Named by Goodreads as One of the Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021 "A modern-day Crucible....Beneath the surface of a suburban utopia, madness lurks." --Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish "A sinkhole opens on Maple Street, and gossip turns the suburban utopia toxic. A taut teachable moment about neighbors turning on neighbors." --People "One of the creepiest, most unnerving deconstructions of American suburbia I've ever read. Langan cuts to the heart of upper middle class lives like a skilled surgeon." --NPR Celeste Ng's enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson's creeping dread in this propulsive literary noir, when a sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long Island suburb--pitting neighbor against neighbor and putting one family in terrible danger. Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world. But menace skulks beneath the surface of this exclusive enclave, making its residents prone to outrage. When the Wilde family moves in, they trigger their neighbors' worst fears. Dad Arlo's a gruff has-been rock star with track marks. Mom Gertie's got a thick Brooklyn accent, with high heels and tube tops to match. Their weird kids cuss like sailors. They don't fit with the way Maple Street sees itself. Though Maple Street's Queen Bee, Rhea Schroeder--a lonely college professor repressing a dark past--welcomed Gertie and her family at first, relations went south during one spritzer-fueled summer evening, when the new best friends shared too much, too soon. By the time the story opens, the Wildes are outcasts. As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea's daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mom's word against the other's in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood. A riveting and ruthless portrayal of American suburbia, Good Neighbors excavates the perils and betrayals of motherhood and friendships and the dangerous clash between social hierarchy, childhood trauma, and fear.
- ISBN-13: 9781982144364
- ISBN-10: 198214436X
- Publisher: Atria Books
- Publish Date: February 2021
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Page Count: 304
In this disquieting tale by three-time Bram Stoker Award winner Sarah Langan, neighbors have a falling-out amid a natural disaster, unleashing a frenzy of madness, malice and misunderstandings throughout a quiet Long Island community.
Before the drama really begins, something is already amiss on Maple Street. Gertie Wilde realizes that her family is the only one that Rhea Schroeder, the neighborhood queen bee, hasn’t invited to the community’s Fourth of July picnic at nearby Sterling Park. While Gertie and Rhea exchange words, their daughters Julia and Shelly are in the midst of their own feud until a sinkhole opens in the park, sending everyone scurrying.
Sarah Langan takes readers on a descent into depraved suburban drama.
The hole, a microcosm of the larger climate crisis, is cordoned off, and the neighborhood children are warned to stay away. Then a child falls into the hole, which sets off a disturbing chain of events as stories and secrets spread throughout the tightknit community.
Langan weaves interviews and news clips into her tightly written, fast-paced narrative, conveying the infectious spread and mutation of stories goaded by media sensationalism and attention-seeking neighbors. As gossip and rumors swell and proliferate, the stakes grow exponentially as well. The richly complex main characters reveal flawed pasts and duplicitous natures as the story transforms into a witch hunt, trying to discern which of the suspects may be responsible for the child’s erratic behavior before she fell. Horrific claims pit the children against their parents and the adults against one another.
Langan skillfully casts this suburban neighborhood in sinister light, building a sense of discord and apprehension from the first page. Intricate and edgy, Good Neighbors is a descent into depraved suburban drama, perfect for fans of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Stephen King-style thrills.