Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Julie's Review: The Perfect Neighbors

Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Series: None
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: 352
Obtained: publisher via Edelweiss
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Women's Fiction
Rating: 4.75/5
Bottom Line: A peek inside those secrets we keep closest to our heart
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: Bucolic Newport Cove, where spontaneous block parties occur on balmy nights and all of the streets are named for flowers, is proud of its distinction of being named one the top twenty safest neighborhoods in the US. It’s also one of the most secret-filled. Kellie Scott has just returned to work after a decade of being a stay-at-home mom. She’s adjusting to high heels, scrambling to cook dinner for her family after a day at the office—and soaking in the dangerous attention of a very handsome, very married male colleague. Kellie’s neighbor Susan Barrett begins every day with fresh resolutions: she won’t eat any carbs, she’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour, and she’ll stop stalking her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. Gigi Kennedy seems to have it all together—except her teenage daughter has turned into a hostile stranger and her husband is running for Congress, which means her old skeletons are in danger of being brought into the light. Then a new family moves to this quiet, tree-lined cul-de-sac. Tessa Campbell seems friendly enough to the other mothers, if a bit reserved. Then the neighbors notice that no one is ever invited to Tessa’s house. And soon, it becomes clear that Tessa is hiding the biggest secret of all. ~amazon.com  

Review: The Perfect Neighbors is a peek into the lives of those we live around and see daily but may not really know. It is about the facades we put on to the public vs. how we really are behind closed doors. It's about how we all have secrets that we might not want to share; things that are private in our heart of hearts. What she added to this one was a mystery surrounding one of the couples. I loved how she kept you on the hook and laid out breadcrumbs for you to eat up.

Each of the women has something that they haven't told any of their friends. Kellie finds her new co-worker attracted and often finds herself thinking about him when she shouldn't be; Susan isn't over her ex-husband and stalks him and his new wife; Gigi's life seems perfect and it is if it wasn't for her rap sheet, plus she's dealing with a teenager, which adds stress to her otherwise good life. Then we have the new girl on the block, Tessa, who's secret is definitely darker than the rest of her neighbors but it's not until the end of the novel that we find out what it is.

All these women are your friends, sisters, next door neighbors and you really do feel for what each of them is going through. Most of us have been in their shoes to a certain degree so it feels familiar. I think I probably liked Gigi the most because of the spotlight she was in and what her past held. I loved that she supported Joe even if she wasn't really sure she was ready for the scrutiny. I loved that Joe seemed like a stand-up guy and that they seemed to have a rock solid marriage.

I enjoyed how these women relied on each and valued their friendships with each other. They seemed to accept each other for who they are and weren't afraid to tell someone when they were going down the wrong path.  They weren't afraid to speak their mind to each other. I appreciate that because we always want someone who speaks the truth when we are too afraid to confront it ourselves.

What Ms. Pekkanen does so well is take our relationships and expose them to a very bright light. If you haven't read her, you must and The Perfect Neighbors is a good one to start with but you must also read her whole back-list.



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