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 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. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)
When I first heard about The Perfect Neighbors and read the synopsis, I immediately thought of Desperate Housewives. I still miss that show, so I welcomed the chance to read this novel. After reading it, I still stand by the comparison. Each woman is desperate in some way or another. Kellie is desperate for male attention, which she's not getting from her husband as much as from her colleague. Susan is still hung up on her ex-husband and hearing news from his life reminds her how much she should be moving on. Gigi is hoping not to lose her daughter to teen angst and also nervous that her past behaviors will ruin her husband's campaign. And Tessa is desperate to get away from an incident from her old neighborhood, which she fears will come back to haunt her.
Each woman's story is compelling and even relatable, whether or not I've been in their shoes. I liked how they all looked after each other in various ways and how they interacted throughout the book. At the beginning of almost every chapter, there were messages from a neighborhood listserv, which were really funny. Sometimes the characters from the messages were in various scenes of the book, as well.
If you're looking for an entertaining summer read that will bring you back to Wisteria Lane, you've come to the right place!
My movie (or potential TV series) cast ideas:
Susan: Joy Bryant (and Tyree Brown, who played her son on Parenthood, could easily play Cole.)
Kellie: Michelle Monaghan
Tessa: Julianne Nicholson
Gigi: Melinda Clarke
Melanie (Gigi's daughter): Bella Thorne
Jason (Kellie's husband): Mark Duplass
Thanks to Atria for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have one copy to give away!
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