Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan - A Book Review

If you’re looking for a great piece of literary noir, look no further. Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan has created a story that you will be reflecting on for quite some time.

Plot Summary

The story is set in 2027 on Maple Street, in a Long Island New York suburb. This street is picture perfect, with the children on the street binding their parents together. The newest family on the street is made up of Arlo Wilde, a former rock star, his former beauty pageant wife Gertie, his preteen daughter Julie, and his son Larry who has some unusual behaviours. The neighbour across the street is Rhea Schroeder, the organizer on the street with a dark past and usual behaviours of her own. She is well respected on the street and every adult wants to be her friend. She initially welcomed the Wilde family to the street and Rhea and Gertie become good friends. One night over too much wine, the two disclosed to each other a bit too much about themselves. Since then, the friendly relationship was dissolved. Rhea is in a marriage of convenience and has several children including Shelly, who falls into a sinkhole in a nearby park, initiating an outrageous chain of events which divides the street.

Book Review

If I had to choose one word to describe the book, I would have to say, “Wow”. This was such an interesting, yet tragic read and I was engaged throughout. The character development was excellent and I felt I was learning about these characters right to the very end of the book. This story is emotionally charged, and not only speaks to the importance of safety and security in your home and neighbourhood, but also how easily rumours get started and perpetuated. There are several characters with mental health issues and tainted pasts. I felt that the descriptions of the heat of the summer, combined with the bitumen on the streets oozing from the sinkhole, enhanced the palpable tension on the street. I had so many emotions while reading this book - anger, shock, and surprise to name just a few. One has to think - is the sinkhole symbolic of the chasm between Rhea and Gertie and the events that followed?

What I Liked About Good Neighbors
  • Excellent character development
  • Descriptions of the neighborhood
  • The emphasis on the polarity of opinion of the neighborhood
  • The strength and role of the children
What I Would Have Like to be Different
  • The story might be a little too slow paced for some readers
I Recommend Good Neighbors To

I highly recommend this book to those that love literary noir or General Fiction.

Acknowledgments and Publication

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan publishes on February 2, 2021.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5.

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  1. Oh wow, this does sound like an intense read! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

  2. This sounds like a very interesting read! I'm looking forward to read this after your description and i love when there's great character development! Thanks for sharing x

  3. Wow. Seems like an intense read. I enjoy books in which the author focuses on character development because those books keep getting interesting and gripping till the end. Also the rumours and polarity of minds is inevitable and evident all over. Sits well with the nature of protagonists you pictured in your review. Well written! Thanks for sharing x

    Isa a. Blogger

  4. Oh what an amazing recommendation - I'll definitely have to check this out, it sounds incredible. Great review!

  5. This sounds like an amazing read! I always get way too invested when the characters are that well developed so this sounds like the kind of thing I wouldn't be able to put down. Definitely going to check this one out x


  6. Good Neighbors sounds like an interesting read - especially with how an author visions an alternative future. Oh man, one night really changed everything! It is always good to see some interesting character development. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ✨