My rating: (2 / 5)
Well, this book, it…
I mean I just…
I thought this was going to be a happy, quirky sort of fun summer read. And it kind of started out that way, but any book that needs several pages at the beginning to outline exactly who all the characters are before it starts probably has too many main characters. I started off confused. I think I would have preferred not having the list as it gave me too many prejudices against different characters and definitely didn’t help me keep anyone straight, as I kept getting the male characters confused with one another anyway, and there are little mini bios of people who don’t really even show up in the story except in brief mentions in other people’s dialogue and such.
There were parts of the book that I really liked, and characters I thought were really interesting – in particular Violet, who moved to the US from England as a war bride after WWII and Eve, who also moved from England as her husband was transferred with her work. They used a lot of British slang that was funny and cute for their characters. But so did every other character in the book! I’m talking about people who were raised in California and Manhattan using terms – in one memorable case – that I had to look up! That was just weird. And also very confusing.
Then the book got very sad. I’m not going to leave a spoiler trail as to why, but it touched on some stuff that hit home with me pretty hard. This actually isn’t a light book, it’s quite serious emotionally in places.
I still don’t know who the girl next door is. There are so many girls and women in this book that it could be any one of a number of people. Some fall in love, some fall out of love, some have heartbreak and tragedy, some get cheated on, some think they got cheated on, and so on. There are so many characters in this book that it’s hard to get terribly attached to any one of them, so in a lot of the cases, I just didn’t care.
I guess, when it comes right down to it, I’m fairly ambivalent about the whole lot of girls next door in this case.