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Review: The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

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.


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Sometimes we need reminders that things are never what they seem.  In Pleasant Court, we are introduced to three women: Ange, Fran, and Essie.  Although they are friends, each woman is suffering in silence.  These women are dealing with finding their own identities, being the perfect mother and spouse, connecting with others, regret, depression, and fear.  It’s a story in which I feel a lot of women could easily connect to one or more of the women.  In a way, it’s almost as if this is a more mature twist to Wisteria Lane, with only a quarter of the drama.

I felt a connection with Essie.  Essie was a young mother who was struggling to connect with her oldest daughter.  It was apparent that Essie was suffering from postpartum depression, and it makes you realize why more of her friends and family weren’t acknowledging that she needed help.  Essie’s life becomes even more complicated when she meets the new neighbor, Isabelle.  In a way, her desperate need for someone to see her, leads to her questioning even her own core truths.

The book’s mystery is regarding a child that had been stolen.  The author does an amazing job of creating just enough intrigue and clues to make the reader believe they know which woman did it.  It’s a rare occurrence for a book to surprise me, but this one did.  Kudos to Sally Hepworth.

I’m never really one for giving away too much of the plot. However, I hope you’ll check this novel out. It’s been over a year since I read it and I instantly could recall how much I enjoyed the book.  It’s not often that I can recall a book so vividly after so much time has passed.  This is the kind of book that sticks with you… in a good way.


Gold StarGold StarGold StarGold Star

About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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