Title: The Perfect Neighbors
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Perfect Neighbors takes us into the homes of an idyllic suburban neighborhood where we discover the burning secrets hiding just below the surface.
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.
Neighbors had a slow start for me. It took me a while to get into it. This doesn't mean it was not interesting. It grabbed my complete attention and I was invested in the outcome.
The female characters were all dealing with important issues. Susan Barrett is dealing with her recent divorce and her ex-husband falling in love with her friend. Kellie Scott is dealing with going back to work after being a stay-at-home mom and not feeling appreciated by her husband. Gigi Kennedy is dealing with the distance created by her teenage daughter and her husband's political campaign. Last but not least, Tessa Campbell, who is hiding a terrible secret that could ruin her family.
What I liked the most about the story is that I could relate to the problems they were all facing. Not the situations per se but the feelings each of them was experiencing. The author does a great job at making you understand what was going on in their minds. All of them had secrets and the reader knows that the end result could only go two ways: Either their lives would improve or their lives would be destroyed. I was rooting for all them to come out of the darkness.
Another positive angle I liked was how Sarah Pekkanen narrated the male characters. More often than not, I found myself reading books where the men are horrible to their women. This was not the case for The Perfect Neighbors. They were understanding, patient, good listeners and forgiving.
One of my favorite parts was the neighborhood communication thread which was at the top of each chapter. The Dog Poop thread had me laughing.
This was a solid story, with interesting characters and hard topics. I'm glad I had a chance to read it.
I can't wait to see what she writes next.
A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.