GoodReads blurb: At any given moment in other people’s houses, you can find…repressed hopes and dreams…moments of unexpected joy…someone making love on the floor to a man who is most definitely not her husband…
As the longtime local carpool mom, Frances Bloom is sometimes an unwilling witness to her neighbors’ private lives. She knows her cousin is hiding her desire for another baby from her spouse, Bill Horton’s wife is mysteriously missing, and now this…
After the shock of seeing Anne Porter in all her extramarital glory, Frances vows to stay in her own lane. But that’s a notion easier said than done when Anne’s husband throws her out a couple of days later. The repercussions of the affair reverberate through the four carpool families–and Frances finds herself navigating a moral minefield that could make or break a marriage.
Other People’s Houses reminded me of Desperate Housewives and the women I was obsessed with for 8 years (and thanks to Hulu, still am). Their neighborhood was reminiscent of Wisteria Lane and I loved every minute of it.
Frances Bloom is a stay-at-home mom who runs the neighborhood carpool and sometimes finds herself knowing more about her neighbors lives than she bargains for. One morning Frances walks in on neighbor Anne..on the floor..naked..with a man who is not her husband. As hard as she tries to stay out of it, Frances is still drug into the middle of the drama and the sh*tshow that follows.
The book bounces between many different characters POV but it is mainly told by Frances. Frances is hilarious and snarky, but caring and honest and felt like an actual person. I am not a mother, but one day I hope to parent just like Frances, with a sense of humor and empathy for the little monsters you have birthed. The conversations with her 14 year old daughter were seriously Mom goals and the late-night talks with her husband had me laughing out loud and also swooning in a weird kind of way. Their “romance” wasn’t your typical romance, which I loved because I get so tired of couples swinging from crazy in love to cheating and hating each other. This felt REAL. Real adults, real conversations, real tired.
“Marriage had so little to do with the bedroom, and so much to do with every other room in the house.”
Frances is officially my new best book friend. Am I #fangirling too hard over here?
I really can’t say that there’s anything I DIDN’T like about this book. The conversations felt incredibly real and raw, and the relationships between characters was just as genuine. The emotional roller coaster of the neighbors affair and the fallout that followed wasn’t at all predictable and held my attention in the best way. Also, I can hands down say this was the funniest book I have ever read. I LOL’ed like an idiot multiple times.
Now, this isn’t one of those books that book clubs everywhere will be obsessing over and having serious discussions about (ex. The Light We Lost, The Nightingale, The Goldfinch) but if your book club wants a funny, relatable read that is enjoyable and entertaining and makes you think, (but not too much) Other People’s Houses should be on your list. I will definitely be reading Waxman’s other novel, The Garden of Small Beginnings.
From her website, abbiwaxman.com:
Abbi Waxman was born in England in 1970, the oldest child of two copywriters who never should have been together in the first place. Once her father ran off to buy cigarettes and never came back, her mother began a highly successful career writing crime fiction. She encouraged Abbi and her sister Emily to read anything and everything they could pull down from the shelves, and they did. Naturally lazy and disinclined to dress up, Abbi went into advertising, working as a copywriter and then a creative director at various advertising agencies in London and New York. Clients ranged from big and traditional, (AT&T, Chase Manhattan Bank, IBM, American Express, Unilever, Mercedes-Benz) to big and morally corrupt (R. J. Reynolds) to big and larcenous (Enron). Eventually she quit advertising, had three kids and started writing books, TV shows and screenplays, largely in order to get a moment’s peace. Abbi lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three kids, three dogs, three cats, a gecko, two mice and six chickens. Every one of these additions made sense at the time, it’s only in retrospect that it seems foolhardy. Feel free to drop her a line, she readily welcomes any excuse to stop working and do something else.
I received a free copy of Other People’s Houses from the lovely people at Berkley Publishing in exchange for my unbiased and honest review. It is truly my pleasure to share my thoughts with fellow bookworms!