Title: The Family Next Door
Author: Sally Hepworth
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Page Count: 341
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
A gripping domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Amanda Prowse and Kerry Fisher.
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 oh my. Have you ever noticed when people post on social media they are grabbing their popcorn to watch the drama? That is exactly what The Family Next Door made me want, a nice big bowl of popcorn while I sat back and read the drama that oozed from the residents of Pleasant Court.
The story starts off with a flash of Essie’s life as she suffers a breakdown as a new mother. The lack of sleep dealing with a restless baby finally made her snap and she wandered off leaving her baby at the local park. One may ask just how could any loving mother possibly get to that point??
But then we dive into the suburb of Pleasant Court a few years later after Essie seems to have gotten her life back on track with the help of therapy. Thankfully her daughter was safe that day and now she has a second baby in her life and hopes to not repeat the past.
As a new resident moves into the neighborhood the ladies of Pleasant Court are left wondering just who has joined them. Isabelle is single and childless so she doesn’t exactly fit the family friendly picture of perfection but she quickly dives in and begins to get to know the residents.
The story switches the point of view between several of the characters as it dives into the secrets and lies of several of the families of this neighborhood. Along with all of the drama the story has a bit of a mystery involved with the new neighbor and a mysterious missing baby.
Practically everyone in the sleepy suburb had things to hide and problems behind their closed doors that kept the drama coming all throughout the story. Much of the story is reminiscent of a daytime soap opera that I just couldn’t turn away from as we take a peek at the lives of the characters in the story but with a bit of mystery mixed in it became even that much more addictive. With great writing and a non stop story I found myself engrossed until the very end and will definitely look for more from this author in the future.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
SALLY HEPWORTH is a human resource professional. A graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Sally started writing novels after the birth of her first child. Sally has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the UK, and Canada, and she now writes full-time from her home in Melbourne, where she lives with her husband and two young children.
Sally is the author of The Family Next Door, The Mother’s Promise, and The Things We Keep.