Helen's Reviews > The Woman Next Door

The Woman Next Door by Liz Byrski
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Aug 04, 2016

really liked it

"You know you're the same person but suddenly you see yourself in a mirror or reflected in a shop window and think - who is that old person that looks a bit like me?"

I was attracted to this book for two reasons. Firstly the names of the characters were very close to home which was fun. More importantly, Byrski's novels were purportedly about women in their 40s, 60s and 80s. Now, that makes a change.

On the surface it may appear that this is a simple tale about friends caring and watching out for each other, as they pop next door for a cup of tea or to share a glass of wine on the back verandahs of their homes. Dig a little deeper and you can see there was much more to it. This is a tale about ageing and the anxieties that come with it. Taking a range of people living in a neighbourhood together, Byrski is able to touch on just about something for everyone - whether you be single, married or divorced. How to move forward and create a new life for yourself whilst at the same time deal with social, emotional and physical issues that come with this period in life. It's a huge undertaking and I think Byrski has done a good job. I was particularly touched by the impact of Alzheimer's - something many of us fear for ourselves or those we love.

There were also a couple of really surprising events that I did not see coming that provided additional authenticity to the story. All up I was happy to read this book for the reasons I had selected it - mature women and men and some of the issues they try to navigate in today's world. Its may be about redefining yourself or learning to accept what is.

"The past is the past. We do what we can, what seems right at the time."
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Reading Progress

August 4, 2016 – Shelved
August 4, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
August 26, 2016 – Started Reading
September 3, 2016 – Finished Reading

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