The Girl Next Door; Elizabeth Noble
An apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is the backdrop for Elizabeth Noble's latest novel. Ed and Eve Gallagher move from York, England to New York City because of Ed's bank job. The couple believes that they have found the perfect place to live, however, Ed is gone a lot because of his job, and Eve finds herself becoming very lonely as a stay at home wife.
Violet Wallace is a private woman, she is an 82 year's old, an Englishwoman who also lives in the building and she and Eve become friends. Then there is Jackson Grayling III, a spoiled trust fund recipient who is in love with Emily Mikanowski, who is unimpressed by Grayling's looks or wealth. Emily is friends with Charlotte, a frumpy librarian into steamy romance novels, who happens to have a crush on Che, one of the doormen.
Well, you get the picture here, and there are several more residents: Jason and Kim Kramer, Rachel and David Schulman and Madison. It's basically a novel about the building's residents and how their lives intertwine.
MY THOUGHTS - Initially I had high hopes for this novel, based on its premise. A few years back I read a wonderful novel with a similar plot: Between Two Rivers; Nicholas Rinaldi. This book was also set in NYC, a condo building, but it was far superior to this novel, all of the characters were memorable and extremely well developed ; their issues were very real.
In The Girl Next Door, to me, the characters seemed a bit too stereotypical, with issues like: infidelity, infertility, jealousy, betrayal, friendship, love and loss. I did enjoy parts of this book, and I think if you are in need of a lighter beach-type read you might enjoy this book. However, if your goal is for something memorable, something deeper, you might want to look elsewhere. Recommendation - YOU DECIDE - 3.5/5 stars.
(Review copy provided by Simon and Schuster - thank you)