By Nicola Gill
A funny, honest journey of love and friendship with the most unexpected person you could imagine!
Published by Avon (2020 paperback, ebook & audio)
Book Review, No spoilers I swear!!
This book captured me the moment I was walking around Sainsburys book section back in February, my brothers stern voice telling me "You surely don't need another book." Luckily I rarely listen to him and it was good job because this book was just utter perfection. The Neighbours is the debut novel by Nicola Gill who has written one hell of a beautiful story that captured my heart from beginning till the very last page. But before I tell you more about this book and why it is utterly brilliant perhaps I should tell you what its about.
Some women have it all...
Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can't get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour...
Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist in need of a new job- but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards?
Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they'd care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that sometimes- just sometimes- bad neighbours become good friends...
Set in London, Ginny is our 34 year old publicist whose wit and humour is what captured me from the very first page. Being the voice throughout this story, Ginny's is a character that is relatable, laughable, vulnerable, doubtful, frustrating at times but most of all she is lovable. What's so endearing about Ginny is that she is a character that isn't perfect or polished as like most people, Ginny makes mistakes. However it is these mistakes that make Ginny such a special character and I loved watching her grow throughout this book.
Cassie is our other leading lady in this book and a leading lady she is! Cassie's character had me laughing one minute and in tears the next. An actress who has lost the support of her fans and the public. Gill highlights the harsh realities of fame in the modern world where the media's nasty criticism can so easily affect a celebrity, a person, emotionally and mentally. The theme of mental health is address in a way that I found realistic and accurate, me being someone who has had depression in the past I found the way it was talked about to be very honest.
The friendship between Ginny and Cassie is nothing short of special. The age difference and backgrounds disregarded, Ginny is Cassie's equal and I found myself smiling at there encounters which each of them being there to support and pick the other one up. Ginny is a friend who refuses to let you sulk on your own and is the type of friend who is always there for you and never complains about it.
The romance in this book has given me faith that not all men are crappy, that it fact they can be caring, supportive and most of all surprising. Ginny's love life is messy to say the least with her confused about what she really wants being the main problem. Whereas, Cassie's love life has always been fools rush in love with her relationships being short-lived. However its not the romance of these two characters that is central to the story, its a part of it but it is actually Ginny and Cassie's growth.
Ginny blossoms in strength and self-belief, realising that she doesn't need a man to love and believe in her (although that helps) but she needs to love and believe in herself firstly. Whereas Cassie's growth comes from allowing herself to be happy, accept help and love freely. The two women together help one another grow and that in itself is the most beautiful thing about this book, proving that you don't need a man to piece you back together just a very annoying neighbour.
Lastly the ending was utterly wonderful and very British with the wit and humour of a Hugh Grant romcom. Although I cannot tell you how it ends, I can tell you that the last few pages of the book are heartwarming and funny and will most certainly leave you with a smile on your lips and wishing there were more pages.
Overall I absolutely loved this book so so much! And if you are fans of Lucy Diamond, Mhairi McFarlane and Beth O'Leary I recommend you give this book a go.
Rating: 4* out of 5. A lovely debut novel, I'm very excited to see what comes next for this author.
After all tomorrow is another day spent reading,
Till next time,