Sarah Pekkanen is a bestselling author with multiple fiction novels under her belt. The Perfect Neighbors is a great addition to her works, which has received praise by other authors and publications for being a gripping page turner. The Perfect Neighbor depicts the different yet intertwined lives of four women, Kellie, Susan, GiGi, and Tessa, who live in the same neighborhood, Newport Cove. Kellie is a mother who just reentered the workforce, who is struggling with temptation while trying to keep her marriage and family life together. Susan is a successful businesswoman and single mother who ruminates on her deteriorated marriage. Gigi, the wife of a politician in the running for a seat in Congress, is in danger of having the appearance of having it all together and a perfect family life shattered. Tessa is the new mother on the block who appears to be pleasantly shy and quiet, but probably has the darkest secret of them all. Throughout the book each woman's story unfolds to shed light on the secrets they are hoping to be left in the dark.
Pekannen easily established the complexities of a woman's life, from motherhood, to marriage, to the workforce through each main character. Each woman's struggle and the drama that ensues is so compelling, and even relatable, that it makes it difficult to put down. As readers come to find out, the characters have some deeply rooted secrets that they are fighting throughout the book. Despite the secret struggles each woman is going through, the novel focuses on the support and strength that good friendships can bring when going through difficult times. The novel incorporated drama, suspense, romance, and humor, so readers get to experience a bit of every emotion while reading. Each character has her own unique personality and story to follow suit, making it easy to connect to each character. One of my favorite parts, the brief sections of emails from the Newport Cove Listserv, offered some comical relief and gave small insight to the quirky neighbors in the four main characters' lives. Each character, whether one of the four main women or one of the neighbors in the listserv had just the right amount of detail to easily imagine what they would be like in reality.
Though it was not a literary masterpiece, it was fun and witty, making it difficult to put down. The different lives and personalities of each woman offered a unique complexity yet simplicity because each was so relatable. This novel truly offered laughter, suspense, and amusement through its detailed characters and well written storylines. Though the novel is mostly lighthearted, Pekkanen provides some intense moments and dramatic banter that keep readers turning the page. For someone who is not a fan of drama in real life, it was fun as a reader being pulled into the drama unfolding in Newport Cove. It was a quick and engrossing read, which only took me two days to finish, making it the perfect weekend or vacation book. Though this review is shorter than most I write, I wanted to leave some sort of mystery in what takes place in the book. If readers give it a chance, I feel like The Perfect Neighbors will do itself justice. If readers are looking for something fun, dramatic, witty, and suspenseful, this is the book to choose.
Title: The Perfect Neighbors
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press (July 5, 2016)
Price: Amazon $9.99