Other People's Houses
“Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin
The author of The Garden of Small Beginnings returns with a hilarious and poignant new novel about four families, their neighborhood carpool, and the affair that changes everything.
At any given moment in other people's houses, you can find...repressed hopes and dreams...moments of unexpected joy...someone making love on the floor to a man who is most definitely not her husband...
As the longtime local carpool mom, Frances Bloom is sometimes an unwilling witness to her neighbors' private lives. She knows her cousin is hiding her desire for another baby from her spouse, Bill Horton's wife is mysteriously missing, and now this...
After the shock of seeing Anne Porter in all her extramarital glory, Frances vows to stay in her own lane. But that's a notion easier said than done when Anne's husband throws her out a couple of days later. The repercussions of the affair reverberate through the four carpool families--and Frances finds herself navigating a moral minefield that could make or break a marriage.
A spin-off of The Garden of Small Beginnings, Waxman's fun sophomore novel stars consummate mom Frances Bloom, her family, and her neighbors a "gaggle of middle-class white people" and all of the comedy, drama, and quotidian details that make up their lives. Frances runs the carpool for her children and those of the Porter, Horton, and Carter-Gillespie families on her block, and is generally able to take everything in stride. But she's knocked off her game when she enters the home of her neighbor, Anne Porter, to retrieve some forgotten craft supplies for Anne's daughter, Kate, and discovers Anne on the floor with a man who is not her husband. The fallout provides the main dramatic push, but other threads include just where Bill Horton's wife, Julie, has gone and whether Iris Carter will convince her wife, Sara Gillespie, to have another child. While Frances has her concerns, such as dealing with her 14-year-old daughter, Ava, she largely provides the story's humor. Hilarious ruminations about child-rearing, shopping, and other parents give this broad appeal that should extend beyond fans of Waxman's first novel.
Other People’s Houses is an engrossing, entertaining and well-written novel.
This book follows four families in a Los Angeles California neighborhood. Their trials, inner struggles, betrayals and most touching moments are depicted well in this story. My favorite couple is Frances and Michael Bloom. Frances was the designated carpool mom. She took the neighborhood kids plus her own three back and forth to school. Frances was the only mom who was overweight and not obsessed with her appearance. She was also the kindest most level-headed person in the group, and her husband, Michael, loved her, extra curves, and all. Frances was the star who held the neighborhood together, when one family on their street, began to crumble.
This book is all about marriage, family life, betrayal, consequences, and forgiveness. The writing in this book is witty and spot on. Frances is the main character, and her internal dialogue is absolutely hysterical. Although the story is poignant and the subject matter, serious, the author has a remarkable ability to lighten the mood, with humor. I loved it.
Thank you, Berkley Publishing and Edelweiss, for my advanced review copy.