Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman

Other People's Houses

Abbi Waxman

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.

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"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...

*record scratch*

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.

Advance Galley Reviews

A close-up look at neighborhood life from the vantage point of a stay-at-home mom who ends up handling all the carpooling and chores for her neighbors, even if they don’t have legitimate reasons for dumping their duties on her. This kind of book was very popular in the 1950s -60s (Cheaper By the Dozen was one) and this has updated really well. It has more 2018 adult-ish themes but the kids are still cute, the neighbors quirky and the plot entertaining.

I wanted to love this book, but because of the constant barrage of curse words, it was just too much for me. I am by no means a person who doesn't cuss, but like Frances, I am also a mother of a preschooler, and do my best to refrain from using them in every single conversation I have, especially when I know my child is around and very likely listening and going to parrot every single thing I say. It just wasn't necessary and detracted from what would have otherwise been a great book. I did, however, really, really like this story. It reminds me of a neighborhood I used to live in, with cheating spouses and fights that were just awkward, not quite as funny, though, (my actual neighborhood, I mean). I love the redemptive ending and Waxman's ability to appreciate just how difficult parenting is even if you are "just a mom." Overall, a great book that is hilarious while dealing with fairly serious family and life issues; would recommend if the overuse of vulgar language does not bother you.

This was an aptly named and entertaining book. It was a bit like watching Desperate Housewives, all well-manicured lawns and fingernails trying to hide all of the drama. Not bad for a guilty pleasure chick-lit read, but it's a bit meandering at times and the dialogue really took me out of the book at times. Everyone has such witty banter together. Do entire neighborhoods of people really talk like this? The situations that the charscters found themselves in seemed entirely believable most of the time but the way they interacted with each other did not have the ring of truth. But, I've never been to Los Angeles, so maybe it's just something I haven't experienced. Who knows, it's a big world.

One of the first books I got from Penguin's First to Read program was Abbi Waxman's debut, "The Garden of New Beginnings," of which I was highly skeptical: the synopsis promised a "funny" story about a widow struggling in the aftermath of her husband's death, and I thought to myself, how on earth is a book about a struggling widow supposed to be funny? But it was. It was one of my favorite books from 2017, and I eagerly anticipated her follow-up. So I was very happy when I saw that her sophomore book was on offer, but I also worried that maybe it wouldn't live up to my impossibly high standards. I needn't have worried. Waxman's second book, which tells the stories of four neighborhood families, and the affair that throws them all for a loop, with such humor, irreverence, insight, and honesty, that I've realized this is quickly becoming Waxman's signature: She deftly approaches serious subjects like widowhood and adultery with such understanding---and just the right amount of snarky dark humor that I love---to turn out utterly compelling and rich stories about flawed, complex, relatable characters. Waxman's books are not plot-heavy but are character-driven, telling what could be rather ordinary stories in a way that's rather extraordinary. I eagerly await her third novel.

I REALLY want to read this book but firsttoread download froze at page 3. So disappointed! I will definitely be buying this book.

This book grabbed my interest from the beginning and the pages went quickly. I really enjoyed the humor the author found in the minutiae of everyday life. I didn't think all the vulgar language was really necessary to the story and found it somewhat distracting, and I got frustrated with some of the characters. Overall, though, this was a fun read.

I chose this book and initially because it is not a genre I read often. It became surprisingly addicting to find out how different families interacted in the neighborhood. What fascinated me most about the book was how one decision of one neighbor had massive ripple effects throughout the entire neighborhood, and the story does a great job of explaining the impact on each and every individual. It truly was similar to being invited into somebody's home and being a fly on the wall.

Book only went to page of cast of characters and no further.

What a great read with relatable characters and events that almost anyone with children has experienced! The story centers around one block of a neighborhood and the microcosm within it. Frances Bloom is the neighborhood caregiver, dogooder, and school car pool driver. She actually takes and picks up all the kids as she’s going and it is just easier! She seems like you would label her as a doormat but she is just a truly nurturing personality that loves to help people. When one of her little car poolers melts down because of forgotten toilet paper rolls, she turns around to retrieve them. Getting no response she goes to the door and opens it to retrieve them and finds Annie, the Mom in a compromising position with someone that is not her husband! This is the pivotal point of this story as it’s based around Annie’s infedelity. The entire neighborhood that is friendly with one another has varied reactions to this news, which traveled with warp speed! Distrust, taking sides, violence you name it bounces around from house to house with the children pinging between them. All of this is done with a fabulous story telling ability and wonderful, and sometimes biting humor. It takes a village is a common theme that’s shown here in its entirety! Don’t miss this !

I can't access my copy. I did a guaranteed request so I lost my points. Boo.

Loved The Garden of Small Beginnings. Ms Waxman has become one of my favorite authors. This book made me laugh out loud. I could see myself living in this neighborhood with these people. Waxman nails Ava, the 14 year old. She has a talent for writing believable and relatable characters. I love that she brought back Lili from the first book. I can’t wait for her next book.


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  • The Garden of Small Beginnings

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