Good Neighbours by Sarah Langan
|Good Neighbours by Sarah Langan|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: Humorous in a dark, twisted way, and very entertaining, this is a brilliant read to lose yourself in for a few hours.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: July 2021|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
|External links: Author's website|
If you're of a certain vintage, it's hard to read the words Good Neighbours without adding a sing-song that's when Good Neighbours…become…good friends. Maple Street is no Ramsay Street, though, Arlo and Gertie live a world apart from the Melbourne suburbs. They're one of 18 households on the crescent, quite new arrivals having moved in a year earlier. They're not quite like all the other middle class families (he's an ex rocker, she's a former beauty queen) but they've made some friends and their kids have settled in, and it's all going ok. Until it isn't. One hot, clammy, sticky, sweaty summer, a sinkhole opens up in the park across the way. It's a revolting mess of dirt and chaos, but for the residents of Maple Street, the worst is yet to come.
…everybody needs Good Neighbours…
The saying goes, if you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It's lethal. And nothing is more routine and, it would seem, lethal, than life in this suburban nightmare. When tragedy strikes, instead of uniting the community it drives two households apart and forces neighbours to pick a side. With the truth unknown and vaguely irrelevant, the adults are left to choose based on what they believe is more plausible and ultimately what they want to believe.
…with a little understanding…'
This was such an interesting book for me. You could see the metaphorical car crash coming, could predict how grossly unfair it was going to be, and yet there was nothing you could do but stand back and observe. Because what this story tells you, is that some people are nasty. And when nasty people have power and influence, that nastiness can do real damage. It's not just the air around the sinkhole that stinks, it's the atmosphere on the whole street.
…you can find the perfect blend…
I found this a riveting, really easy-reading, witty affair. It's humorous in a dark, twisted way, and very entertaining. The characters are exaggerated but stop short of being caricatures, and although the neighbours themselves are weighing things up and picking sides, as reader I had the full story, knew exactly what was going on, and was Team Wilde all the way. The newspaper articles added an intriguing twist, coming back from the future to hint at what was to come (murders plural, you say?) and adding to the hysteria.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending in a promotional copy. If this is your style of writing, you may well enjoy Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant
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