Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is an e-Galley from NetGalley:  The New Neighbor, by Leah Stewart.





Intro:  Where before there was no one, suddenly I, Margaret Riley, have a neighbor.  I went out on the back deck this morning like every morning, and there she was.  Across the pond, sitting on her own back deck.  I was startled.  That house has been empty a long time.  My first impulse was to go back inside, as if I’d come upon something shameful, or embarrassed myself.  As if I were out there naked, which of course I wasn’t, and even if I had been she was too far away to see.  But I am braver than that.  I put my coffee cup on the table, as usual, and then I went back inside for my book, which is by P. D. James, a remarkable woman, as ancient as I am and still creating mysteries.  I have to make two trips because I need one hand for the cane.  Sometimes I try to manage cane and book and coffee all at once, and the result is always coffee stains, or burns, or at the very least a wet book and a diminished cup of coffee.  Every morning I’m frustrated anew by the need to make two trips.  Impatience and age are not compatible.


Teaser:  I was surprised, when she was gone, by a twinge of loneliness.  How silly.  I am always alone.  Sometimes days go by in which the only other people I see are on TV.  This house is in the woods between two small towns—villages, really—on a mountain in Tennessee. (2%).


Blurb:  In the tradition of Zoe Heller’s What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal, The New Neighbor is a darkly sophisticated novel about an old woman’s curiosity turned into a dangerous obsession as she becomes involved in her new neighbor’s complicated and cloaked life.

Ninety-year-old Margaret Riley is content hiding from the world. Stoic and independent, she rarely leaves the Tennessee mountaintop where she lives, finding comfort in the mystery novels that keep her company, that is, until she spots a woman who’s moved into the long-empty house across the pond.

Jennifer Young is also looking to hide. On the run from her old life, she and her four-year-old son Milo have moved to a quiet town where no one from her past can find her.

In Jennifer, Margaret sees both a potential companion in her loneliness and a mystery to be solved. But Jennifer refuses to talk about herself, her son, his missing father, or her past. Frustrated, Margaret crosses more and more boundaries in pursuit of the truth, threatening to unravel the new life Jennifer has so painstakingly created—and reveal some secrets of her own.


I have been eager to read this book for a while.  Perhaps the draw for me is the reference to Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal…or maybe it’s because an aging woman living alone is suddenly stunned to have a neighbor, and I am curious about what will unfold.  What will she do about this new fact? 

Would you keep reading?



  1. Oh I would definitely keep reading, Laurel-Rain! I had not heard of this book before, but you have me wondering about Margaret and her neighbor. This sounds like it could be a suspenseful book. I could be Margaret when I’m her age!


  2. So much that has me hooked with this one that I’ve had to request a copy. Love the intro, who couldn’t with the reference to the PD James and that dilemma of two trips or one frustrated one. The blurb has me too with the reference to Notes on a Scandal which is one of my favourite books mainly because of the subject matter, obsession is fascinating! Thanks for sharing – here is my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/first-chapter-first-paragraph-june-23/


  3. Oh I feel her pain, with the diminished cup of coffee, I try to juggle all those things too. Sounds good, thanks for stopping by, haven’t heard from you in a while, happy reading.


  4. Oh, I love this intro. The old woman, P.D. James, coffee, a mountain, a mystery. It could be me. Well, maybe not quite yet – 90 is a while away. Thanks for sharing this one. I think I had heard of it from someone before, but it had slipped my memory. I’m off to see about it. Look forward to your most excellent review (your reviews are always excellent!). LOL


  5. The title is new to me and so is the author. But you had me at “making two trips”.. I hate that part of needing to be careful when I walk. I am going to add this one to my list!


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