Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Book Review: The Neighbours

By Becky Gulc

‘To get up from rock bottom, you’ve got to take the stairs…

Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour…

Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards?

Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that sometimes – just sometimes – bad neighbours become good friends…’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

The Neighbours is the debut novel by Nicola Gill and it sounded like the kind of novel I’d be drawn to and enjoy. So what did I think?

Ginny isn’t having a great time of it when we meet her, she finds her boyfriend cheating on her with her boss, cue loss (or good riddance) of the boyfriend and her job in PR, how can she face her boss every day now? With her best friend/flatmate moving abroad too she’s left to face the turmoil pretty much on her own.

Ginny has never really touched base with her famous actress neighbour before, Cassie Frost. But after a damaging stint on reality show I’m a Celebrity…, Cassie is slowly realising she’s not the in-demand actress she once was, what she needs is some good PR, and who better to provide this than her out of work neighbour and newfound kind-of-friend Ginny?

Without a doubt for me, it was the unlikely friendship between Ginny and Cassie that made this novel great. It was a lovely exploration of forming a new friendship later in life, when you’re meant to be in someone’s life when on the face of it you may not have much in common; it’s just fate. These women seem to know what the other wants and needs than they do themselves. Their story was beautiful. It was so funny at times, I loved Cassie; sassy, says it as it is even if she shouldn’t sometimes! And Ginny is a lovely character whom I warmed to instantly.

There are dark times in the novel and I found these very moving and well-written, the struggle to help a friend navigate mental health issues, I felt as helpless as the friend. There is a lot of kindness and warmth from the central, as well as some of the supporting characters, and it was lovely to read.

This is a great debut novel. I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to these two women and I think that says it all. The Neighbours is funny, moving, and full of love and that’s said without even considering the ‘love story’ elements of the novel (which are also strong). Loved it!

Thanks to Avon for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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