Izzy Lane has been having a rough time of it. She is a divorced mum of one, who has recently had to move back to her childhood home with her 5 year old son, Noah. She has had a hard time adjusting to all of the changes in her life but she her good friends Rachel and Jade, and her elderly neighbour Mrs Feldman are always looking out for her and gradually she’s began to find her feet and settle down. Until her ex shows up one day with his new girlfriend in tow and Izzy finds herself letting slip about her new boyfriend, Mac.
Izzy runs a very popular blog where she talks about life after divorce and what it’s like to date again, she enjoys sharing about her wonderful new man. The only problem is, she made him up! Before she gets a chance to admit to her real life friends that what they’ve read on her blog isn’t entirely truthful, one of them offers her a brilliant job opportunity to be the resident dating expert on a very successful website. Izzy can never find quite the right moment to confess, and it all continues to get more complicated as her friends want to meet him, and then she catches the eye of a real life man!
The wonderful Mrs Feldman from next door steps in and give sage advice to Izzy to just confess to her friends but Izzy just can’t bring herself to do it. But then a mysterious commenter starts posting on her blog asking awkward questions about Mac and it all begins to feel too much.
I loved how Izzy wasn’t a bitter ex wife, she was just trying to find ways to move on and to find her new normal in this life that she hadn’t planned for. She wanted the best for her son, and even though she didn’t want her ex husband in her life, she very much wanted him in her son’s life on a regular basis. I was glad Izzy was like this as it meant she remained likeable even when she invented a new boyfriend. Izzy’s made-up man came about more from loneliness during the times when Noah was in bed or with his dad, rather than from any malice.
I really liked Izzy all through this novel and I couldn’t help but feel for her. She got herself in a huge mess over what was originally just a little fib to make herself feel better. I didn’t blame her at all for telling the fib, she was feeling down on herself and she mentioned Mac before she’d really thought about any implications – it wasn’t a long thought out deception. The problem for Izzy is that it spread into her real life and she just couldn’t bring herself to admit it to her friends who were so happy that she was apparently dating again. I was wiling Izzy on to just tell them though because once she stopped being truthful with her real life friends the little fib became a big lie, and a big lie is hard for anyone to forgive. I started to worry for Izzy, knowing that she was putting everything she had at risk in order to keep her story going, and I hoped she would redeem herself in the end.
My favourite character was Mrs Feldman. She just exuded warmth with a bit of sass that I love to see in older people. Her own secret was heartbreaking, and the way her family treated her made me so sad at times but I love how Mrs Feldman adapted and made things better for herself in the end. I adored the relationship that she had with Izzy, it was a really lovely and special friendship where they each took care of the other in their own ways. I wish I had a Mrs Feldman in my life!
I’m going to miss the characters in this book, the crappy ex husband aside that is! Amy Sue Nathan has written a book with such well thought-out characters that they really did seem like real people to me and most of them were so warm and genuine and I felt like they were people I actually know. I’m going to miss them.
This book wasn’t quite what I was expecting it to be but I very much enjoyed it and I’d highly recommend it. I rate this book 9 out of 10.
I received this book from St. Martin’s Press via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
The Good Neighbor is out today and available now from Amazon.
5 thoughts on “Review: The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan”
I enjoyed this one, too, and I was also expecting a different kind of story.
But I liked what you said about how Izzy didn’t start out to deceive. In some ways, I think of it as writing fiction in her blog, and doesn’t that seem harmless? How it took off was pretty scary for her, and I was a bit miffed at how everyone else felt so betrayed…but then again, for them, the blog was business.
I know what you mean – it did seem a bit over the top how her friends reacted but I think it’s because it was something that could potentially have an affect on their business. I liked Izzy though, I felt for her and how she got in such a mess over what started as a little fib.
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