Review: The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

The Color Project

Series : N/A

Publisher Gatekeeper Press

Source : Author

Release Date : July 18th 2017


 gripping domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Amanda Prowse and Kerry Fisher.

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.

But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange’s compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won’t let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park – and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread – and they’ll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.

Tash M

Hepworth is one of few new authors I have had the pleasure of reading this year. I finally read   her 2016 release, The Secrets we Keep earlier this year and enjoyed it a lot. She is an engaging storyteller tackling real issues with dignity and honesty  Now she  is back with her latest release , The Family Next Door which is told in  the same vein. However Hepworth returns with a brand new story that revolves around a bunch of characters that are connected by friendship and  secrets  that threaten to destroy everything they know.

Pleasant Court is home to four vary different woman who all holding secrets that threaten to destroy their carefully built lives.  It’s the sort of neighbourhood where everyone knows each other and children are safe. Well nearly,  as soon learn there are plenty of well kept secrets that threaten to turn this neighbourhood upside down and that they all need other to survive the storm

From the perfectly presented Ange to newcomer , Isabella who  arrival has the neighbours in uproar. The woman in particular who all worry that her arrival might cause a few tensions around the area.  Ange is the unofficial leader of the group , is the one who leads  the charge for change with the future, hiding away from the real problem.  Her obsession to have the perfect life which is controlled  done to the very last second , hiding away the real problem. Through the other woman we see this picture but the POV of Ange reveals a very different picture . A  painful secret that threatens to erupt and destroy her entire perfect life. If she chooses pursue it . Nevertheless she plods on until , the strings start to unravel by the other woman and she finds herself wanting to find answers like the others.

Fran and Esssie, both mums of young kids but in two very different scenarios that both threaten their  motherhood  journey and more. Fran  is the intelligent of the group. The lawyer who is on maternity leave who is questioning her marriage and the choices she made. Pounding the pavement and questioning things constantly in her head is what we are presented with  in her POV. All around a new baby  that leaves plenty of questions what is the secret a young baby holding that could threaten her marriage like Ange.

And then is Essie,  who is the soul of this book, who story shapes the others and ties them together. Her journey as mother has been tough and  presents a raw image of struggles with depression and trying to prove herself in her POV

Then there is Isabella, the new arrival who hit close to home for the group and opens these wounds. There something about her that no one can put a finger on and she opens up the can of worms and there is no turning back. She doesn’t offer much herself until the other secrets  start tumbling out .  Nevertheless she a key intriguing part of this story even though she seems so different but slowly there appears to be signs that show how this ties together.  She may open wounds but Isabella, is no bad person, she is someone seeking answers herself and it’s an interesting situation as the other women obsession opens up everything about motherhood and marriage.


Motherhood is never easy but in this book, it’s raw and confrontal   pared with marriage and it becomes a twisted ball that has no beginning or ending. Hepworth weaves this book well, toying with emotions and visual scenes that leaves the readers hooked till the dying pages. As the secrets emerge it seems that they have powerful lessons. It’s a gripping novel that tackles domestic beautiful in Hepworth hometown.



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