The Woman Next Door is about Hester and Melissa who have lived next to each other for years. They used to be good friends, the older woman Hester, helped out with Melissa’s daughter when she was young. However recently they have not been close. Hester is lonely and misses her friendship with the glamorous Melissa so when she sees an opportunity to do Melissa a favour she jumps at it. This soon turns out to be a mistake for both of them.
I really enjoyed this book. Clearly ‘next door’ is the new craze in book titles, as I’ve also read ‘The Couple Next Door’ recently. The Woman Next Door switches between the viewpoints of the two main characters. As an observer you can see that Melissa is fed up with Hestor’s interfering busy body ways. However you also see that Hestor believes she is doing everything for the right reasons and just wants to help. This is a slow burner of a novel that is definitely worth sticking with. The characters are both unreliable and I kept changing my opinion of who was good and who was bad throughout. Hestor is clearly desperate for some companionship other than just her dog and sees Melissa as her likeliest friend. Melissa is struggling with keeping up with the life she has built for herself, whilst hiding her childhood. Even when circumstances push them together their friendship is still on shaky ground.
Whilst there is no doubt that some of the actions may be a little bit far fetched I am a big one for believing that sometimes in fiction you just have to enjoy the story and not get too hung up on how it would really be. I enjoyed the writing within this book, and thought it was a nice easy read that really draws you in without noticing. As someone who lives surrounded by nosy neighbours The Woman Next Door certainly makes you think twice about befriending any of them.
I was pleased to receive a copy of this via netgalley.