“There was so much attention paid to labor and delivery, and so little to the first three months afterward, which made the pain of an episiotomy seem like a walk in the park. Split your vagina like a melon? Sure, but what about taking the first shit afterward?”
My Mom and I both selected Other People’s Houses as our March Book Of The Month Club pick (Click here and Use code YESPLZ to get your first month free!). It was an easy and quick read that I enjoyed! I previously read and reviewed Abbi’s other book which you can find here —-> Book Review: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman I was pleasantly surprised to see the lead character from her first book Lili make a cameo in this one! It was nice to read about her and catch up with what she’s been doing since her story was told.
In Other People’s Houses we meet a cast of characters who all live on the same street. Each family has their own issues, though some are worse than others. The day Frances walks in on her neighbor Anne being “serviced” by a man who is not her husband, is when the neighborhood begins to unravel.
Frances, a stay at home mother of three is our lead character.
“She (Frances) was the only parent who wasn’t “working” (let’s not get into the atom splitting of who’s doing more work, stay at home parents or not; let’s just agree it’s a shit show for all of us, and move on)”
She is absolutely hilarious! Her dry, self-deprecating sense of humor had me laughing out loud. In an argument with another Mom, Frances got down and dirty!
“That’s what I thought,” said Frances, walking by and farting silently as she went. She was opposed to chemical warfare on principle, but sometimes you just had to go with what you had at hand.”
She is confident in herself, yet shows her vulnerability when she questions how to parent her sulky yet sweet teenage daughter.
“Honestly, the eye-rolling thing just had to be developmental. There is no other explanation for it simultaneous appearance in pretty much 100% of tweens and teens, all over the world. Three wisps of under arm hair, the first actual pimple, and eye-rolling, all at once.”
The sweet and wholly realistic marriage she and her husband share is relatable and refreshing. I cracked up when I read something Abbi wrote that I do myself!
“She started angrily tidying, which was one of the more effective methods of countertop cleaning.”
This story was fun and light, but I did find it just a teeny bit lacking. There was some substance missing in my opinion. The story of a cheating spouse in a neighborhood of families is a story that has been told a thousand times in a thousand different ways, so I felt like I had been down this road before. Maybe I feel this way because I am so used to reading heavier books with twists at some point to keep me on my toes?
With that being said, even though Other People’s Houses didn’t pack a whole lot of punch, I enjoyed it and I am sure my Mom will too. This is a good book to read on the beach, or on the couch on a rainy day. You can pick it up and likely finish it quickly if you have a few hours of quiet to yourself.
“Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful.”–#1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin
Named A Highly Anticipated Book for 2018 by InStyle.com, Elite Daily, and Hello Giggles!
The author of The Garden of Small Beginnings returns with a hilarious and poignant new novel about four families, their neighborhood carpool, and the affair that changes everything.
At any given moment in other people’s houses, you can find…repressed hopes and dreams…moments of unexpected joy…someone making love on the floor to a man who is most definitely not her husband…
As the longtime local carpool mom, Frances Bloom is sometimes an unwilling witness to her neighbors’ private lives. She knows her cousin is hiding her desire for another baby from her spouse, Bill Horton’s wife is mysteriously missing, and now this…
After the shock of seeing Anne Porter in all her extramarital glory, Frances vows to stay in her own lane. But that’s a notion easier said than done when Anne’s husband throws her out a couple of days later. The repercussions of the affair reverberate through the four carpool families–and Frances finds herself navigating a moral minefield that could make or break a marriage.