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The People Next Door by Bettye Griffin
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The People Next Door

by Bettye Griffin

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What would happen if you were building your dream house, which you saved and searched for on a beautiful lake front only to find out that your ex and their new spouse just bought the house next door? That’s the premise in Ms. Griffin’s The People Next Door. Lisa and her husband Darrell have just bough a beautiful new house in St. Augustine/Jacksonville, Florida when they learn that Lisa’s ex-husbands’ and his new wife and children Suzanne are living next door.

I enjoyed this book a lot. To me it was a kind of a case study that touched on so many issues- class, race, love, family. The book alternates between the main characters of Suzanne, Lisa and also Flo and neighbor of Suzanne and Lisa’s who tries to befriend both of them with ulterior motives. This book is not chock full of drama like I’m sure many people were looking for, Rather it a story that looks at the situation instead and Ms. Griffin did an excellent job at portraying real emotions, real jealousy and real life situations.

My thoughts:

* My favorite characters were Flo & Ernie- the do-anything to keep up with the Jones, nose neighbors. I really enjoyed getting an inside perspective on that dynamic of a person. We all know someone like that and as annoying as they were they were my favorites. Perhaps because they were so authentic. In the end though I enjoyed all the characters.

* Many Amazon reviews indicated that this book was boring and slow and I completely disagree with that. This book is not your EJD, Sleeping with some else’s wives book. If you are looking for a book chock-full of craziness, drama and outrageous scenarios, this isn’t it. Rather this is a book that explores a nightmare come true, but the reality as the families are forced to deal with the situation- and realistically. Ms. Griffin also takes a look at the backdrop of each character’s life and examines class issues, jealousy, and family as well as a many other topics.

* The interaction between the characters was right on to me as were reactions and emotional descriptions. I think Ms. Griffin hit the nail on the head in character development.

* Apparently it seems that chapter titles and numbers are out. This is one of 4 books I’ve read in the past few months that instead of boring numbers, they used quotes. I enjoyed the clever quotes for each chapter which gave you an idea of what was coming up- gossip, family, friends ect.

* I found this an interesting book and in a way a case study on the issue in the book and I really enjoyed that aspect.

Overall- if you are looking for some crazy family drama- this is not the book for you. If you are interested in reading a good book- this one is it. ( )
  sunshine608 | Oct 18, 2007 |
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