Title: The Woman Next Door
Author: Cass Green
Published by: One More Chapter
Publication date: 22 July 2016
This book came up in my recommended reads via Kobo email, it sounded pretty different and interesting so I picked it up for the bargain price of 99p.
I am still not entirely sure what to make of this book. On the one hand I found the story entrancing and enjoyed picking it up to read. Yet I found myself feeling very uncomfortable while reading it, and it wasn’t the good sort of discomfort that might be experienced while engaging with a quirky book and I find myself lacking in ability to adequately describe the sensation.
The Woman Next Door, is a story of two radically different women that bond over an unfortunate event. Melissa is a woman with a tragic past that has turned her life around and buried her secret past deep within herself. Her next door neighbor, Hester, is the strange, old woman that she once shared a friendship with but has moved on from – much to Hesters disappointment. Of the two characters, I found Hester the most interesting to read about, she was very well written and most of the uncomfortable vibes I got throughout the book were during her chapters. I also found her story a lot more engaging and incredulous. Whereas the reveals bout Melissa felt a little lackluster in comparison.
The story certainly has it’s ups and downs. The middle section of the book is by far superior to the rest as the characters come together and their individual personalities start to shine over the event that brings them together – a murder. How they cope (or don’t) with the event and the trials is brings. The tension runs rife and it’s well handled and I enjoyed this part of the book the most. However, things get a little bit far-fetched towards the end and it felt very off-the-mark in regards to the rest of the story; which is a bit of a shame really as it feels like it has let down a perfectly good book.
The format – alternating point of view chapters – helps carry the story well there is sometimes a little overlap of events in the chapters to give each characters opinions a voice on the shared situation, which I felt was a little jarring and stalled the story slightly.
While I enjoyed the tale being told and the characters were great to read about, I did feel as though there was something a little ‘off’ about the book as a whole and I cannot shake the strange feeling it gave me – I’d look out for future offerings of Cass Green, as this was her debut adult novel, but I’m glad I didn’t spend more than 99p on this particular offering.