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press and Sally Hepworth for a copy to read and review.

All of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on our sister blog: http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...

January 7, 2018
Ever been curious about that goes on in your neighbors' homes? Ever thought about what secrets your neighbors try to hide as they close their door and window shades at night? Surely, most of us have and that is the premise of this novel by Sally Hepworth.

The people of Pleasant Court have secrets and as we delve into the novel, we learn more and more about what is driving them. Some secrets are those of infidelity, some of a lost child, and some are of the illusions we sometimes see in marriages and relationships. Essie, the main character suffers from postpartum depression but is befriended by a new neighbor, Isabelle, who seems to take quite a big interest in Essie. That interest is returned as Essie seems more and more drawn towards Isabelle. Essie fears she might be harboring a gay relationship. Essie is the mother of two children with a doting husband yet why is there this overwhelming attraction to Isabelle?

Then there are the other residents of Pleasant Court. Ange, Fran, and Essie's mother hold within themselves their own secrets. Why is Ange such a controlling person? Why is Fran so afraid to let her husband near her newest child? Finally, why is Barbara, Essie's mother, always so solicitous? All of these questions are answered as the book continues to a somewhat surprising, yet to to this reader, a somewhat hard to believe conclusion.

The book is certainly a quick read, but the problem is some of the reasoning behind the secretive nature of the characters seems far fetched. I enjoyed the story however, as it leads one on a journey to find out what their neighbors hid behind their doors.

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Publishing for an arc of this book.
3.5 stars
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,073 reviews610 followers
June 2, 2018
3.5 Stars

It was a good read and it got me by surprise but still I had something else in mind. This story is about some neighbors who are living together in peace and doesn’t know what’s going on in each other's homes but when a new neighbor moved in, their secrets begin to spread. Well, I liked it more if somehow their life/secrets were more intertwined with each other! Told in multiple POV, 3rd person. It’s a standalone novel. It’s well-paced and the short chapters were in my favor. Overall, despite the struggling I had at first, still enjoyed it and hope you like it!
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,219 reviews2,052 followers
March 16, 2020
Debating between three and four stars here. I found it a quick, easy read and I certainly had to read to the end to find out what was going to happen. However I felt a bit overwhelmed by so much angst, and on several occasions was totally exasperated by silly women doing silly things. (Although Essie at least could blame a medical condition for the messes she got into.)

The twist involving Essie and her mother was interesting, the ending was satisfying so I guess I am concluding that it was an okay book. I will give it three:)
Profile Image for JanB .
1,143 reviews2,505 followers
March 10, 2018
This book has a fun vibe reminiscent of the TV show, Desperate Housewives. There are plenty of secrets behind the closed doors in this Pleasant Court neighborhood, and there are enough twists and surprises along the way that kept me flipping the pages.

Altogether, this was a fun, entertaining read that was a refreshing change from some heavier reads.  It was a nice easy read with a little mystery and conflict that kept me reading and wanting to know how it would all turn out. For a contemporary women’s fiction book, I give it 4 stars. I look forward to reading more from this author.

*Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with an e-galley of the book in exchange for an honest review
*This was a Traveling sister read, enjoyable as always!
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
396 reviews581 followers
February 12, 2021
"The Family Next Door" by Sally Hepworth is about the secrets we keep hidden from those around us!

Holy, Moly! For a minute there I felt like I was on Wisteria Lane listening to an episode of Desperate Housewives!

Essie, Ang and Fran are neighbor-friends who live on the same block in suburban Melbourne, Australia. At the moment, they're extremely curious and maybe a bit concerned about the single woman, Isabelle who just moved onto their street. No husband. No kids. Just Isabelle.

This is a family neighborhood where everyone owns their home.
- So why is she renting instead of buying?
- And, why is she asking so many questions?

Maybe each of these wives should focus more on their own lives, on their own secrets.
- Is Essie headed for an emotional meltdown?
- Why does Ang wonder where her husband is and what he's doing?
- What is Fran doing obsessively running every day at odd hours?

All is not as perfect or as it seems in this suburban neighborhood!

Come to think of it, do any of us ever really know what goes on behind our neighbors closed doors?

An interesting and entertaining read with a few twists and tons of delicious gossip, told in alternating chapters by the five female protagonists.

I will tell you though, I did stumble a bit trying to get the right husband with the right wife and then worked on getting all the kids connected correctly to the right parents. Phew! It became quite the task. I resorted to writing it all down because I just couldn't wrap my head around who was with whom! It drove me a little bit nuts!

This story is good and the backstories, too! Just a good curl up on the couch and lose a day type of read! I recommend this book to those who enjoy a Domestic Thriller that is more like a Slow Burn!

3.5 stars rounded up.

Profile Image for Karen.
573 reviews1,115 followers
March 10, 2018
I really enjoyed this book about several families who lived on one street in Melbourne, Australia. The story was mostly centered around the women of the families, how they were dealing with their own situations. It had a few twists and was a fast paced read.
Profile Image for Mary.
1,474 reviews495 followers
February 1, 2021

I have decided to rewrite my review for The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth since I inadvertently just did a reread for it and listened to the audiobook. I really enjoyed this one the first time around, and I enjoyed it just as much, and actually even more, this second go-round. Thanks to this, I am raising my rating to a 4.5 from my previous rating of a 4. I think this book deserves more stars than I initially gave it because it really is just so good. It is gripping, mysterious, and I was so into it that I listened to the audiobook as much as I could. The audio is read by Barrie Kreinik and she did a bang-up job voicing this book. I loved her accent, and she did all the different viewpoints really well.

There are so many secrets bouncing around the suburb of Pleasant Court, and I was addicted to finding out what everyone was hiding. I loved the different viewpoints, and I liked almost every character in this book besides a couple of the men. Isabelle is the mysterious new stranger in the neighborhood, and it was so fun seeing the secret of why she is there get revealed along with everyone else's. Despite having read The Family Next Door before, I didn't realize what was going to happen until it basically had, and this book managed to shock me all over again. Also, give me a break - I read it 2 years ago! I love doing rereads using the audiobook and I'm not mad that I got to experience this one again. Hepworth is an autobuy for me and I will gladly reread any of her books any day, even when it happens by accident.

Thank you to the publisher for my advance review copy via NetGalley back in 2018! All opinions and thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Esil.
1,118 reviews1,336 followers
January 31, 2018
3+ stars

Very readable but likely not particularly memorable.

The Family Next Door focuses on three neighbours on a suburban street in Melbourne, Australia. Each woman is in the relatively early years of parenting, each is struggling with being a mother and wife, and each one has a secret. One day, Isabelle moves in next door and slowly the the facades are unraveled. It’s not quite a domestic thriller, but it certainly has twists and turns and the odd bit of suspense.

It was an easy read and it kept my attention, but it didn’t feel particularly original or remarkable. I enjoy this kind of book in small doses, but there seem to be many Big Little Lies wannabes floating around — this one probably fits into that category.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,872 reviews1,878 followers
March 5, 2018
The Family Next Door is garnering comparisons to Big Little Lies and normally when a publisher compares a new book to an older blockbuster I’m annoyed when it doesn’t live up to the comparison. Well, this time the similarities are well founded, this most definitely will appeal to fans of BLL and I predict it will be a smash hit.

This follows five woman who live in the same neighborhood, Essie, Fran, Ange, Barbara and Isabelle so if multiple perspectives are your thing, you’ll be happy with the structure. This was such a fast, effortless read, I tore through it because it was so easy to get caught up in the women’s lives. Plus, they all had juicy secrets and I couldn’t wait to find out what they were hiding.

This was one of those books where I thought I had everything figured out and knew exactly what would happen next but Hepworth had plenty of tricks up her sleeve and I didn’t accurately predict anything, I love that! This is perfect for fans of lighter style suspense, no blood, guts and gore just good old fashioned secrets and betrayals.

The Family Next Door in three words: Dramatic, Evasive and Entertaining.

Profile Image for Virginie Roy.
Author 1 book599 followers
February 8, 2022
The story centers around family and motherhood. The idea was interesting and I liked the clever final twist, but I found myself bored for the second half of the book. Sally Hepworth's writing is fluid, as always, but the plot was a bit repetitive.

I enjoyed her three most recent books a lot (absolutely loved The Mother-in-Law and The Good Sister, 5 stars for both of them), so I'm going to read her next releases. Maybe her previous books are just less my type.
3.5 stars
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