The Liar Next Door

The Liar Next Door by Nicola Marsh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three new neighbors have something in common, and they share more than just an address.

Frankie is an Instagram celebrity. But once the camera lights are off, she struggles with insecurity and marital problems. Her new neighbors are single mom Celeste and a mommy-to-be Saylor. In need of privacy and unwanted attention, Celeste moves into the closed community under the shade of the night. Also, she has an unnatural obsession with Frankie’s daughter. And now Saylor, young mother to be who obsessively throws neighborhood gatherings. At the first glance – it’s a typical community, but our three neighbors are connected by a web of secrets.

The novel has started well, I was into the book, but the more I read, the plot turned into a telenovela. Instead of the mystery, I was met with lots and lots of relationship drama. In addition, there were many loose ends that either didn’t make any sense or were simply overdone at the end. For example, Walter and Ronals, have been portraited as completely opposite characters, they just had no connection. And the reason behind Saylor’s move into the community was, in my opinion – excessive. While this is not my cup of tea, I still would like to give an author a credit for perfectly tying all the strings at the end. It was a pretty remarkable situation all the characters found themselves in. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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The English Wife

The English Wife by Adrienne Chinn

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The destiny brought two England-born women together on the other side of the world known as Newfoundland.

Ellie’s post-war life brought her to the beautiful seaside of Tippy’s Tickle at the end of WWII. After reuniting with her war husband, Ellie settled down in her new hometown where together with Thomas they raised their growing family. Times were challenging. And despite the unfair treatment of her mother-in-law, after Thomas’ death – Ellie remained living in her new home country.

The horrors of the Twin Tower attacks on September 11, 2001, played a very major role in Ellie’s life. She reunited with the last remaining relative from her birth country, Sophie. Sophie always knew of her estranged aunt, but per her mother’s insistence – never kept in touch. But everything in life happens for a reason. And Sophie’s plane rerouting to Newfoundland was a universe’s way of giving the two women a chance to get to know one another and finally learn the truth about their past and connection.

The pace of the novel was slow but it picked up close to the middle of the book. I was hooked to the story for the most part of it – till I got to the last few chapters. The build-up of the plot was so good, unfortunately, the ending in my opinion was very predictable and mushy. The “secret” twists were foreseeable. And while Ellie seemed to have her closure, what happened to Emmett’s? I wish his story didn’t end in such a wasted way. I also feel there was so much potential in Dottie’s character, however, she was poorly portrayed in the novel. In the end, the novel felt like a Hallmark movie.

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