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Publisher's Summary

A searing portrait of suburbia, friendship, and family strained by a devotion to false appearances.

In an idyllic suburb, four young families quickly form a neighborhood clique, their friendships based on little more than the ages of their children and a shared sense of camaraderie. When one of the couples, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopt a four-year-old girl from Russia, the group's loyalty and morality is soon called into question. Are the Edwards unkind to their new daughter? Or is she a difficult child with hidden destructive tendencies?

As the seams of the group friendship slowly unravel, neighbor Nicole Westerhof finds herself drawn further into the life of the adopted girl, forcing Nicole to re-examine the deceptive nature of her own family ties, and her complicity in the events unfolding around her.

©2018 Joanne Serling (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"I haven't been captivated by a story like this in so long. The tension, the complexity, the obsession over status; how one hopes to be seen by others versus how one fears one is seen...Good Neighbors is a stunning, shocking, entertaining, and thought-provoking look at humanity. I want everyone to read this book." (Julia Fierro, author of The Gypsy Moth Summer and Cutting Teeth)

"[Serling] writes with verve and frequent insight.... A spicy stew of suburban discontent." (Kirkus)

"While many novels have tackled the subject of suburban secrets and unease, [Good Neighbors] excels in particular at exploring the bonds among families." (Publishers Weekly)

"Good Neighbors is a novel for everyone who's ever wondered what's really behind the smiling cohesion of other people's holiday cards and Facebook posts. Perhaps its highest achievement is to make us laugh, think, and tremble at the same time." (Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours, The Virgins, and The Understory)

"Riveting...Good Neighbors exposes the dark underbelly of seemingly perfect families and friendships in this compulsively paced suburban thriller." (Bethany Ball, author of What to Do About the Solomons)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Knitting For The Mind

"Good Neighbor" is the perfect choice for mind knitting. Once you've learned the basics, the rest is repetition.

Nicole and her gaggle of intrusive neighbors fret far too much over what the other thinks of them.
The dialogue is akin to what you'd hear in junior high. This is not a verbatim quote. However, it's not too far from what's written: "She said she told her what she wasn't supposed to tell what she knew."

Despite the pedestrian chatter, I returned to this book many times ~ my curiosity piqued. It was nearly impossible to comprehend how Nicole and "friends" had so much time to chit-chat and speculate how each other lived.

The life-changing events like Paige's adoption of a Russian girl wasn't given more importance than the "group birthday gifts."

Eventually, the adoption became the real substance and grit. The dark ending showcases the author's talents to emotionally hook her readers. However, this compelling turn may be too little, too late for the real story.

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  • PJ
  • 05-09-18

Dragged on....

This should be a 7-8 chapter book not 29! The book dragged on and on. Many unnecessary thoughts from the narrator. It had potential, but fell flat in execution.

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Meh...

What disappointed you about Good Neighbors?

The story was based too much on the main character's inner thoughts and quite often they were irrational and frustrating, but that wasn't the point of the story and didn't add to the climax.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joanne Serling again?

Maybe. I liked the idea of the story, but not how it was executed.

Which scene was your favorite?

None stands out in particular that I would call my favorite.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really. I kept waiting for something exciting to be revealed, but it never happened. There was no aha!! moment, no satisfaction.

Any additional comments?

Very anticlimactic.