The People at Number 9 | Book Review

  The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett was a really enjoyable book to read. I finished it in a couple of days, and I really love it when a book is so engaging. The characters all had substance to them and the end of each chapter left me wanting to know what happened next. This is possibly why I finished it so quickly, as I didn't want to put it down!

What's it about?

"Set in the London suburbs, The People at Number 9 is a razor-sharp and cautionary tale about what happens when you get caught up with the wrong crowd. Sara and Neil’s lives are turned upside down when the glamorous and bohemian Gav and Lou move in next door. Next to them, Sara soon realises that her life is rather dull.

As the two couples become friends, sharing suppers, red wine, days out and childcare, it seems like the perfect match but the more Sara sees of her new neighbours, the more she longs to change her own life. But those changes will come at a price to her own family".

The book covers a huge array of topics, from marriage and friendships, to home schooling and trying to be creative in your spare time. It was incredibly interesting to read a book based on juggling marriage, family, work and friends, whilst still trying to keep the mum guilt in check. Elements of it were relatable for me, as a mother of two who works from home whilst my husband has a full-time job.

Felicity Everett builds the characters and plot in an interesting and dynamic way. There were some elements that I guessed in the middle, but I still kept reading to see if I was correct in my deductions! The dysfunctional characters in this book really reminded me of an unhealthy friendship I had as a teenager where I was needed constantly by my friend, but she was never there when I needed her. It was a really tough lesson to learn, but I am very glad that I learned it at that age. It has certainly made me far more aware of the friendships I choose to make as an adult.

I can see how Sara and Neil get swept up with the excitement of their new neighbours Gav and Lou. There is instant sexual tension and a certain inevitability to the attraction. It's compelling to see how this plays out throughout the book. Gav and Lou are characterised as voyeuristic, and I think that this really appeals to Sara. She is a likeable character, although I found myself wishing that she were stronger and more confident as the book progressed.

We have all had friendships which turn toxic, and the topic of children and their school failing is emotive and believable. We all want the best for our children, and you can see that Zara does too from the lengths she goes to to ensure that they are educated as well as possible.

I found the book compelling and enjoyable. It was fun to read, and although I didn't necessarily find myself liking all the characters, they were certainly enjoyable to learn more about. I really loved the fact that the evenings are getting cooler, so I could snuggle under a blanket, with a glass of wine whilst I read. I was engaged throughout the book and always finished a chapter wanting more. That's definitely a sign of a good book!

Disclosure: This book review is in association with Mumsnet. All opinions are my own, and are honest and fair.