Title: The Girl Next Door
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Release Date: December 22, 2009
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Girl Next Door is the story of a group of people living in a co-op in New York City. There’s Eve, the recent transplant from the UK, whose husband Ed seems to be working more and more, leaving Eve all alone. She finds friendship with Violet, the eccentric, withdrawn older woman living in the building. There are two couples Noble focuses on, Rachael and David, who seem perfect in every way, and Kim and Jason, who don’t seem to have anything in common anymore except their daughter Avery. All these, and many more, different storylines come together to show how people’s lives are actually intertwined, and that people can influence one another.
The Girl Next Door is a touching and heartfelt book about the lives of a group of Manhattan-ites. There are a lot of people in this book. enough so that Elizabeth Noble decided to include a list of characters at the beginning of the novel. It’s actually quite necessary for the first quarter of the book or so. It takes Noble awhile to establish these characters, but she eventually succeeds well enough that the reader stops having to flip to the front of the book every few pages.
Indeed, you would think that it would be very difficult to effectively develop the sheer number of characters that are in The Girl Next Door, but Noble accomplishes it well. She only spends a couple of pages at a time on each character, so at the beginning to seems like the reader will never get to know these people and the prospect seems frustrating. But without the reader even realizing it, Noble manages to insinuate the reader into these characters’ lives. It’s masterfully done and makes the novel difficult to put down. Admittedly, some characters such as Tod and Gregory aren’t well fleshed out, casualties of the other, better developed characters in the book.
The characters that resonated the most for me were Kim and Jason. Their marriage was falling apart and they had absolutely no connection anymore. What made it even worse is that Kim made it so that Jason didn’t even have a relationship with their daughter, Avery. She used Avery as a weapon against him. It was really sickening, yet Noble wrote the storyline in such a way that the reader is hooked, hoping beyond hope that Kim will see the error of her ways and be able to save her marriage.
The Girl Next Door is a well-written novel that fans of women’s fiction will enjoy. Though it is reminiscent of Candace Bushnell’s One Fifth Avenue, the endearing characters will definitely win readers over.