The Perfect Neighborhood
Think you know your neighbours? Think again.
When actress Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband in the middle of the night, her sudden departure becomes the talk of upmarket Oak Hill. But the relentless gossip comes to an abrupt halt when five-year-old Billy Barnes disappears on his walk home from kindergarten. Is there a predator lurking in the leafy suburb? Weeks later, three-year-old Amy-Pat Davies vanishes from her backyard. In addition to sharing a zip code, the missing children have another thing in common – their babysitter, Cassidy McLean, who has a secret of her own.
Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Adele Parks and Sally Hepworth.
Book Review by Kelly Lacey
Oak Hill sounds like the perfect place to live. The Truman Show lifestyle with perfectly manicured lawns, the friendly mail man and the sprinklers going off each night in unison. Whilst the families sleep soundly in their beds. However, it is far from this picture-perfect bubble.
Behind closed doors, each of the neighbours has secrets and lies in their homes.
The overall theme of the book is loss. Loss of children, loss of marriages, loss of family members due to dementia, loss of babies through miscarriages. Filled with the abundance of loss the book is heavy and thick with the fragility and upset that loss causes. To be transparent I struggled at the beginning with the book. I went into it thinking is this a Desperate Housewives style of book? Fun and easygoing with secrets being unmasked. But it isn’t at all. It is a deeply honest and moving read. I am so glad I kept reading because it made some of my own personal thought relatable and I felt some sort of validity.
As a person who has suffered a deep loss, I could really relate to Allison Langley and her struggles. My heart broke for her and I cried during her chapters.
It would make for an interesting television series. I wonder who the author would pick for each of the characters and if she had a ‘character board’ as she wrote TPN or if they were unique to her.
It does make you reflect on your own street. Years ago I knew everyone around us. But now people really do keep to themselves. But you should definitely visit Oak Hill and its residents. There are so many secrets that your takeaway will most likely be different than mine. You may relate to another character.
I really enjoyed the depth of the writing. I would most definitely read more by Ms Altermen. A deeply moving read with loss at its very core.
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