Book Title: The Perfect Neighbors
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Genres: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Domestic Fiction
Date Read: 06/17/16
Pub Date: 07/05/16
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 Tessa is hiding the biggest secret of all.
Secrets– we all have them. This book is somewhat reminiscent of Desperate Housewives in a much classier format; think not all the raunchy sex and meaningless drama. These four women who are neighbors all have a secret side to life that the other ladies aren’t privilege to, some more juicy than others, but all were exciting to read about. Kellie is just returning to work after being a stay at home mom for over a decade; she’s married with two kids and trying to juggle life outside of the domestic arena which has her excited and nervous. Susan, who is a single mom, is the owner of a successful business and on the surface seems to have it together. Gigi also has two children and is married to a politician on the up and up; perfectly polished in every way. Tessa is the new neighbor, the one who doesn’t quite seem to jibe with the others and is the most mysterious of all.
I loved how there were little segments of the online newsletter from the community thrown in at the beginning of some chapters! They made me laugh and were totally relatable as our neighborhood does similar messages with many of the same laughable topics and drama. I think this kept some lightness throughout the book and kept a smile on my face.
The format of this novel was very satisfactory to me; I loved how each woman’s story was unveiled individually and we all were witnessing it on the sidelines. I had the opportunity to see how the families interacted in daily life as well as the private life of each lady. Each story was interesting in its own way, but I think Gigi’s was the most buzz worthy, as it likely would be in real life due to her family being “news worthy” and in the spotlight. I think as a parent of girls I could empathize with her struggles with her daughter Melanie and made me really think on how to make sure I keep a close relationship with both of my girls. Kellie was like a train derailing; you could see from early on what was going to happen but couldn’t look away. Susan’s story made me really sad; I think everyone who reads this book will be broken hearted for her. It was very well written but I think her segment was my least favorite to read as it was just so depressing. Tessa, while not very likable, was still relatable for me as I remember going through the colicky baby stage and sleep deprivation and thinking/feeling things that made me question my own sanity. I can’t condone her actions but it made me a little more able to relate to her and see how she could become the person that she did.
In regards to writing, I think this may be Sarah’s best book yet! Highly recommended for fans of Women’s Fiction, especially those who love a good domestic drama.
*I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.