fiction / mystery

The Perfect Neighbors: A Novel by Sarah Pekkanen


After reading an exhaustive history of Southern food and some pretty serious memoirs about mental illness I thought I’d go for something lighter. Oddly, The Perfect Neighbors took longer to read than all of those previous books. I have no idea why! The writing was pretty simple and the plot wasn’t terribly complex. I didn’t love the book so maybe that is it? It was definitely a “beach read”. Basically, the story of four women all living in the “safest neighborhood in America”, which I could not relate to at all as police helicopters and gunshots are pretty routine in our neighborhood, each woman had a “secret”. Most of them were pretty boring, Facebook stalking an ex, an emotional affair, random pot smoking but one was much bloodier. The cover said it was a “suspenseful tale” but it really wasn’t. You don’t find out until the end what one of them does (Ms. Bloody) but there were enough hints along the way that it wasn’t too surprising. The fact that she didn’t feel guilty was a little surprising but they all ended up in better places than they were at the beginning of the book. All in all the book was fine but a bit predictable. Plus some of the details were oddly specific which irked me for some reason. Who cares how many slices of apple she cut up for the kid’s snack?? But then I didn’t get a great sense of what the people looked like, which I thought was odd. Anyway, I think suburban drama books just aren’t for me.

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