With each page read, I enjoyed this book more. Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman allowed us to invade the lives of a group of neighbors living…and cheating…on a street in Larchmont Village in Los Angeles. L.A. might be a city filled with glitz and glam, but this just a typical street filled with carpool and cheating spouses and Whole Foods sacks full of toilet paper roll for art projects.
The neighborhood might never be the same after one of the neighbors, Frances, accidentally finds out that her neighbor, Anne, is cheating on her husband. Frances Bloom, the mother who drives carpool every day in her uniform of a hoodie, jeans, and an extra thirty pounds, is the hero of the story. She loves her completely imperfect family and marriage and neighbors fiercely, sometimes to her detriment. Frances is real and the main reason I enjoyed this book so much. She’s funny and at a point in her life where she not only accepts herself and her life but chooses to love herself and her life exactly as it is. If she were a real-life person, I would want to be her friend.
Anne Porter, the woman caught cheating on her husband and the neighbor Frances both loves and hates, is the anti-hero. She’s the wife and mother that looks perfect on the outside but is struggling to keep it together on the inside. After her affair is exposed, Anne withers away, completely non-functioning and helpless. And it’s not until a real crisis with one of her children happens that she’s brought back to life.
Anne’s affair begins to infect the entire neighborhood. These characters and their stories are real and relatable. Los Angeles might have been the setting, but these families and their neighborhood and the struggles they go through could be anywhere in the U.S.
What an entertaining read this was! Perfect choice for an easy summer read. Frances was so funny and I adored the banter between her and her husband. Parenting, running a home, and raising kids aren’t glorified in this story. It’s told how it really is. So refreshing! This book has all of the things that make a book fun to read: gossip, sex, silly toddlers, and good friends. If you’ve been married and have kids, there will be so much you will relate too in the story. And so much that will make you giggle or even laugh out loud.
Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman
Published by Berkley Peguin Random House, 2018
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit
Where I read: in the kitchen when I should have been cooking dinner
Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars