Tara Laskowski | The Mother Next Door

The Book: 

The Mother Next Door by Tara Laskowski
Published October 12, 2021
Date read: October 14, 2021

The Characters: 


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):


Never show their feelings.

Never spill their secrets.

Never admit to murder.

The annual Halloween block party is the pinnacle of the year on idyllic suburban cul-de-sac Ivy Woods Drive. An influential group of neighborhood moms—known as the Ivy Five—plans the event for months.

Except the Ivy Five has been four for a long time.

When a new mother moves to town, eager to fit in, the moms see it as an opportunity to make the group whole again. This year’s block party should be the best yet… until the women start receiving anonymous messages threatening to expose the quiet neighborhood’s dark past—and the lengths they’ve gone to hide it.

As secrets seep out and the threats intensify, the Ivy Five must sort the loyal from the disloyal, the good from the bad. They’ll do anything to protect their families. But when a twisted plot is revealed, with dangerous consequences, their steady foundation begins to crumble, leaving only one certainty: after this year’s block party, Ivy Woods Drive will never be the same.

Click here for book spoilers for <em>The Mother Next Door</em>
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Mother Next Door, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist: 

Lily isn’t Theresa’s daughter. She’s the daughter of the Ghost Girl, Daphne. Greg approached Theresa about adopting her when Daphne didn’t want to keep the baby, and Theresa always kept Lily’s adoption a secret.

Ellen was the mystery narrator. Her mother (Jackie) had told her about how Kendra had killed Daphne and the others covered it up. Ellen blamed the Ivy Five for her mother leaving town and leaving her behind.

The Ending:

Alice moved away. The rest of the Ivy Five continued their traditions.

The Review: 

Thank you to Graydon House for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and to Harper Audio for a complimentary audiobook copy.

This thriller centers around an exclusive Halloween block party, so it’s the perfect time of year to read it! In the vein of Big Little Lies, the reader knows something big happens on Halloween night, but it’s not clear what happened to whom or who exactly was involved.

I really like this method of storytelling, everyone’s POVs coming together to a point. It felt more like a neighborhood drama than a thriller, with a hint of suspense. Nevertheless, it was interesting and I was hooked right from the beginning. I’m a sucker for these stories of catty moms behaving badly. The Mother Next Door focuses on a group of “it” wives and the new woman on the block. She’ll do anything to fit in with them.

I loved that it was centered around a Halloween block party. I was a little bit jealous of their Halloween plans, since I worked over my Halloween weekend (ugh). The audiobook made me feel like I was right at the center of the drama. This is the perfect cozy, suspenseful story to read this fall. 

QOTD: What did you do for Halloween?

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