The New Neighbor

By Leah Stewart

3 out of 5 stars

Ninety-year-old Margaret lives alone on a mountain in Tennessee. She seems content with her mystery novels and her space. When Jennifer and her young son Milo move in next door, across a pond, Margaret’s curiosity gets the better of her. She sees that she is a masseuse and asks her to come over for a massage. Once she is there, Margaret, intrigued with the quiet Jennifer, asks her to write down her memories for her and pays her to come over a few times a week. She tells Jennifer her story of being a nurse in World War II and of her friendship with another nurse, Kay. There is a secret that lies in that story.

Jennifer herself, is hiding something. Who she is and what she’s done. As she tries to acclimate to people there and as she gets drawn more and more into Margaret’s story, the book gets a bit more complicated.

There is no happiness in this book. If you are looking for something light and happy, this would not be it. The characters were all very hard to like. I don’t need to like every character in a book that I read but I felt no sympathy for any of them. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t keep reading. I was hoping for some grand reveal at the end but it kind of left me wanting more. I do like Leah Stewart’s writing. I did like the alternating chapters in Jennifer’s and Margaret’s voices. It gave more clarity to each character’s story.

I received this happily from Netgalley for an unbiased review.

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