Saturday, December 11, 2021

Dear Great Book Guru, So much going on in Sea Cliff with the Children’s Library “Nutcracker”, the Scrooge Stroll, and the Holiday Lighting celebration at Clifton Park!  Everything was great fun, but now I need some down time with a good book - nothing deep- just a good story. Seeking Some Serenity

Dear Seeking Some Serenity, I recently finished a book you might enjoy but I’m not sure it makes for serene reading:  THE NEIGHBOR’S SECRET by L. Alison Heller.  This mystery novel uses an ongoing book club as its organizing principle. Every few chapters, we read a chatty message sent to the members of the club based in an affluent suburban community, and these messages are amusing and will be uncomfortably familiar to many book club members.  The novel introduces multiple characters - perhaps too many - with three of the women highlighted:  Lena - an older woman living alone and estranged from her daughter; Annie - a middle aged guidance counselor who is coping with a troubled teen age daughter; and Jen - a young mother dealing with the thought her son might be a dangerous sociopath.  Throughout the book, we fear the many secrets these women are hiding will somehow come together in an explosive finale and - of course - they do! In what seems to be tranquil but intellectually stimulating monthly discussions of the latest novels, we find a painful tale of lies and secrets bridging many generations.  A thought-provoking read and recommended! 


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