Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Best of Us
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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."
Newport Cove is pretty much the perfect place to raise a family. In fact, it recently made the list as one of the safest neighborhoods in the US. Except if you look past the perfect homes and the perfect parents, you'll find that there are many secrets lurking beneath the surface. For starters, there's Kellie who is heading back to work after being a stay-at-home mom for many years. She's a realtor and trying to build her business, but she can't stop noticing her married colleague. Then there's her neighbor, Susan, who is divorced and raising her son on her own. Her ex-husband has a new girlfriend who was actually her friend first. This obviously throws her for a loop. Another neighbor, Gigi, has two teenage girls and a husband running for Congress. Her one daughter has become quite the challenge and on top of that she finds out that many of her secrets may be revealed as the opposing party running against her husband is doing some digging into her past. Lastly, there's Tessa, the person who holds the most secrets of them all. She's a new neighbor and one that is extremely hard to read. She seems nice, but the neighbors can't really get to know her and no one is ever invited over her house. Sarah Pekkanen's The Perfect Neighbors is a entertaining summertime read that reminded me a bit of Desperate Housewives. The scandal, the secrets, and the drama that are behind closed doors in the idyllic neighborhood kept me flipping the pages.
There are many points of view in The Perfect Neighbors, which at times can be challenging, but in this novel Pekkanen does a good job of making each character's voice unique. There's something for everyone here. Tessa's story is the most compelling and mysterious. Pekkanen even includes flashbacks to her life before Newport Cove, because something happened there that made her move. Each female has brought something to the table that I think every reader can relate to whether it be colicky babies, a new job, a divorce, balancing careers and motherhood, or dealing with adolescent children, The Perfect Neighbors has it all.
I liked how Pekkanen included excerpts from the neighborhood's listserv. It was hilarious and definitely provided me some comic relief. It's so realistic, too! This was a nice touch.
So, if you are looking for a beach read that has relatable characters and includes a dark secret, check out The Perfect Neighbors this summer.