Friday, 18 August 2017

Book Review: The People at Number Nine by Felicity Everett

The Blurb
Meet the new neighbours. Whose side are you on?
Have you met the People at Number 9?
Sara and Neil have new neighbours in their street. Glamorous and chaotic, Gav and Lou make Sara’s life seem dull. As the two couples become friends, sharing suppers, red wine and childcare, it seems a perfect couples-match. But the more Sara sees of Gav and Lou, the more she longs to change her own life. But those changes will come at a price.

My Review

Thank you to the publisher, HQ, for the review copy.

Sex, lust, envy, secrets and lies - this book has it all. 

Go on, admit it. When someone new moves in close by, you're curious, aren't you? What kind of people are they? Are they my kind of people? Am I their kind of people? Do I want to be their kind of people...?

It's quite possible we've encountered people like Gav and Lou ourselves. Families who seem perfect on the outside; but at odds with society, slightly bohemian in the way they don't give a fig about how they should behave. You might envy them, like Sara and Neil.

Sara is bored with life in the suburbs, then excited beyond belief when she befriends her new neighbours, eschewing regular friendships in favour of wanting to be their new best friend. Even husband Neil finds himself drawn into their lives.

It's a satirical look at society, marriage and friendships going askew. I found it hard to find much sympathy with any of the characters, apart from perhaps the long-suffering children. Sara is shallow and sycophantic; Lou and Gav love themselves far too much and even Neil grates after a while. As for being on anyone's 'side' - I disliked them all! 

Why would Lou and Gav be so anxious to be friends with Sara and Neil? They're wittier, more attractive (apparently) than them, so is it some kind of power play? It certainly seems that way.

This book got under my skin, in a rather uncomfortable way as opposed to winning me over. There's not much in the way of redemption. It's more of a snapshot, like a peeping Tom, peering through the window at suburban life. I can't say I particularly enjoyed the book, it was more of a tawdry compulsion.

You can buy The People at Number Nine here

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