Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

Title: The People at Number 9
Author: Felicity Everett
Published: August 2017, HQ
Format: ARC Paperback, 315 pages
Source: Publisher

Have you met them yet, the new couple?

When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara's street seem dull by comparison.

When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another's houses.

And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they've no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them...

Have you met The People at Number 9? A dark and delicious novel about envy, longing and betrayal in the suburbs...

My thoughts: Sometimes you pick up a book thinking it's going to be one type of read when in reality, it turns out to be something completely different...that's what this book was. Not that it was a bad book - but it just wasn't quite what I was expecting. 

This is a dark, domestic drama - and I should warn you, it's a little strange. But it's also one of those books that you just need to keep reading to see how it all plays out - kind of like the car accident that you just need to look at.  This is a people-watcher type of book if that's such a thing. It gets under your skin and while I didn't necessarily connect with either couple, I found them all rather intriguing. 

Very much a character-driven novel, this one is about an intense friendship that turns out to be toxic. It has one narrator, Sara,  which I found to be refreshing. I read a lot of books where there are multiple narrators, so it's nice to have just one person telling the story sometimes. The new neighbors dazzle the old neighbors and it's a bit of the grass being greener on the other side, but just how long does the last? As these neighbors start spending more and more time together and their lives become more and more intertwined, jealously and contempt rise their ugly heads - is this friendship more one-sided than it appears?

While I was expecting more of a twisty, thriller-type read, it's the subtleness of the dark undertones that really makes this book stand out. It's an intriguing read for sure! So, for a book that wasn't quite what I expected, it turned out to still be a good read. Has that happened to you?