The Woman Next Door
Barnes & Noble
Published by: Pocket
Release Date: July 1, 2002
Spring warms the air in an upscale cul-de-sac in western Connecticut, and with the shedding of jackets comes the startling discovery that one of four homeowners — a beautiful young widow named Gretchen — is pregnant. Since she rarely leaves home, the three most likely suspects are the husbands of her three neighbors, each of whom has spent time with her in the year since her husband passed on.
Preposterous? Not at all. One of those husbands has a history of infidelity. The second is married to a woman who, as CEO of her own business, is often out of town. The third has a special problem: he and his wife are struggling with infertility treatments. For Graham and Amanda, sex has become programmed and cold. Amanda wonders just how much her husband misses the spontaneous passion they once had and whether he might have found it elsewhere.
With Gretchen as a catalyst, the three couples take stock of their marriages. As the mystery deepens, blame and mistrust threaten what each of them holds most dear.
“An achievement….Adept and compelling….One of her best books to date.”
“Delinsky peers into the dark corners of ideal marriages…and makes you realize that ‘the woman next door’ could be you.”
—Roanoke Times (VA)
“The Woman Next Door…will stir everyone who reads it.”
—The Anniston Star (TX)
Given their druthers, Amanda and Graham would have eloped. At thirty and thirty-six, respectively, all they wanted was to be married. But Amanda's father insisted that his only child have a big wedding, her mother delighted in spending his money, and Graham's family loved a party.
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I’ve always been fascinated by neighborhood dynamics and the requisite balance of intimacy and separation. The Woman Next Door focuses on this, creating a situation in which four women use each other as a yardstick. Amanda measures herself as a woman against Georgia, who measures herself as a mother against Karen, who measures herself as a wife against the other two. And Gretchen? She measures herself against her three neighbors in ways that I’d rather you read about yourself. Suffice it to say, each of the neighborhood women is affected by one or more of the others, which raises the question of who, ultimately, is the woman next door.’
This book touches on another topic I’ve always wanted to write about — the in-law impact on marriages. In The Woman Next Door, Graham comes from a large and involved family that is now coming between his wife and him.
Marriage is the bottom line of this book — what makes it work, what threatens it, what happens when life comes along and gets in its way.