Late night review from me today. I’ve just finished my latest read and I know I’m not going to have much time over the coming days so I wanted to get this written and posted now. The big house move I’ve previously mentioned is happening this coming Friday so there is likely to be very little reading in my immediate future. Is it sad that I’m excited for lots of new book photo opportunities in the new cottage?
Maple Street is suburban paradise in Long Island. All of it’s residents like to keep up appearances and live in a constant state of fear for their children and their families.
When the Wilde family move from Brooklyn to Maple Street, it is clear that they do not fit in. They are looked down on by the other residents and do not meet their very high standards. A sink hole appears in the nearby park as tensions on the street continue to rise. One of the children falls into the sink hole and the finger of blame turns onto the Wilde family. It’s one mom’s word against another, but which family will the occupants of Maple Street side with?
General Thoughts 🤔
Gosh I felt sorry for the Wilde family. I know exactly what it’s like to live somewhere and feel like you don’t fit in. Not quite to the extreme of Maple Street, but I empathise with the feeling. What I found ironic was that the Wilde family were probably the sanest and most rational people out of all of them.
This was a story I’m sure lots of us have read before. A neighbourhood of people who appear to be perfect but hide secrets and “flaws” behind closed doors. However this story did have a bit of a twist as it’s not often that an entire family is wiped out in these neighbourhoods. I spent the whole time I was reading this book thinking that I knew how it was going to end, but I was pleasantly surprised. I kick myself now as I think I should have seen it coming, but I truly did not.
Gertie Wilde was my favourite character. She carried baggage with her from way back in her childhood but I feel like it made her a morally better person. Rather than letting her past dictate her present and her future she learnt from it. She was honest about her feelings and I don’t think that that was something that her neighbours were used to.
Rhea was a very complicated character. Like Gertie she carried unwanted baggage from her past, but it seemed to me that she was unable to accept her past trauma and therefore it stayed with her into her adulthood. Not only did it damage her life but she allowed it to damage her family’s life too. I found her to be a dangerous woman and certainly not someone that I would take pleasure in living next door to.
Writing Style ✍️
I always enjoy it when authors break up the narrative of a story and this book did that fabulously. Between chapters, there were excerpts of newspaper articles and other documents that were written in the future but were included at the relevant points in the story. I really liked this as it made me question how the story would conclude and which characters I should or shouldn’t trust.
There were a couple of bombshells dropped at the end of chapters which always seemed to land on when I had to put the book down. This may have been a huge coincidence but it worked brilliant for me in terms of keeping me engaged and made me want to keep going back for more.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️
Overall I thought that this was a fantastic story about a neighbourhood that we probably all can relate to or have at least read about before. However it did have it’s own original twist and it was that which set it apart for me. I enjoyed this author’s writing and I will definitely be looking to read more of her books.