Friday, 23 October 2015

Review: The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan

Author: Amy Sue Nathan
Genre: Women's Fiction
Page Length: 272 Pages
Publication Date: October 13th, 2015
Publishers: St. Martin's Griffin
Goodreads | Amazon
Things are a little rough for Izzy Lane. Still reeling from the break-up of her marriage, the newly single mom moves back to the Philadelphia home she grew up in, five-year-old Noah in tow. The transition is difficult, but with the help of her best friends—and her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman—Izzy feels like she’s stepping closer to her new normal. Until her ex-husband shows up with his girlfriend. That’s when Izzy invents a boyfriend of her own. And that’s when life gets complicated.

Blogging about her “new guy” provides Izzy with something to do when Noah’s asleep. What’s the harm in a few made-up stories? Then, her blog soars in popularity and she’s given the opportunity to moonlight as an online dating expert. How can she turn it down? But when her friends want to meet the mysterious “Mac,” someone online suspects Izzy’s a fraud, and a guy in-real-life catches her eye, Izzy realizes just how high the stakes are. That’s when Mrs. Feldman steps in, determined to show her neighbor the havoc that lies can wreak. If Izzy’s honest, she could lose everything, and everyone. Is the truth worth any cost?

It's always exciting to read about Bloggers as I am one among those many who find comfort and enjoyment at blogging. The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan tells the story of an anonymous famous blogger who loved to write, it wasn't merely a hobby to her, but an escapade from the monotony of the life. It was the description, which grabbed my attention. The pastel color of the cover also enticed me into picking it up,  a pretty one to look at.

Izzy has moved back to the parents's  house with son, Noah after a broken marriage. Working as a student counselor, she struggles to meet the ends and provide a better life to Noah. She hopes to find the rhythm again and be back to a normal life with friends and neighbors support. Bumping into Ex-husband and his new girlfriend, fills the Izzy's heart with rage and jealousy. She invents an imaginary boyfriend, Max and starts blogging about him. The blog gets a large number of hits and the readers are pouring comments on each blog post. It becomes popular, albeit the intention was just letting others believe that she is having a good time sans Ex-husband. She is offered to work on a big platform now, but the things have started to tumble down, when a reader starts threatening on being fake. Izzy is forced to come clean, which can mess up her whole new life. What will Izzy do? Is it possible to lead a life made up of lies?

I really liked this novel. The novel has a very relevant message in it; a life built upon lies will collapse at any moment. Izzy makes up stories about an imaginary boyfriend. The lie was much prettier than the truth. Izzy feels safe and secured and starts to embrace that new life. But much deeper in her heart, she knew that she was wrong. There were moments she could have admitted the truth, but, she becomes frightened or reluctant at times, despite her brother and Mrs. Feldman's warnings. It is a predictable story with an eye-opening message. I was hesitant about reading the blogger's updates on their life today, wondering whether they were telling the truth or not. Thought provoking? yes, I think so. Social media has become a powerful weapon nowadays and this novel reminds us not  to be bothered with the trends and news every day, because most of them are fake.

My favorite part of the novel is Lizzy's bonding with her neighbor, Mrs. Feldman. Despite the age gap, they share a wonderful companionship and care for each other. I was a bit sad reading what happened with Mrs. Feldman. I had a different ending to this story in mind, but the author has ended it nicely. There was nothing intriguing about this novel, but a good one, indeed! In a nutshell, The Good Neighbor is a light, quick read with likable characters and a significant message. Recommended if you are looking for a quick women's fiction novel.

My Rating (4/5)
Happy Reading!