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THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Elizabeth Noble

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

By Elizabeth Noble

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4391-5483-0
Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

The highs, lows and heartaches of the residents of an upscale Manhattan apartment building, examined during the course of a few momentous months.

When her husband Ed is transferred, self-deprecating Brit Eve Gallagher finds herself both thrilled and terrified at the prospect of starting a new life in New York City. She initially lucks out by finding a gloriously sunny two-bedroom in a fabulous building on the Upper East Side, but discovers that making friends is a far more daunting task than decorating her new digs. Her neighbors are the usual assortment of types. Prematurely dowdy single librarian Charlotte dreams of a romance-novel Mr. Right, while promiscuous hottie Madison has her sights set on Jackson Grayling III (aka Trip), the wealthy young bachelor in 5A. He, meanwhile, yearns for athletic Emily Mikanowski, a natural beauty who works in television and shows little interest in dating anyone, let alone someone as unmotivated as Trip. Anxious stay-at-home mom Kim Kramer is focused on her spoiled toddler Avery to the point of alienating her stockbroker husband Jason, who secretly fancies stunning Rachael Schulman. With her successful career, three great kids and a country house, Rachael seems to have it all, until she finds out husband David is having an affair. A happily nested gay couple and a series of Cuban doormen round out the cast, but Eve makes her first real connection with 82-year-old Violet Wallace, a fellow Englishwoman who arrived in New York as a war bride in 1946. Violet helps ease Eve’s homesickness, while revealing the mysteries of her past. She also provides invaluable support when Eve becomes pregnant with her first child and things do not go as planned. Lacking in edge and unapologetically sincere, Noble’s latest (Things I Want My Daughter to Know, 2008, etc.) benefits from a winning and vulnerable Everywoman in Eve, though the rest of her characters are a bit of a snooze.

Bland, harmless New York City tableau from a chick-lit pro.