Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman Review

Carpool mom, Frances Bloom, often finds herself in the middle of her neighbors’ lives. She knows about her cousin’s desires, Bill’s wife not being home for reasons unknown, and now, Anne Porter’s mess. Try as she might to not get involved, Frances again finds herself in a complicated situation that has serious consequences; not only for Anne’s family but for the rest of the neighborhood. In all the commotion, Frances must also navigate her own family life all while still being the reliable neighbor that she is known to be.
I gave this book a three out of five stars on Goodreads.com. There were funny scenes mixed in with the drama. Although this book made me laugh out loud at times, I didn’t find the plot to be overly compelling. I appreciate that the author didn’t jump around on perspective too much; however, the little bit she did, I found to be pointless and didn’t move the plot forward a lot. This book mostly focused on the story of Frances and Anne. Anything outside of the main storyline of Anne’s affair was just there for the sake of being there. You really are reading about what other people are doing in their own homes.
I enjoyed the little funny moments and the trueness of motherhood this book presented. I really could relate to Frances as a parent. I found myself nodding to true moments and laughing out loud to the moments that I really could relate to. I also enjoyed the development of Frances’ relationship with her teen daughter. Frances didn’t hold anything back and even though she seemed to be in the middle of everyone’s drama, she truly does care about the welfare of her neighbors. She is a loyal friend no matter what situation they are in. For me, Frances was my favorite character.
What could have made this book better for me would have been getting rid of all the unnecessary parts that didn’t drive the plot or really affect the plot at all. I feel like some of the different perspectives were just there for the sake of being there. I would have also liked to of seen Anne develop more as a character. The ending is another thing that didn’t really do it for me. There wasn’t really resolve. I found myself 30 pages from the end still trying to figure out how the author was going to wrap it up because out of nowhere, she throws in a little twist, but it doesn’t do much for the central story. Yes, it grabbed my attention and she tried to tie it in, but it wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.
Overall, it was just an okay book. I’m not sure it will be put on my must recommend list. There were a few funny moments, but not enough for me to call it a hilarious book. Some phrases I liked because they were real, but again the book wasn’t chock full of them.
“We all need something. No one gets out of here alone, babe.” -Abbi Waxman, Other People’s Houses

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