Other People’s Houses centers on the inhabitants of a closely-knit neighborhood in a hip part of Los Angeles. There, Frances Bloom discovers her neighbor Anne, one morning, lying naked on the living room floor with a man who is not her husband.
Luckily for Anne, Frances is the one person you’d want by your side in a crisis. Still, a smart and glossy dramedy ensues. There is much soul-searching and life lesson-learning by Frances, Anne and the other members of the neighborhood. But this is so much more than just another precautionary tale or voyeuristic look behind closed doors. It is immensely enjoyable.
Abbi Waxman is a master at delivering heartfelt musings with wry humor, such as: “it was one of the paradoxes of parenting that the children you wished you had were actually the version of your own children that other parents saw.” Or: “I had no idea how much mind-numbing, repetitive detail went into just keeping them alive.”
Waxman is adept at serving up a knowing slice of life “in all its imperfect, fractured, embarrassing glory.” Her tongue-in-cheek observations—“Marriage had so little to do with the bedroom, and so much to do with every other room in the house.”—and rich figures of speech—“There were drifts of clutter in every corner, like sticks and leaves in the edges and eddies of a stream.”—make this novel a wry and amusing examination of affluent suburban life.
If you can’t wait until its publication in early April, you can read Waxman’s first novel Garden of Small Beginnings now.
Best paired with a venti Americano and tiny tartelettes, each one folded like origami, filled with fresh figs and mascarpone.
Note: Net Galley and Berkley Publishing Group provided Booktenders Review with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!