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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Apparently I Am All About the Grudges

The Family Next Door - Sally Hepworth

Sigh. How to talk about this book. I can't say much without giving away spoilers. But I can say this at least. The ending was eye-roll inducing and not believable at all. Also having the baker's dozen of characters made it hard to follow anything that was happening with everyone in this book. Some plots don't connect together until Hepworth tries to force fit things here and there. I started to skim some chapters because I just wanted to get to the end of the book. 


"The Family Next Door" initially follows a neighborhood in suburban Melbourne. I think that Hepworth was hoping for something similar to "Big Little Lies" and I ended up going, wow this is just like "Girl on a Train" (in some parts) but someone even more unrealistic.

We follow multiple people in this one: Essie dealing with the birth of her second child after having post-partum with her first which left her mother and husband leery of her having anymore children; Ange who is obsessed with being perfect; Fran and why she's nervous about her husband staying clear of their new kid. And we also follow Essie's mother and a new woman who moves into the neighborhood, Isabelle. We don't know what is going on with Isabelle, but the book hints at times at something dark.


I didn't like anyone in this one. Sorry. I thought that all of the women were exhausting and or terrible in different ways. The book starts with Essie purposely leaving her couple months old daughter in a park. Of course this isn't normal and I guessed immediately at her having pregnancy post-partum. The book then jumps forward I think three years and we have Essie settled and happy with her second daughter. We eventually segue into the other woman in this book, but I honestly just pushed out of mind the nonsense that were their story-lines. 


The husbands are merely there to drive the plot. You would think that Essie's husband would have something to freaking say based on the revelations in this book about [redacted] but instead he just seems happy to go along with anything she wants. 


The writing was just okay. I called everything that happened and wished for more of a mystery with some actual consequences. The flow was terrible because we eventually start jumping around to other characters that were not Essie. Though Essie was one of many characters, she in the end has main character status since we started with and ended with this character. 


I just felt letdown by the time we slid into the ending. It didn't read as realistic at all and I wondered about the Australian court system.