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The Neighbors Are Watching
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The Neighbors Are Watching

3.2  ·  Rating details ·  800 Ratings  ·  183 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
ebook, 336 pages
Published November 16th 2010 by Crown (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jan 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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
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!!! :)
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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
Nov 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah Sammis
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Huff Post
Neighbors being terrible during fire season.
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
(This review also appears on my blog, posting in its enirety here since I won it through Goodreads First program.)

This book was depressing, uplifting, and makes you think. Isn't that the focus of most great books? There are multiple themes here -- at first the nosiness and judging of neighbors, to end with being sure to watch and know what your neighbors are about. At first sounds conflicting, but the change in perspective makes sense here. The biggest theme really seemed to be with children - t
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
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
May 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, reviewed-by-me
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
Nov 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lois Duncan
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked it off the library shelf because of the title. Who could resist leafing through a book called THE NEIGHBORS ARE WATCHING? What are they watching, and why? And what are they going to do about it?

I stopped myself from flipping pages after the first chapter and checked out the book. It's a very good read, with the mystery secondary to the character development. The bottom line is that anything can happen in suburban California, even if "the neighbors are watching," because the neighbors a
Dec 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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....
Aug 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Amy Wood
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
carmel valley author. the epilogue floored me! too funny all the local references and this could be YOUR cul-de-sac....
Nov 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
take desperate housewives and add a wildfire.
Nov 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kept waiting for it to get good, and it never did.
Vicki Ford
This book was okay. Every character in the book had some kind of problem, and not a little, insignificant problem, either. This made the novel dark and disturbing, at least for me. I read to the very end hoping for a happy ending. I guess it was, at least for the baby.
Sunnilee Chafin
I did like this book but it took me longer than normal to finish it.
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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
More about Debra Ginsberg...
“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.” 11 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.” 6 likes
More quotes…