This Chick Read: Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

Other People’s Houses looks behind the curtain into all of the relationships in a block of houses in the Larchmount neighborhood of Los Angeles. Frances Bloom, as the volunteer driver of all of the neighbors children, she gets an eyeful into the lives of her next door neighbor that makes everyone take a second look into their own marriage.

Although the point of view changes from character to character I mostly identified with Frances, the mother of four, slightly overweight stay at home wife who spends her days making other peoples lives easier. Not to say that I make people’s lives easy, but she was more the “everyman” character in this book, so seeing through her eyes was easier and her point of view was very clear. When she catches one of her neighbors in infidelity she keeps her mouth shut, but her knowing creates a cause and effect that builds into a tsunami that breaks over that neighborhood, changing the lives of not only the adults but all of the children as well.

I LOVED Abbi Waxman’s first novel The Garden of Small Beginnings. It too dealt with a difficult subject as the main character, widower and mother of two, Lili, was still trying to get over the death of her husband. It was a story of letting go and moving forward told through humor. The infidelity in Other People’s Houses was also hard to read, but more so because of how it affected all of the children. There was still a bit of humor but I cried more than I laughed in this book. The funny commentary between mothers and children were present but it was almost bittersweet because of the lesson they were all learning from someone else’s mistake.

Other People’s Houses needs to stand on it’s own and not be compared to The Garden of Small Beginnings, and I think I did it a disservice at first for being so eager to look for a laugh. I was disappointed when I didn’t get it until further into the book. Abbi Waxman still did an amazing job creating credible, real, emotional characters. I really liked these people so was able to get involved in their stories, but it did take me a little bit to understand that this was not going down the road I had wanted to take and my journey was going to be a lot more emotional. If you enjoy reading books about heartbreaking relationships with an occasional laugh then you will really like this book. If you read The Garden of Small Beginnings, be warned, you are not getting the same uplifting novel with Other People’s Houses, but you will still be enthralled with the story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Other People's

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Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

The Garden of Small Beginnings was about your every woman.  Lilian Givran has faced life’s difficulties and has soldiered through finding light raising her two small girls, and unexpectedly also finds passion while gardening. I couldn’t believe this was Abbi Waxman’s debut novel. Lili’s voice was solid, funny, exasperating, sad and sarcastic. I laughed out loud multiple times and also cried softly as Lili struggled to find her way after the loss of her husband in a tragic accident. The fact that Lili finds that path while taking a gardening class is a great analogy for how each moment in life starts with a seed.

The cast of characters in this book added to the comedic highlights. The two daughters who say everything that comes into their heads, distracted, in a good way, from some of Lili’s more serious moments. Lili’s sister, Rachel, avoids serious relationships (sleeps around) because she wants to be available if Lili needs her. Her alcoholic mother who is narcissistic and says inappropriate things that embarrass her daughters. The class full of gardener wanna be’s who don’t have anything in common but end up being great friends with each other. Then there’s the teacher who makes her think there may be a little life left in her. This was a dream ensemble cast with a ton of personality.

Each chapter started off with a note about how to grow a vegetable. You could hear Lili’s voice speaking sardonically about why strawberries or carrots, I can’t remember, should not be planted in a bed after you’ve grown dill. These charming and funny intro’s set the stage for a really enjoyable, uplifting, love your family and keep your friends close kind of story. I don’t know if I’ve done a very good job of portraying why the book was so good, or even what the plot was like, but if you are a fan of women’s fiction, like humor, and like chick flicks, then put this on your TBR. Read it.

I received an Arc of this book, through NetGalley, for my honest review, and it was honest. 

 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


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Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved