Monday, September 14, 2015

The New Neighbor; Leah Stewart

The New Neighbor; Leah Stewart
Touchstone - 2015

I think I need to stop reading the product overviews for new releases, because lately I've been occasionally disappointed when the description for me ends up being a far stretch.  For example this book is described as " a chilling, page turner and a darkly sophisticated novel", I just didn't get that from this book.

In this story Margaret Riley is a 90 year old, educated, retired Army nurse who spent time in war zones.  Now her life is one of mostly isolation.  She lives in a mountaintop home in Tennessee and leaves her home only when necessity calls and for occasional trips to the library to stock up on mystery novels -- nothing frivolous - PD James is her favorite. One day Margaret is startled when she notices a young woman across the way in a house that had long been vacant.  She's curious about who the woman is and what brought her to the area.

Jennifer Young is the woman who lives across the way with her young son Milo.  She's had a troubled past that she hopes to leave behind and she's hoping for a fresh start in this somewhat isolated area. Margaret's loneliness and curiosity quickly brings the two women together and in the process the past of each woman is slowly revealed. 

Margaret lures Jennifer into her home with her own personal agenda which at times seemed suspect. Her amateur sleuthing never reveals anything earth shattering IMO, and the reveal is very very slow.  The story is told in alternate POV of the two women with a third POV added near the end.

I found this book to be more a women fiction genre rather than literary, or even suspense, as I had hoped. I liked the beginning of this book, but after a while I found it hard to stay interested in the story, which was too bad as I've enjoyed offerings by this author.  Reviews seemed mixed on this one, so by all means try it and see what you think. 

3/5 stars
(eGalley)

25 comments:

  1. Hmmm....I know what you mean about the 'blurb' descriptions. It seems to me that many books are labelled psychological thrillers or somesuch and they are not quite that in my opinion. I do think there seems to be a lot more blurring of the lines between genres. Which is fine, but a little confusing when you get into a story and then it doesn't quite go the way you thought it would. I've been interested in this one, but will keep your thought in mind. I have so many books that I'm interested in right now. Sometimes it's hard to decide which to try next. ;-)

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    1. Honestly, I tend to decide what to read next from the BLURBS - often a huge mistake.

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  2. I wonder if you would have liked it more if it had been more aptly described.

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    1. Then I might not have even tried it; double edged sword I guess.

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  3. Over the years I have found that back cover book descriptions often, but not always, greatly misrepresent the contents of a book.

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    1. Me too Brian and for a while tried to stop reading them, but I was unsuccessful, kinda like some diets I've tried LOL

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  4. I just did a review for a book today that sounded really good from the blurb. While I liked the book, I didn't love it.

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  5. I just did a review for a book today that sounded really good from the blurb. While I liked the book, I didn't love it.

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  6. Blurbs are so often wrong but I still read them 😉 shame this is a disappointment as I had thought it sounded really good.

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    1. I MUST read the blurbs and then criticize them afterward LOL

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  7. HA! We've had new neighbors that didn't live up to their billing either.

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  8. The blurb made me want to rush out and buy this book right away. Sorry to hear it was more women's fiction than literary... think I'll try to get it from the library.

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  9. Sometimes I wonder who writes the blurbs, especially when they don't match the story.

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    1. Yes, I hate when they compare books to other books written by a certain author I loved...LOL

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  10. I can see where you would be disappointed with this if you were expecting a thriller. I've been disappointed a few times by either blurbs or covers not really showing what the book is about. I like the idea of the book and the idea of living up in a mountain retreat reading mysteries sounds quite lovely but I'm not sure this is a book that will go to the top of the pile. I might keep it in mind if I see it at the library but I won't go in expecting a thriller.

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    1. Katherine, I do hope some of my readers try it; maybe it was just me LOL

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  11. I'm sorry you were disappointed...I actually loved it, but then, that's how it works out sometimes. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I know you did and that's why I was wondering if it was just bad timing for me and I was feeling too impatient for something to happen as I read.

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  12. I know how flat one feels when one went into a book with high hopes! happens to all of us when its just so so.

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  13. I am more interested in it now after your review than the blurb. I don't need literary and I like women's fiction - adding to my wish list!

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