Title: Newton Neighbors
Author: Suzy Duffy
Publication Date: September 26, 2013
Summary (from Goodreads): Crystal Lake—in the suburbs of Newton—is one of the most desirable places to live in Boston, and Newton Neighbors is a romantic comedy about its colorful residents just trying to “live the dream.” Things, however, rarely go as planned. The story starts with two fire trucks and a couple of cop cars getting called to the upmarket road, and that’s when things begin to heat up.
The Ladies of the Lake:
Maria’s best asset has always been her hot Puerto Rican body, but she sees the effect a new sitter has on her husband, so she decides to fight back the hands of time.
Cathi is Maria’s best friend and greatest admirer. Her own life is pretty good, too. Still, she can’t help being consumed with ambitions to live on the water. She spirals from persuasion to coercion to deceit faster than you can say ‘change of address,’ but will she succeed?
Noreen may seem like the nice little granny from next door. However, it’s the quiet ones you need to watch. While facing forty is a nightmare for Maria, Noreen’s living large at eighty. She believes “the only thing worse than a weak dollar is a weak martini.”
Jessica is in America to study. But when she takes a babysitting job in Newton, she gets more than she bargains for in the shape of fine-looking firefighter. We learn soon enough that not all heroes are good—but is bad better?
Thankfully we have Ely, Jessica’s crazy roommate, who keeps everyone laughing and partying, too.
There’s Botox, Bollinger, and a randy Bulldog. We have fireworks, fistfights, and family fiestas. It’s a story that stretches from Boston, to London, to beautiful Puerto Rico.
Welcome to the wet ‘n’ wild world of Newton Neighbors.
First I would just like to say how much I love the cover for this book. It’s so damn colourful it just draws you in and makes you smile! I love that Duffy’s books follow a cartoon theme. It’s just so much fun!
Okay, moving on. I adored Duffy’s pervious novel Wellesley Wives. It was funny and heartwarming and surprised the hell out of me at points. I was really looking forward to reading her newest novel. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Wives, but it was still a fun read.
Like her previous book, Newton Neighbors follows the lives of several characters, each with their own stories that interact with each other. I’d probably have to say that Maria was my favourite character in this one. I was instantly able to connect with her regarding the way she felt about her body after having kids. Haven’t we all had those, “Ugh, look what those monsters did to me!” moments in life while standing in front of a mirror, sucking in our stomachs and squishing our thighs as close together as possible so objects in the mirror will not appear as large as they actually are? It wasn’t just how I was able to nod my head and agree with every fault she found with herself that I loved this woman, it was also because of her strength and weaknesses. Duffy made a very believable character with this one.
Cathi. Omg Cathi! What a bloody childish, self-absorbed, devious snob this one was. How could Maria be her friend? I hated Cathi. There wasn’t one thing I liked about the character. Every novel has to have that one person who you just want to reach through and throttle, Cathi was that character for me. Seriously, she made me so pissed off with all her stunts every time her name was mentioned my hubby told me I’d glare at the screen and start grinding my teeth. Yeah, she hit a nerve. Michael should have left her sorry ass and kicked her to the curb. Really wish he had more of backbone when it came to dealing with his wife.
Noreen added the comedy, Ely the lesson on what happens when you’re more concerned with partying than studying and Jessie gave everyone hope that behind every good looking douche that sweeps you off your feet is a real man waiting to catch you when you’re dropped.
As far as the book as a whole goes, while I enjoyed it, there were also parts that just seemed silly in an annoying or ridiculous sort of way rather than a fun and laugh out loud sort of way that made me enjoy it a little less than I thought I would. Still, it’s a good read and being able to connect to even one character like I did and have someone to root for to work everything out definitely made it worth it.