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The Girl Next Door: A Novel Paperback – December 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original edition (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143915483X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439154830
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,208,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Noble charts the intertwining lives of the residents of a New York City apartment building in her charming love letter to Manhattan. After banker Ed Gallagher's promotion necessitates a move from the U.K. to New York, he and his wife, Eve, are thrilled to find the perfect Upper East Side apartment, though Eve struggles to meet people until she befriends Violet Wallace, an 82-year-old fellow Englishwoman in her building who enchants her with the story of her path to Manhattan. Elsewhere in the building, shiftless trust fund baby Jackson Grayling III has fallen in love with Emily Mikanowski, a stunner living downstairs, while Emily's downstairs neighbor and friend, frumpy librarian Charlotte, works up the nerve to speak to Che, the Cuban doorman. And on the sixth floor, the Kramers and Schulmans, married couples with young children, struggle with two sets of very different marital problems. Noble (The Reading Group) presents her sprawling cast without neglecting them as characters or confusing the reader, and though she's got something of a wooden ear for her younger characters' dialogue, her handle on heartbreak and hopefulness is admirable. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The author of Things I Want My Daughters to Know (2008) follows the fortunes of the varied denizens of a tony New York apartment building. Brit Eve Gallagher accompanies her husband, Ed, across the pond to New York after he receives a transfer and a promotion. She finds the transition difficult but makes an unexpected friend, an older Englishwoman who also resides in the building. Shy, overweight Charlotte dreams of romance but can’t bring herself to approach the doorman who has caught her eye, while her new friend Emily is cautiously dating wealthy ne’er-do-well Trip, who has fallen hard for the reclusive beauty. Two married couples teeter on the brink of disaster: Jason has grown more and more distant from his wife, Kim, since the birth of their child, while Rachel is stunned to find a serious crack in her perfect marriage to David. The nuances and foibles of Noble’s characters will draw in readers looking for a bit of depth and heart in their chick lit. --Kristine Huntley

More About the Author

Elizabeth Noble is the internationally bestselling author of The Reading Group, The Friendship Test, Alphabet Weekends, and Things I Want My Daughters to Know. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two daughters.

Customer Reviews

Each character is well-developed and draws the reader into his or her world.
Assunta Sciarretta
I'm not sure if that was a result of the creation of too many characters in this particular apartment building, where our story is set.
J.L. McHale
You might not always agree with the decisions that she makes, but you'll understand.
Penguin Chick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Carol M on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I chose The Girl Next Door because I had read and enjoyed The Reading Group by the same author. Unfortunately, I did not The Girl Next Door as much.

This novel is comprised of intertwining stories of residents of a New York City apartment building. It was a pleasant read. But there was no "hook" here at all. Other than one emotional chapter, each story is mundane and predicable. The characters are one dimensional, almost stereotypes. There are so many characters, that we never feel invested in any of them. The writing is okay - but certainly not witty, insightful, full of attitude, poetic, or anything else that would make this novel stand out.

It's not bad, really. There's just nothing about it that would make me recommend it to a friend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emereld2 VINE VOICE on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book had an interesting premise, but it never took off for me. The characters are all stereotypes and too shallowly drawn to care much about. I don't understand Eve at all, for I firmly believe "wherever you go, there you are" yet she seems to have lost herself whilst crossing the pond. Her husband Ed, of course, has no such problems and throws himself into his work. When he notices Eve, he is annoyed by by her and the person she has become.

We are told Kim and Jason used to have a fabulous relationship, but for most of the book they are little more than two ships passing in the night. The confrontation and subsequent events are given short shrift, so we have to take the author's word for the resolution to their conflict.

Rachel and David and family are worth rooting for until ... they're not. Their conflict comes out of the blue and really is not believable.

The gay couple are evidently thrown in because someone told the author that it's not unusual for a gay couple to own a home together in NYC.

Of the three single women, Charlotte, Emily, and Madison, only Emily gets any real face time in this book. Even that is shallow and fleeting. Trip is the stereotypical player and his transformation feeds into the fallacy that a woman can change a man.

Violet, the elderly widow, is the most interesting of the characters, and we do learn a lot about her.

The story is told in little vignettes. Each chapter is a specific month; the changes in POV are clearly labeled. But, there is very little interaction between the various characters, and what there is feels stilted and staged (i.e., the roof garden). The conflicts and resolutions are very predictable. I finished the book and wondered what the point of it all was. The story just ends.

A beach read, at best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sheepla VINE VOICE on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have mixed emotions about this book. It traces a few months in the lives of residents of a New York apartment building. It's a little hard to get into because there are so many characters that even with a chart at the front, it is difficult to keep them straight. The story lines relating to Charlotte/Emily/Jackson and Kim/Jason are terrific. The story lines relating to Rachel/David and Ed/Eve/Violet are not so great. Plus there are several characters that are introduced almost as though they are more than main characters but we're never told more, which gives the book an almost unfinished feel. The Ed/Eve/Violet storyline is the main storyline and it is the most flawed. The idea is supposed to be that Eve brought Violet out of her shell through their friendship but there is nothing in the book about Eve drawing Violet out. It is Violet who reaches out to Eve. I just don't think the story of their friendship had the impact the book was trying to claim.

Like I said, I really enjoyed the Charlotte/Emily/Jackson storyline and how all three of those characters evolved by surprises brought into their lives. Kim/Jason was also very well developed and you found yourself cheering for them, in spite of their many flaws. I wouldn't go running out to buy more of this author's books, but I'd read one if I came across it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tonya Speelman VINE VOICE on October 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Oohhh this book was addicting. I have held it in my hands the last 24 hours, hoping everyone would just melt away so I could find out more about the inhabitants of this wonderful building. I thought there was a LONG list of people and I wondered if I would be able to keep up, but within a couple of pages I was hooked -- From Eve and Ed moving to New York from the UK, to Jason and Kim's difficult marriage, Charlotte, Emily and Jackson and the entertaining Madison, I loved it all.

You will feel like you are one of the renters in this building, sharing their lives, heartaches and trials. It is like regular life, not what it seems from the outside -- I loved how the characters talked about books. That is always a favorite of mine when I read!

I hope Ms. Noble comes out with a sequel, because I want to know what is going on with all my favorite people; how Ed and Eve are doing, if Emily and Jackson make it... Way to go Ms Noble this book is sure to be a hit!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
In the beginning of "The Girl Next Door," Elizabeth Noble gives a brief description of more than twenty characters, most of whom live or work in an Upper East Side apartment building. This may seem like an overwhelmingly large cast, but the author individualizes them enough so that we will not need to keep flipping back to the list. Some of the residents are mentioned only in passing and will be quickly forgotten. Others take center stage and they are fascinating, each one harboring his or her fantasies, memories, and regrets.

Violet Wallace, who is eighty-two and a bit reserved, has been living in the building longer than anyone else. Charlotte Murphy, twenty-nine, reads romances by the bushel and fantasizes about having a lover of her own. Emily Mikanowski, thirty-one and a triathlete, is uninterested in dating until the shiftless Jackson Grayling III, twenty-six, emerges from his indolence long enough to notice her gorgeous blue eyes. Madison Cavanagh is beautiful but shallow, ambitious, and promiscuous. Noble also focuses on three married couples: Rachael and David Schulman appear to have a perfect partnership until an act of betrayal comes between them; Jason and Kimberly Kramer are drifting apart and neither one is willing to admit it; Eve and Ed Gallagher moved to New York from Surrey, England, and the lonely Eve is chagrined when she realizes that her workaholic husband no longer has much time for her.

Noble takes turns eavesdropping on the aforementioned individuals. As the omniscient narrator, she has great sympathy for the many ways in which people distance themselves from reality and from one another.
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