Audiobook Review

The Secret Next Door

By
Rebecca Taylor
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average rating is 5 out of 5
Performance
average rating is 5 out of 5
Overall
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Excellent, Unforgettable, Best of the nest

Very good, thoroughly enjoyed, 

Good, Solid, Enjoyed many aspects

STAR RATINGS GUIDE

Big Bad Lies

THE BIRDICT

💛 Ooooh, this is all about very rich people being very bad and in my view that’s very, very good. So I hope you’re wearing your Gucci wellies cos we’re going squelching around in some elite muck. There is everything you would expect, from snarky comments and schoolyard politics to shady deals and actual politics.

💙 We hit the ground gossiping, beginning with new, insecure resident, Alyson, upsetting the sitting queen bee, Bonnie on social media. And from there we maintain a steady speed of salacious rumours, backstabbing and then (screech to a halt) the death of a child.

💚 I enjoyed this for the intrigue and, if I can be candid, because I enjoy being super judgy about fictional characters. It’s a victimless crime. And the characters in this are so brilliantly crafted, their motivations so real, that I was really invested in their stories.

🧡 This isn’t perfect. There are bits that feel disjointed, some requirements to suspend disbelief and the mystery is maintained mostly by skirting the subject like a Christmas tree. BUT, I had fun. I whizzed through this and I had feelings. Oh, the feelings. Overall, an enthusiastic thumbs up.

💚 Gave it away in the title, didn’t I… But just in case it was too subtle (and I'm renowned for my subtlety), this had major Big Little Lies vibes. And, as a fan of Liane Moriarty, I thoroughly approve.

💙 Quick insight into the murkiness of my internal monologue: IS this a thriller? I never consider Moriarty’s books as such. I’m straddling the fence here and it’s getting uncomfortable.

Big thanks to RB Media, Recorded Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ALC in return for an honest review.

SQUAWKING THE TALK

🎧 Tow-tally charmed by Libby McKnight’s performance. Lovely voice, neutral but expressive and I never noticed the switch between men/female voices, which I mean as a compliment. Never good to be overly aware that someone is “doing” a voice.

🎧 The running time is in the respectable neighbourhood of some ten and a half hours and this was an easy listen. If something (the kids, the cat, the apocalypse) distracted me it was easy to get back in.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: SIMILAR AUDIOBOOKS

No spoilers for this one. Maybe next time!
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The Secret Next Door

THE BLURB

How well do you really know your neighbors?

Alyson Tinsdale is giving her son the childhood she never had: a stable family, a loving home, and a great school in a safe neighborhood.

Bonnie Sloan is the neighborhood matriarch. With her oldest son headed to Yale, and her youngest starting kindergarten, Bonnie is now pursuing her own long-held political aspirations despite private family struggles.

When the open space behind some of the most expensive homes gets slated for development into an amusement facility, the neighborhood becomes deeply divided. The personal pressures and community conflicts ratchet with every passing day, but it's when a thirteen-year-old is found dead beside the neighborhood lake that simmering tensions boil over into panic.

Gossip flows, lies are exposed, and accusations are made as cracks run through the community's once solid foundations. The neighborhood's faith in exterior appearances is eclipsed by the secrets every house keeps. And as Bonnie and Alyson fight to keep their children safe and their messy personal lives from becoming neighborhood knowledge, it becomes clear that their neighbors might not be who they appear to be.