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The Girl Next Door    by Elizabeth Noble order for
Girl Next Door
by Elizabeth Noble
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2009 (2009)

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Eve and Ed Gallagher have just moved into an apartment building on New York's Upper East Side. They have left family and friends far behind in England as Ed as accepted a new position with his company. Eve is feeling lonely and isolated as Ed spends more and more time at the office. She wonders if she should try for a teaching position here, or start the family they have talked about.

Violet Wallace, an elderly English woman, has lived in the building for years but has always withdrawn from the other tenants. After meeting Eve, Violet can understand her feelings of loneliness, and they soon become close friends. It is not long into their friendship before Violet is telling Eve about her journey from England to Manhattan and all the secrets that she had kept close to her heart.

Jackson Grayling III, has fallen in love with Emily, a beautiful young woman who lives in 3A. All his financial needs are met by his wealthy parents, so when Emily learns he is unemployed and lacks motivation, she informs him they are not compatible. Jackson finds himself turning to Charlotte in 2A for help.

Charlotte is a shy, single, librarian who lives on a diet of romance novels. She is soon dreaming of Che, the good looking doorman for the building. After Charlotte and Che are stranded in the elevator during a power outage, she decides to assert herself and asks him out on a date. When Che turns up missing, Charlotte feels she has lost her chance for love.

Jason Kramer in 6A lusts after his neighbour, Rachel Schulman in 6B. Jason and his wife Kim are having marital problems and he looks to Rachel as the golden girl who has it all together. What Jason doesn't know is that Rachel is having problems of her own. She thought she had it all until her husband rocked her world with devastating news. Now Rachel is trying to hold together for the sake of her three children.

The Girl Next Door is a satisfying page turner filled with interesting characters. Reading this book you feel you are observing each tenant, up close and personal, navigate their day to day lives through the ups and downs and heartaches that tie them all together. I am looking forward to the sequel, The Guy Upstairs.

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