Happy Friday! I thought this week would never end, and what a better way to end it than with a TLC Book Tour stop.
Thanks to Twelve and TLC Book Tours for the copy in exchange for my honest review.
GOOD NEIGHBOR by Joanne Serling (out now!)
A searing portrait of suburbia, friendship, and family strained by a devotion to false appearances.
In an idyllic suburb, four young families quickly form a neighborhood clique, their friendships based on little more than the ages of their children and a shared sense of camaraderie. When one of the couples, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopt a four-year-old girl from Russia, the group’s loyalty and morality is soon called into question. Are the Edwards unkind to their new daughter? Or is she a difficult child with hidden destructive tendencies?
As the seams of the group friendship slowly unravel, neighbor Nicole Westerhof finds herself drawn further into the life of the adopted girl, forcing Nicole to re-examine the deceptive nature of her own family ties, and her complicity in the events unfolding around her.
“I haven’t been captivated by a story like this in so long. The tension, the complexity, the obsession over status; how one hopes to be seen by others versus how one fears one is seen…GOOD NEIGHBORS is a stunning, shocking, entertaining, and thought-provoking look at humanity. I want everyone to read this book.”? Julia Fierro, author of The Gypsy Moth Mother and Cutting Teeth
“Riveting…GOOD NEIGHBORS exposes the dark underbelly of seemingly perfect families and friendships in this compulsively paced suburban thriller.”? Bethany Ball, author of What To Do About The Solomons
My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars!
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really read the synopsis of this book before starting, and if I did, I had definitely forgotten what it was about! GOOD NEIGHBORS by Joanne Serling takes a peek into the idyllic lives of a group of friends living in suburbia. When one couple adopts a little girl from Russia, their friendships will be tested.
We follow a group of neighbors that have created a friendship. They’re all families with children around the same ages, so they can commiserate with each and have the kids play. One day, Paige and Gene Edwards decide to take the plunge and adopt a 4 year old girl from Russia. When they return home, they soon notice that their group of friends are beginning to distance themselves. Are the Edwards neglecting their new daughter? Is she more sinister than they think? One of the neighbors, Nicole, soon finds herself wrapped into the lives of Paige and Gene and wanting to learn more about the little girl.
I will say that this was a very interesting read for me, I have an odd personal connection to this topic. My cousin was adopted from Russia around the same age and I have witnessed the struggles my aunt and uncle have had throughout the years. I feel like this is an accurate portrayal when it comes to capturing those struggles and obstacles the families can go through.
This is very well written and I loved the character development. Anything set in suburbia with dark events happening behind closed doors is something I’ll never tire of!
Joanne Serling’s fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in New Ohio Review and North American Review. She is a graduate of Cornell University and studied and taught fiction at The Writers Studio in New York City. She lives outside of New York with her husband and children and is at work on her second book.
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