just finished reading

I'm kind of scratching my head about the genre:  mystery? noir? literary fiction?  It isn't quite any of them.  There are a lot of twisty elements, almost too many.  And the book is full, and I mean FULL, of tropes and stereotypes.  The narrative is told through several points of view and also through newspaper articles, magazines, and books written about the events of that fateful summer on Maple Street--which I thought was interesting.  I had a hard time keeping track of the timeline, especially when the narrative articles were published.  But I think my biggest problem is how mental health issues are handled.  Maybe that's part of the skewering of suburbia and the appearance of perfection.  It's going to provide MUCH fodder for our book group discussion.

From the publisher:
Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world.

Arlo Wilde, a gruff has-been rock star who’s got nothing to show for his fame but track marks, is always two steps behind the other dads. His wife, beautiful ex-pageant queen Gertie, feels socially ostracized and adrift. Spunky preteen Julie curses like a sailor and her kid brother Larry is called “Robot Boy” by the kids on the block.

Their next-door neighbor and Maple Street’s Queen Bee, Rhea Schroedera lonely community college professor repressing her own dark pastwelcomes Gertie and family into the fold. Then, during one spritzer-fueled summer evening, the new best friends share too much, too soon.

As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes that spins out of control. Suddenly, it is one mom’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.

A riveting and ruthless portrayal of American suburbia, Good Neighbors excavates the perils and betrayals of motherhood and friendships and the dangerous clash between social hierarchy, childhood trauma, and fear.


1 comment:

The Gal Herself said...

Hmmm ... I've read Peyton Place and Someone We Know. Do I want to make it a suburban paranoia triad? These are, after all, my people. :)