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 of 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.
This is not the first Sarah Pekkanen book I have read and it surely won’t be the last. The characters in this book are so easy to relate to and the suburban town they live in seems to have a personality of its own. The story line is intriguing and engaging, with a comfortable balance of humor and compassion. I felt as if I could see myself living in this suburb with these women! They all have their secrets that they are keeping, not only from others, but also from themselves. Friendship ultimately prevails in this story as these ladies learn more and more about each other and that they don’t have to face all of their troubles on their own. It also allows them to learn more about themselves as they continue to persevere throughout many hard times. This book describes how much work, trust, and compassion go into creating and maintaining good relationships- whether with your friend, spouse, child, or within yourself.
P.S. Photo cred goes to me- It takes me back to the day I met Sarah and these lovely ladies. I was early (usually I’m late), but lucky for me I always have a book with me! I was in the middle of reading The Perfect Neighbors- Captivating book, delicious drinks, savory snacks, and great friends! – Kris
In The Perfect Neighbors, we meet four women who have secrets that consume their thoughts and take over a part of their lives. Pekkanen always finds a way to focus on the varying relationships between women, and left me intrigued with this storyline. While we know that one of the women has the biggest secret, we find that while we, as readers/outsiders, may assign a degree of severity to the weight of each woman’s secret, each women struggles internally with her situation, similarly feeling/worrying/questioning themselves, just as much as the other. This was a very interesting read that will leave you thinking about your own relationships and the secrets we all keep. – Amy
I will never tire of reading Sarah’s books. While her theme of women’s relationships carries throughout each of her books, she doesn’t repeat her story lines, so it never feels stale or boring. Instead, she’s always focusing on the different types of relationships that women share with people in their lives, and she explores how those relationships are tested and strengthened through different events and realities. In The Perfect Neighbors she does this by focusing on the secret lives of women, and how maintaining those secrets can hinder or aid the relationships they share with people they are close to. And let me tell you, this book was a blast! On one hand, I was going through all of the emotions with each woman: anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, giddiness, excitement, pride, love. On the other, it was like being engrossed in an awesome marathon of a Desperate Housewives-like show, where everyone’s lawns were perfectly manicured and they all had a perfect smile on their face, but you couldn’t wait to see what was hiding behind their front doors. I’m chalking another one up for Sarah in the “win” column! ~Amber
This book made me want to get to know my neighbors better… or at least see if any of them are hiding secrets that I didn’t know about! Each woman is hiding a secret (some bigger than others), and the emotions tied to holding these things inside took me on such a journey with these women. The book made me think about which secrets women hide away and how this can effect us. The pressure to live up to a set standard or ideal (whether for ourselves or others) can be extreme. I love that Sarah ties these women together and shows the importance of having support and friendship. -Holly