by Barbara Delinsky

July 2002
ISBN: 0-7434-1125-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

The Woman Next Door by Delinsky is a complex book. Ms. Delinsky has created one small neighborhood in which a large spectrum of issues faced by many of us have come into play.

The majority of the book centers around Amanda and Grayson O'Leary. The O'Leary marriage is suffering from the stress of strains of infertility. Like many couples with this problem the romantic part of their marriage has become mechanical, and the spontaneity that they so enjoyed in their early days together is now missing. Their neighbors, Karen and Lee Cotter, are not only dealing with their own issues of adultery and trust, but are working to help their teenage son deal with his anger and frustration following the suicide of a classmate. Georgia and Russ Lange also live in the neighborhood, and are friends with the other two couples and to all appearances seem to have a strong and healthy marriage. Georgia travels for her job while her husband stays home and as her own children deal with the recent suicide, she feels likes she's missing out and that her children need her.

When the single woman in the neighborhood, a young, attractive widow, becomes pregnant the three women begin wondering who the father is. Each woman has to look inside herself and her marriage to have the trust and faith that their own husband is not the father. Speculation as to who the father is runs rampant. To find out the truth you'll have to read the story for yourself.

On occasion the story is told through the male point of view. It was interesting to see that men can and do have the same insecurities as women. It was fascinating to see how they dealt with them versus how their wives were dealing with the same feelings.

While The Woman Next Door was well written, and does pull a reader in emotionally, I felt it lacked the depth of many of her other books. However this will not stop me from continuing my trek through the many pieces of women's fiction that Barbara Delinksy has written.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Jackie.

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