Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Book Review: Good Neighbors

Some days you can't turn your eyes away from a car crash. And some days you need to read books that keep your eyes glued to the wreck. This was the case with Good Neighbors by Joanna Serling.

Good Neighbors is about a group of upper middle class neighbors who form what looks like tight bonds from the outside. However, from the inside, it is clear they aren't really as close as they want people to believe they are. For example, these families have dinner together, party together, and even travel together. But, they are quick to gossip about one another and turn on one another.

The underlying issue in this book is that one of the families adopts a little girl from another country. The adoption goes through and then the family seems to be dissatisfied. So much so that it makes others in the group uncomfortable. The former friends begin to gossip about the family and believe the girl is in an abusive situation.

From the beginning, reading this book was like reading a train wreck because these people are obnoxious. The kind of obnoxious people that wind up on reality shows. So, when the adoption takes place, the story moves away from what could be a great conversation about cross-cultural adoption and the potential issues families face, this book goes off the rails. It is extreme and maddening at points. But, once again, I just reminded myself I am reading car wreck fiction and not sophisticated literature.

Overall, I think there will be many people who enjoy the gossipy dramatic nature of this book. However, there will also be many others who will put off by the author's handling of adoption.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this copy to read and review!

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