Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review : The Good Neighbour by Beth Miller

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Paperback: 464 pages

Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (10 Sept. 2015)
ISBN-10: 0091956331
ISBN-13: 978-0091956332

Everyone has secrets. How far will you go to protect yours?

After living next to the neighbours from hell, Minette is overjoyed when Cath and her two children move in next door. Cath soon becomes her confidante, a kindred spirit, even her daughter’s babysitter.

But Cath keeps herself unusually guarded and is reluctant to speak of her past. And when Minette witnesses something unspeakable, she begins to question whether she really knows her new friend at all…

An addictive and gripping novel, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Daughter.

I was intrigued with Minette and Cath’s story from the very beginning of The Good Neighbour.  Cath’s 8 year old son Davey has the opening chapter and I was left with questions.  Why did they have no time to pack?  Why did they leave so much behind?  Why was he glad to leave Gina’s?  Why was Adam Purcell so important to him?

Minette has 9 month old Tilly and if you have children, you’ll know just how much of a culture shock it is when your life tilts on its axis as a first time mother and nothing seems familiar anymore.  She is vulnerable when Cath moves in next door.

Cath is tired and having to worry about everything.  Her email gave me more questions …

Davey, Cath and Minette continue narrating in the 3rd person throughout the story.  Each of them have very distinctive voices and drew me in.  

I liked Cath for the majority of the story.  I did figure it out early on having come across this a few years ago now which (I think) enabled me to empathise with Cath.  There was one scene though that caused me to open my eyes wider.  I imagine that if you don’t have any experience of this, as a reader, you would probably be shocked.  To create a character that is so convincing and real with such flaws is a skill.   Beth Miller has this exactly right.

What a dilemma for Minette! What was the right thing to do for her personally?  I wasn’t sure what she would decide to be honest.  Safeguard or selfish? You could feel her angst.  A lot of men would have done the same as her husband Abe.  

Davey.  What a situation to be in!  The trust between himself and Minette gave me hope.  I can’t say too much without giving any spoilers.  I wanted to hug him and explain everything so that he could try to understand and work on forgiveness!   

Perfect ending for some of our characters.  I do still wonder if there will be a resolution for one of them.

The Good Neighbour gives us a window into the lives of everyday people who happen to live on the same street.  Incidentally, a couple of conversations at work arose about neighbours when I was reading this! Great timing. The characters are recognisable from people you probably know too.  Although relatively rare, you just don’t know what’s hiding behind that facade.  It might make you question your own neighbours as you pass the time of day with them or see them walking past the window. 

Recommended Read

I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Connect with Beth


Twitter @drbethmiller

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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