Posted in Books I have read

The Good Neighbor – Amy Sue Nathan

Contemporary Fiction 3*s
Contemporary Fiction
3*s

Izzy Lane finds herself almost transported back in time when she takes on her childhood home in the wake of the breakdown of her marriage with her husband Bruce, but not quite. Mrs Feldman still lives next door though, and Izzy spends a lot of time with the woman who looked after her as a child while her parents and older brothers worked at their hardware store. But Izzy is no longer a child, she is a mother to Noah and somewhat bewildered how she has ended up alone and quite frankly jealous that Bruce has someone new, and she is very much alone. The one plus side is that she hopes to recreate her carefree childhood, playing with the neighbourhood children, for Noah that she had. Sadly life has moved on, the children don’t play outside anymore and the parents don’t sit on the step chatting, as the decades have rolled by, life has changed.

In the evenings when Noah has gone to bed, or worse when he stays with his father and his model girlfriend, Izzy starts to blog – and we all know how addictive that can be! Izzy charts the few dates she has gone on and the views begin to roll in and then, she blogs about a new boyfriend Mac and her views rocket, it seem people from far and wide are interested in the romance. There is one problem, Mac doesn’t exist anywhere except in Izzy’s imagination. So far so harmless, until Izzy’s closest friend Jade asks her to write a regular slot for her on-line paper, the subject is dating life as an over-forty woman. Unable to admit that she isn’t dating Izzy is quickly backed into a corner, one where the secrets threaten everything she holds dear.

This wasn’t quite the light and fluffy story I was expecting, the themes and messages regarding not going backwards in life, don’t allow jealousy to take over and don’t abuse other’s trust in you are clear, but they are not particularly well-balanced with humour. Izzy has many opportunities to come clean about Mac, but she doesn’t causing a seemingly never-ending circle of will she, won’t she moments which quite frankly became tedious, especially as the stakes grew as did the impending disaster.
The friendship between Mrs Feldman and Izzy however was touching with the older woman being the only person to know the truth about Mac. Then Mrs Feldman reveals her own secret, and the accompanying lies, if only by omission, that she had held onto for many decades. This part of the book I did enjoy mainly because it felt far more realistic, had more depth to it and wasn’t as overworked as Izzy’s tale.

There was an easy read and I did like the underlying themes and I think that this book will resonate with those who have had similar life experiences. Amy Sue Nathan has woven a large number of truths into this story of lies.

I’d like to thank the publishers St Martins Press for allowing me to read a copy of this book ahead of the publication date of 13 October 2015.

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

9 thoughts on “The Good Neighbor – Amy Sue Nathan

  1. Thanks as ever, Cleo, for your candor. This sounds like a very timely sort of book, given how many people blog and use other social media these days. Very interesting! I’m glad you found some things to really like about the book. It sounds as much of a character study and a cautionary tales as anything else.

    1. It was interesting, as you know part of me is fascinated by social media, especially the amount of personal information shared, and on the flip-side, you can easily be taken in by someone pretending to be something they are not. It was a good character study and a fresh dimension to examine the issue of trust through.

  2. I enjoyed this one, too….even though I was frustrated by how out-of-control Izzy allowed events to become. And yes, Mrs. Feldman was a character I enjoyed, too. She was down-to-earth and nurturing, which Izzy needed in her life. Thanks for sharing.

  3. A bit of a pity, because the blurb did make this one sound as if it would be quite light-hearted with the potential for a lot of humour. I do get fed up with heroines (or heroes) who could solve their problem fairly easily, but don’t. Still, sounds as if it had lots of good points too!

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