Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives (2015), The Things We Keep (2016) and The Mother's Promise (2017), and The Family Next Door (Feb 2018). Sally's books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.
Essie, Fran and Ange are all residents of Pleasant Court. All are mothers, all have annoying (at least at times) partners, all are deeply immersed in the everyday battle that is trying to keep on top of family, household, and all of the things. Other relationships barely get a look in. Something has got to give and what better to pull you out of your own problems – such as dealing with Melbourne’s inclement weather - than the intriguing unknown of a new neighbour. Isabelle Heatherington is a stylish single woman with no one to please but herself. That kind of freedom is just too delicious to contemplate.
Never far from the loving gaze of her loving mother and partner, Essie has triumphantly emerged from the suffocating horror that was her first round at motherhood. Essie’s second daughter baby is easier to deal with than her first was, but it’s still recent enough in the memory of her family that any changes in Essie demeanour are keenly recognized. Essie did after all leave her baby alone in a park once – hard for anyone to forget that entirely. The attention of the friendly Isabelle is rather charming at first but its not long before Essie, Fran and Ange have their suspicions raised. That keen level of interest in what they consider their very boring lives – it just doesn’t seem to be normal.