The Woman Next Door by Barbara Delinsky

The Woman Next Door - Barbara Delinsky

I plucked this audio out of the bag I keep in my car. It’s been in there a while but I figured now was as good a time as any to finally give it a listen. I’ve been on a horror binge lately and needed a bit of a breather from all of the bloodshed.


At the midway point, I have to admit, I was hoping for some bloodshed that would put an end to one, two or perhaps all, of these insufferably miserable people. It didn’t happen but I hung in there and things did improve a little. Not a lot but enough to keep me from DNFing the thing.


This is the story of what happens when three well-to-do married couples spend too much time navel gazing and poking into each other’s business but mostly it’s about what happens to a marriage when three unhappy wives fear their spouse has impregnated the pretty widow across the way. They’ve shunned the woman (even before the pregnancy) and she won’t reveal who the daddy is when they finally spare her a few moments of conversation only so they can get all nosey. Hahaha, serves you right you cliquey witches!


I have to admit that some dark part of me thoroughly enjoyed watching these women work themselves up into a jealous tizzy when Gretchen evades their questions. And it says much about this book that the most sympathetic character, for the majority of the story, turns out to be the young, widowed trophy wife. I felt terribly sorry for her and her loneliness and grief and feelings of exclusion were written very well. About a third of the way in, one of the wives, who is having a helluva time conceiving (and we get a first row seat to every tedious detail and moment of angst), turns a corner and I ended up enjoying her story but she took a little too long to get there.

The audio was capably read by Laura Hicks. She does a good job with the narrative and the voices (even the males) with the noted exception of one of the wives named Karen. She made her sound like a nasty, bitter hag but perhaps that was intentional?


If you like reading about marital woes and real life troubles, you may adore this book. I think I need to go back to fantasyland because this was too “real” for my liking.


Important Disclaimer:


I figured it was time to come clean. This is the guy who ghost writes my reviews. Don't let his goofy looks deceive you, he is slightly smarter than he appears but his taste in books is questionable and he DNF's all the time because he thinks he has better things to do than read lousy books. If you don't like something he writes, I don't recommend sneaking up on him unawares to give him a talking-to because he may eat your face off. He's a little nutzo. You can, however, try bribing him with treats to put him in a better mood. It's likely he'll only eat the treats and leave you with a slobbery hand. In that case, be thankful you still have the hand and slowly back away.