Thursday, December 6, 2018

Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman

After reading the heavy Washington Black, this book was a good "palate cleanser".  Light and humorous but still a worthwhile read.  The book is written from the perspective of several neighbours  though the primary narrator is the mother who drives the carpool for all of them, Frances.  Frances is the frazzled stay at home mother to three children, a 14 year old daughter who has just turned into a typical eye-rolling, moody teenager, a 10 year old easy going son and a 4 year old daughter.  Frances' marriage is somewhat staid and boring, but very solid.

One morning Frances walks into her neighbour Anne's house to find her in the midst of oral sex with a man who is definitely not Anne's husband.  Frances resolves to keep it to herself, but is unable to do so when Anne's husband, Charlie, finds out about the affair and throws her out of the house.  Charlie is devastated though still in love with his wife and struggles to deal with his children who are 6 and 10.

The other interesting families on the block are Frances' cousin, her wife and their 6 year old son.  They are struggling with whether or not to have another child.  The carpool is rounded out by Bill's 4 year old son.  Bill's wife mysteriously disappeared several months ago and none of the nosey neighbours know why.

The book is essentially the fallout of Anne's affair and the impact it has on the whole carpool.  The interactions are very funny yet believable.  This is no great work of literature but it's a fun read.

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