Nicola Gill comes to the blog with her debut offering, a story of friendships, failures, triumphs and families with
Told from the point of view of Ginny, now 34, working for a boss she abhors, in a flat relationship that she thinks will bring her the “dream”, but won’t ‘correct her boyfriend’s bad behavior, losing a flatmate to the hustle and bustle of New York, and generally thinking that she’s stagnated when others have moved on. Oh – and she has MASSIVE baby fever, with all of the engagements, pregnancies and ‘promotions’ that scroll across her social media daily. But walking in on her boyfriend in a compromising position with her boss tosses everything to the wind – and she’s soon unemployed after a colossal scene, and retreats into a pity party for one, appropriate behavior optional.
And we have plenty of these pity party moments from Ginny, who has one of the strongest self-sabotaging voices in the world, that constantly tap on the little self-esteem she has, and have her second guessing everything. When her downstairs neighbor, an aging actress just off a stint on a reality show that went pear-shaped for her coaxes her into performing a bit of ‘PR’ to polish up her image, Ginny reluctantly steps up, in between several failed interviews for new jobs, a promising ‘future’ possible opportunity through a friend, and much (make that CONSTANT) self-flagellation over her own perceived ‘failures. Through a solid boyfriend after several tossers, an up and down relationship with Cassie’s needs for ‘attention’ and her stuttering star, and then Cassie’s near abrupt dive into a serious depression, Ginny is pretty self-absorbed while wanting to do the right thing: even when her own experience is lacking.
And Gill handles the second guessing, the depression and the support from Ginny with flair – showing Ginny’s hopelessness in the face of Cassie’s illness and lack of response. But there was just something not quite accessible in Ginny. Obviously she was good at her job or people wouldn’t follow her and look to see her succeed – but even a ‘can you come to my office’ sent her into instant thoughts of being fired, her lack of openness with the ‘good’ boyfriend left her spinning her wheels in regret and impulsivity, and through it all, despite saying it – never really found that ‘steel’ within herself to move forward and be confident. And there was so much I wanted to really Like about Ginny, or really wanted to see her just ‘man up’ and move on without overthinking, which made her so frustrating, and perhaps a bit too real? We’ve all had the moments, and compare ourselves and our lives to those we see on Social Media – and maybe, in many ways, this floundering from Ginny is what is more needed by everyone. At any rate, despite the low self esteem and the clinical depression that were both key elements of the story, it was easy to read and engaging, and the voices were clear, if there were several places where the ‘getting to know” Ginny and her background could and should have been cut down as they wandered and dragged without enhancing the ultimate story.
Title: The Neighbours
Author: Nicola Gill
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Depression, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon Books UK
Published on: 6 February, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Kobo ♦ Book Depository
Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends.
Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four, renting a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Unfortunately, the latter applies to Ginny Taylor. Single and jobless, Ginny is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she encounters her downstairs neighbour for the very first time...
Cassie Frost is a woman who had it all – she was a once-loved actress, but a recent stint on reality TV has rocketed her to online infamy. She’s suddenly become a national hate figure – and she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job... but can she be persuaded to work for the uber-difficult, excessively prickly woman that lives below her floorboards?
Because sometimes – just sometimes – bad neighbours become good friends...
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.