Sunday, October 18, 2015

(73)The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan


Izzy Lane is like thousands of other women across the country.  She is just trying to figure out her life as a newly divorced mother of a five year old son.   Her ex-husband loses his job and decides to go clear across the country for "business" with his new girlfriend, leaving Izzy to be both mother and father to Noah.  She has to find a supplemental form of income and lets one of her best friends, Jade, talk her into taking her blog to the public.  What Jade - and the rest of the world - doesn't know is that Izzy's blog about her boyfriend, Mac, and dating after divorce is completely made up.  There is no boyfriend and there hasn't been much dating since the divorce.  The writing once a cathartic release for Izzy as she was dealing with the emotions of seeing her ex-husband date.  The more popular the blog becomes the deeper Izzy gets into the lie she told.  The only person who knows the truth is Izzy's elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman.  She encourages Izzy to come clean, but she has her own secrets to keep.  Will Izzy ever be able to come clean to her friends? And what will happen to those friendships if she does?

I think that Izzy Lane is one of those characters that many women and going to be able to understand.  She was torn apart by her  divorce and watching her ex-husband start to date other women is painful.  Incredibly painful.  She wants Bruce to feel what she feels and so she creates "Mac".  It was by pure accident that her blog became famous and her friends are reading all about her pretend boyfriend.  But it is her fault that she did not set her friends straight with the truth.  But I can even understand her hesitation.  Telling her friends the truth right off the bat would have generated pity.  And being pitied is never fun, no matter what the circumstance.  Mrs. Feldman fulfilled the role of  "moral compass" for Izzy, but in a gentle, non-judgmental way. Evgen when Izzy could have taken the easy way out, Mrs. Feldman encouraged her to come clean.   The guilt of it all obviously was weighing heavy on her mind and coming clean was the only way to relieve herself of that guilt.  In the end, lessons were learned and the book had a great, if not slightly predictable,  conclusion.

Bottom line- The Good Neighbor is a novel written about a woman caught in a web of lies and the steps she takes to get herself out of the web.   Definitely a well written novel and worth the read.

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