Book Review: The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publisher: HarperCollins

Summary:  When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara’s street seem dull by comparison.

When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another’s houses.
And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they’ve no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them…

I can't say this was a fun read but it was engaging in a train wreck sort of way. I wanted to see what the falling out we're told happened at the outset was going to be like. As the fallout is expected, the suspense is subdued but there was still a decent build up of tension between the couples. It's not a when but a how spectacularly will it all come crashing down into a mess. This did feel like it took a bit of time getting there and once it did, we don't see the details of the fallout, the confrontations are absent. It was very abrupt and then it's eighteen months later before the story ties up and shows us the door.

There are no heroes here and I can say that I'm not on anyone's side in this mess. They're all culpable and frankly only brought out the worst qualities in one another. Sara's a complete flake & very juvenile throughout. Lou & Gavin are shockingly messy & unconscionable. Lou's dilettantism was so transparent that only someone as teen girl star struck as Sara could miss it. Neil was least objectionable and even with his single transgression, I still more felt for him as Sara was playing the martyr and withholding her own sins. Have to say though, one of the most satisfying moments was highlight spoiler: .

I'd read another by Felicity Everett. She had a flair for prose that I enjoyed. Recommended if you need something to take along for the weekend.

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