Title: The Family Next Door
Author: Sally Hepworth
Publication: March 6, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Yet another slam dunk performance by Sally Hepworth with The Family Next Door. The Family Next Door is just another piece of evidence why Hepworth deserves her spot on the New York Times Bestseller list.
The Family Next Door follows an entire community, not just one person. Pleasant Court is the picture perfect life. Big house, two kids or more, white picket fence. The women work or take care of the home and family while the husbands rush off to their jobs each day. What could possibly be wrong? This book is a shocking reminder that looks may be decieving. As you delve into the story, Hepworth gives you glimpses into past mistakes, current issues, and potential upcoming problems that are true for any home or family. There always seems to be something around the corner and you should never think that someone’s life is perfect. That is the lesson I felt Hepworth was trying to get across.
While The Family Next Door falls under women’s fiction, any true mystery fan would love this book. I love Hepworth’s way of drawing you in from moment one. While I am a fan of reading women’s fiction, I find that a lot of those novels are slow to start and really get you engaged. Hepworth crushed that preconceived notion for me. From the very first chapter I was intrigued and craving more. Who were these people? What are they hiding? Which flashback goes to which person. I don’t love flashbacks, but Hepworth weaved them in a way that brought more mystery to the story without being frustrating or sidetracking from the larger story. They filled gaps that slowly built up to the climax. We get a good glimpse at Isabella, who doesn’t fit into the community, is obviously hiding something based on her activities and conversations with people back home, and you spend the entire story begging for just one more piece of information as you try to put the puzzle together. I could not put this book down.
With an entire street of characters to get to know, you are bound to have one that you relate to. I loved Isabella, Essie, and even Ange at times. I could put myself in their shoes during different instances. This book not only had the mystery to be solved, but there were pieces about mental illness, family related issues, a little romance, and so many different aspects that just brought this book above expectations. I cannot praise it enough.
If you enjoy reading any kind of book, The Family Next Door is for you. Everyone can relate to someone and the story is gripping, guaranteeing hours of enjoyment while reading. I am counting the days until Hepworth’s next novel. I’ll be first in line to get it.
STAR RATING: 5/5
The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your local bookstores. Make sure you add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads. You can also check out more books from author Sally Hepworth on her website where you can find more on her books, upcoming projects, and social media accounts, including Twitter. Also, make sure to check out our previously reviewed book by Hepworth, The Things We Keep.