The Neighbours by Nicola Gill
Publishing Date: 6th February 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Buy the Book: Paperback
Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends.
Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Newly single and jobless, Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she encounters her downstairs neighbour for the very first time…
Cassie Frost was a once-loved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the uber-difficult, excessively prickly woman that lives below her floorboards?
Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have a lot more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds finally collide, they realise that sometimes – just sometimes – bad neighbours become good friends…
A funny, honest and moving exploration of life, love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties… and beyond. Perfect for fans of Holly Bourne, Beth O’Leary and Sarah Haywood’s The Cactus.
Ginny Taylor is almost sure that her on – again – off – again boyfriend Jack is finally ready to commit. But then she finds him in bed with her own boss. Now she’s not only single but also jobless.
Ginny’s neighbour Cassie Frost used to be a popular and well loved actress but it’s all in the past now. The recent stint on reality TV portrayed her really badly so she desperately needs a positive PR. Her neighbour Ginny is a publicist, so maybe those two can help each other?
The story is told from Ginny’s point of view but also going deep into other characters’ issues. However, even though Ginny was the main heroine, I think I could better connect with Cassie – she was simply more 3 – dimensional than Ginny, and she was strong, determined and had a passion, even when she was at the weakest point. Ginny, on the other hand, seemed too flat, too whinge-y and I somehow cannot warm to her completely. She made some really crappy decisions, I didn’t get her choices and altogether we couldn’t be friends, me and Ginny, even though I have a soft spot for characters with this name. But I liked the unlikely friendship that developed between the women, the way they embarked on life, life full of ups and downs, facing up to all the challenges. It is a story of two women, with rather ordinary lives, but this made them more believable and likeable, even though one of the character’s was an actress you could relate to them.
I loved the beginning of this book. It was funny, light – hearted and intriguing. But the more I read, the less hooking the book was coming. I started to have a feeling that it doesn’t know in which direction it wants to take us – there were many ideas, the author touched upon many issues but it felt underdeveloped and chopped. The main character wanted to befriend a neighbour? Done – chop. The main character didn’t want her boyfriend? Done – chop. The issues of depression? Chop. Short romance? Chop. Main character suddenly wants a baby? And then chop and it’s time for another issue.
The overall feeling that I got from this book was of sadness, darkness and depression. Actually, I was surprised at the change of tone, as the beginning was rather light, witty and engaging, and then, suddenly, the darkness came and where I was looking for light – hearted humour, I didn’t find any. And after that, it takes a bit of time to get into the heart of the story, as it seems a little disjointed and unstructured. It is a book with more depth than you expect, telling a story of the unlikely friendship, of growing to see the important things in life, also dealing with some heavier issues such as depression, showing the characters’ personal development. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it seems to be an issue lately, however it was still an enjoyable enough book.