The Girl Next Door, by Elizabeth Noble
Internationally best-selling author Elizabeth Noble was born in Britain and recently moved to the United States with her husband. Other titles include: The Reading Group, The Friendship Test, and Alphabet Weekends. She resides in New York.
Ed Gallagher's promotion forces a move from the U.K. to New York, so he and his wife, Eve, are thrilled to find the perfect apartment, though Eve feels secluded and alone, struggling to meet people, until she befriends Violet Wallace, an 82-year-old fellow Englishwoman in her building who relays to her the story of how she got to Manhattan. Meanwhile, trust fund baby Jackson Grayling III has fallen in love with Emily Mikanowski, a quiet beauty living downstairs, while Emily's downstairs neighbor and friend, the nearly invisible Charlotte, works up the nerve to speak to Che, the Cuban doorman. The Kramers and Schulmans, married couples with young children, struggle with two sets of very different marital problems. The Girl Next Door draws you into the intertwining loves, lives, and loss of an Upper East Side, NY apartment complex and its inhabitants.
I don’t know fully what to make of this book. I spent the first half feeling like a fly on the wall, listening in on mundane trivial lives, and the last half engaged to the hilt, rooting for a happy ending. There are several characters in this book, but the author tells you at each section which head you are in, making it easier to follow the many stories. This is really a women’s fiction with romantic elements. The stories were sad, sweet, heart-breaking, maddening, and sometimes just boring. I’m afraid I can’t say too much without giving away the whole plot, but it really makes you wonder if someone truly does have it all, what’s actually in the mind of the person next to you, and just what really goes on in the lives of your neighbors.
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