Leslie Lindsay's Reviews > The Family Next Door

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
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Feb 21, 2018

really liked it

Searing secrets...riveting revelations, Sally Hepworth's fourth book of domestic fiction, THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR, is a jaw-dropping jut-punch.

This suburban-set story centers on the folks of Pleasant Court, where everything is picture-perfect, at least from the outside. We start the story with Essie, three years ago, when she did a horrible thing just following the birth of her first baby. She's gotten help and has pretty much put that incident behind her. But over on Pleasant Court, where Essie moves with her preschool daughter and hottie hubby, and new baby, she can't help but feel a bit untethered. Her mother,Barbara, the quintessential grandmother moves in just doors away and helps with the little girls. We meet Ange and her boys, her suspicion that the photography client is perhaps a little 'more' to her husband than 'just a client;' and Fran...her obsessive running. Just what is she running from?

And then we meet Isabelle, childless and single and new to the neighborhood. Who is she and why is she there?

Questions and concerns all collide in a giant tangled web of curve balls and consequences, ones that will resonate with mothers everywhere, as the tie that brings all of these women together is the simple (or not-so-simple) fact that they are first and foremost, mothers.

I found the first few chapters intriguing and then a little lull as I struggled to find the commonality between these stories/women.At times, while well-written in sharp domestic vignettes, I wanted to get to the 'heart' of the story. That said, others may feel differently. While the title is is a little ominous, the read is more light with darker moments interspersed; I would classify THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR more as domestic literature and not a thriller or suspense, per se.

In comps, I'd say...ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS (Lorna Landvick) meets THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS(Meg Waite Clayton), with touches of Tom Perrotta's LITTLE CHILDREN, Catherine McKenzie's FRAGILE, and WHAT WAS MINE (Helen Klein Ross).

For all my reviews, including author interviews, please see: www.leslielindsay.com
Special thanks to St. Martin's Press for this review copy. All thoughts are my own.
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Reading Progress

February 18, 2018 – Started Reading
February 18, 2018 – Shelved
February 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

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