The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon
MIRA Books: 3/13/18
eBook review copy; 384 pages
The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon is an exploration of marital relationships and domestic drama.
Abby is responsible for the car crash in 1992 that killed her beloved
brother, something for which she can't forgive herself (and neither can
her mother). After the accident she rebuff the affection of Liam, her
boyfriend and true love, and broke up with him because she knew he would
soon hate her as much as she hated herself too. It is now twenty years
later and Abby is married to Nate. Nate pulled her to safety the night
of the accident, but was unable to save her brother before the car burst
into flames. It is their shared guilt that binds them together, as
well as their daughter Sarah. It is clear that Nate is much more
committed to their relationship than Abby.
Now a new couple has moved next door and much to Abby's shock it is
Liam, his wife Nancy, and their son Zac. When Liam doesn't admit to
knowing Abby, Abby follows suit. Their unrevealed past results in more
complications. The attraction between the two is still evident, although
Abby pretends to dislike their new neighbors. She also is desperate to
keep Sarah and Zac apart. Adding to the complications is Nancy's
flirting and secret agenda regarding Nate.
Get ready for a melodrama of daytime serial magnitude in The Neighbors.
The narrative jumps back and forth in time and between the different
voices of the characters which serves to showcase the background of the
characters and their current thoughts. There is a plethora of
entanglements and scheming. Expect an abundance of secrets, hidden
history, and duplicitous plans going on behind the scenes. It all
becomes a rather entangled mess.
The writing is good and moves the plot forward, albeit rather slowly at
the beginning while the various complications and deceit between the
characters is being set up. And there is a whole lot to set up... While
many reviewers seemed to enjoy The Neighbors, I had two looming
problems with it: the sheer predictability
of the plot and the uninspired ending. I knew what the twists would
be almost immediately. I continued reading simply to see when they would
be revealed - and if I was correct (I was). It took a long time to get
there, though. The Neighbors is a good novel; however, it isn't quite to my preferred inclination in fiction.
My review copy was courtesy of MIRA Books.