Thursday, 22 March 2018

Review ~ The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth



36515494
Hodder
22 March 2018

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

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..

My thoughts about it...

There's something perfectly ordinary about the families who live in Pleasant Court but under the surface of their orderly existence there is a whole bucket load of problems which are just waiting to be poured out. When the enigmatic, Isabelle Hetherington takes up a lease in Paradise Court curtains start to twitch and for the trio of friends, Ange, Fran and Essie, and their families, life will never be the same again.

The author captures the ennui of living in a small community. A place where everyone thinks they know what makes their neighbours tick, but what actually comes across is the fact that we never really know what is going on behind closed doors. She captures perfectly the art of always putting on a brave face for the neighbours, and of the irascibility of young motherhood when you long for a glass of wine and a good night's sleep.

I found The Family Next Door such a compelling story to read that I whipped through the book at top speed, pausing only occasionally look up in order to amble to the kettle to refresh my cup of tea. The story draws you in from the beginning and the author's ability to keep you turning the pages is nothing short of brilliant.The build up in done in a really subtle way so that when the skeletons start to emerge from their respective closets they come as something as shock. Discovering that the characters you have grown to like have so many secrets to hide, it soon becomes a real challenge to try to unravel all of their mysteries without loosing sight of them as people.

The more I connected with the characters, the more I found that I wanted to move into Pleasant Court just so I could observe all goings on at first hand, and believe me there are lots of shenanigans going on in this middle class suburb of Melbourne.

The Family Next Door is a real roller-coaster of a ride from start to finish and I loved reading it.




Sally Hepworth us the bestselling author of three previous novels, and a human resource professional.
She has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the UK and Canada. Since the birth of her children, she now writes full time from her home in Melbourne, Australia.

Website

Twitter @SallyHepworth

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** Published by Hodder & StoughtonToday**

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