Title: Good Neighbors
Author: Sarah Langan
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: Atria Books
Page Count: 301
My rating: 2 stars
About the book:
Celeste Ng’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this propulsive literary noir, when a sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long Island suburb—pitting neighbor against neighbor and putting one family in terrible danger.
Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world.
But menace skulks beneath the surface of this exclusive enclave, making its residents prone to outrage. When the Wilde family moves in, they trigger their neighbors’ worst fears. Dad Arlo’s a gruff has-been rock star with track marks. Mom Gertie’s got a thick Brooklyn accent, with high heels and tube tops to match. Their weird kids cuss like sailors. They don’t fit with the way Maple Street sees itself.
Though Maple Street’s Queen Bee, Rhea Schroeder—a lonely college professor repressing a dark past—welcomed Gertie and her family at first, relations went south during one spritzer-fueled summer evening, when the new best friends shared too much, too soon. By the time the story opens, the Wildes are outcasts.
As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mom’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.
A riveting and ruthless portrayal of American suburbia, Good Neighbors excavates the perils and betrayals of motherhood and friendships and the dangerous clash between social hierarchy, childhood trauma, and fear.
Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan is thriller read that has touches of drama, suspense and perhaps even horror in my opinion. The story is told from multiple points of view in a not so happy suburban neighborhood where not everyone is welcome.
Located in the suburban area of Long Island there is Maple Street where everyone knows everyone. The residents of Maple Street aren’t too happy when a new over the top family, the Wilde’s, move into their happy little slice of suburbia. When a sink hole opens up in the neighborhood the neighbors all deal with the disaster in their different ways.
So yeah, this one has tons of four and five stars reviews but I quickly found that I wasn’t going to be one of them when picking this up and beginning to read. I’m all about a good popcorn craving inducing neighborhood drama but Good Neighbors fell far from that mark and to me started becoming more a hot mess of a story.
First, there were just too many characters to get to know for me to get close to anyone which was a red flag to me. Then on top of not really connecting to the characters this took a turn into a direction that boggled my mind and I found to be so far fetched I questioned if it were the same book everyone else seemed to love. In the end this one just wasn’t for me but as always when I’m in the minority I’d say just it a shot to see for yourself if it appeals to you.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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