Alyson and Justin Tinsdale have recently moved to Denver, Colorado from Nebraska. They have been married for seven years and have one five year old son. A social climber, Alyson pressured Justin into purchasing a house that they could not afford in order that she could appear to be affluent and to be able to enroll her young son in a well rated elementary school. Since their move, the financial pressure has become crippling and their marriage is floundering. Alyson is envious of her neighbor’s seemingly perfect lives and longs to be accepting into their cliques.
Bonnie and Bennet Sloan are the ‘king’ and ‘queen’ of the elite suburban enclave with jaw-dropping views of the Rocky Mountains. They are the parents of three children and have a family business. Since Bennet’s father passed away, the business is floundering… a fact that the Benson’s don’t want to made public knowledge.
When a tragedy befalls one of the families in the enclave, the ‘perfect’ neighbors begin to show their true colors – with alcohol and social media playing a huge role.
This thoroughly modern domestic thriller was indeed a page turner, though to be brutally honest I wasn’t that fond of the protagonist, Alyson Tinsdale. She was too insecure, she drank too much, and though she loved her son, she was seriously lacking in parenting skills.
My favorite character was Bonnie Sloan. She seemed a more empathetic woman in my opinion.
The neighborhood tragedy was one written with understanding and realism.
The novel spoke to the oftentimes detrimental effect social media can have on an already tenuous and delicate situation. It covered themes of materialism, parenting, marriage breakdown, and parental grief.
The ending tied up the novel’s loose ends in a neat and satisfactory way. I would definitely read this author’s work again when I am in the mood for a thoroughly modern thriller.This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Sourcebooks Landmark via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9781728206684 – ASIN: B08VDKSZBW — 352 pages
Rebecca Taylor was born to a single British teen during a February blizzard in Green Bay, Wisconsin. When she was three, her mother met and married a US Marine. Like many children of military families, Rebecca spent the next fifteen years of her life moving. From Canada to Okinawa, and then all over the United States, she attended eight different schools before graduating high school.
Given that, she didn’t really understand how people managed to stay in one place for more than twelve months. So, she spent her twenties working as an international flight attendant while pursuing degrees in psychology and sociology. It wasn’t until she was pregnant with her first child and working on her graduate degree in psychology that she began writing fiction.
Rebecca has since written eight novels: ASCENDANT won the Colorado Book Award in 2014, and AFFECTIVE NEEDS was a finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award in 2017. HER PERFECT LIFE was her first work of psychological fiction and was published by Sourcebooks in 2020.
Thankfully, Rebecca did eventually learn how to sit and stay. She currently lives in sunny Colorado with her husband, two teens, two dogs, two cats, two fish…there seems to be something about the number two for her.
THE SECRET NEXT DOOR, her eighth novel, was published by Sourcebooks on November 9th, 2021.
Follow Rebecca Taylor on Twitter @RebeccaAuthor ;
or on Instagram @RebeccaTaylorBooks