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Other People's Houses: Book summary and reviews of Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman

Other People's Houses

by Abbi Waxman

Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman X
Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman
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  • Published Apr 2018
    352 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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About this book

Book Summary

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.

"Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful." - #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin

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.

Paperback Original

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Hilarious ruminations about child-rearing, shopping, and other parents give this broad appeal that should extend beyond fans of Waxman's first novel." - Publishers Weekly

"Once again, Waxman manages to take a far-reaching topic and sprinkle it with spicy dialogue, adorable kids, and characters who feel like best friends...Frances is equal parts warmth and snark as she considers her friends and neighbors through the lens of TMI. Recommend to those who like to turn pages quickly without sacrificing complex characters." - Booklist

"Meet your new favorite wry writer." - The Daily Beast

"Fun and sexy novel... . Packed with scintillating drama and plenty of humor, this juicy novel is perfect for fans of Modern Lovers." - Real Simple online, best books of the year

"What is it about small suburban towns, carpools, soccer games, and culs-de-sac that make for really fun beach reads? While there isn't the murderous twist of Big Little Lies, there are still plenty of secrets to be uncovered in the neighborhood." - Apartment Therapy

"Waxman's take on the drudgery of parenting is fantastic. Anyone who has ever unintentionally memorized an episode of "Dora the Explorer" or attempted to awaken a sleeping teenager will find comradery with the comically flawed folks residing in Other People's Houses." - The Associated Press

"Other People's Houses is a domestic drama with a healthy side of comedy. It's about four families, carpool mom drama, and all the interesting and unexpected things that go on inside, well, other people's houses. Abbi Waxman never fails to make us laugh out loud." - HelloGiggles

This information about Other People's Houses was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own reviewwrite your own review

Suzi S. (Crestview, FL)

Very engaging
I found myself immediately drawn into the lives of the characters and ended up reading it in two days! She did a wonderful job creating characters and situations that rang true but were not ordinary. I did think the ending was very slightly predictable, but as a friend pointed out recently, when you read a lot, that is just often the case.

Chris, Wisconsin

Behind closed doors
We never really know what goes on behind the closed doors of our friends and neighbors. This book allows us a glimpse into the lives of four families who live on the same street and whose children all ride in the carpool that Frances drives every day, because she has a kid at every school and she is the only parent who isn't "working." The story is told from different viewpoints, so we can see how spouses can see the same thing in two ways and children can understand events in a completely different way from their parents. I enjoyed the book very much, and now wonder about the closed doors of my neighbors and what is happening behind them.

Linda Z. (Melville, NY)

Who Are the People on Your Neighborhood?
Kudos to Abbi Waxman,Author of "Other People's Houses" for weaving such an intriguing and captivating story. This story has a "Peyton Place" feel, and I almost feel like a voyeur in these neighbor's homes. Actually I have a front row seat.The genres for this story are Fiction and Women's Fiction. The story takes place surrounding a few neighbors homes. Within the main story are the stories of the neighbors involved.

Abbi Waxman describes her colorful cast of characters as complicated, complex, diverse, and confused. One of the central characters is Francis Bloom, a good-hearted soul who loves to help other people. Frances drives all the kids from the block back and forth to school in a carpool. Needless to say, on a small block in a small community, everyone seems to be aware of everything. On this particular block Francis goes back to her neighbor's house to pick up toilet paper holders that the daughter has forgotten to bring to school. When Frances enters the house she finds her neighbor Anne, embarrassingly busy, but not with her husband.
Can secrets survive in a neighborhood like this? When Anne's husband, Charlie finds out about this, he throws her out of the house.

This has a major effect on all the characters in this story. Within each home, the characters have their own problems, happiness, sadness, hope and dreams.The children are discussed as well.

The author describes each character in detail. Could this be similar to your neighbors?

I appreciate that the author brings up diversity, questions of self-worth and growth, depression, secrets, betrayals and adultery. On the other hand, there is the discussion of the importance of family, friends, neighbors, love, faith and hope.

I received this book as an Advanced Reading Copy for my honest review.

Beth B. (New Wilmington, PA)

Other People's Houses --- a jog through a neighborhood
Open the book to a Cast of Characters and a Map of the Neighborhood. Fasten your seat belt as you are given the rare opportunity to see what goes on behind those lovely wreath-decorated doors. Author Abbi Waxman has vividly portrayed husband/wife, parent/child, sibling/sibling interactions so convincingly that you will be swept away by her perception of human behavior and reactions to situations we've all experienced. Mixed in with copious wisdom is a hearty dose of humor --- the laugh-out-loud kind. Guaranteed readers will recommend this to friends. Ava, a teenager, says it best: "No one is what you think they are."

Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)

Judging
This book is written very well. One doesn't know what goes on in another's life even though you may see them every day, whether on a neighborly basis or as a friend. I like the way the author ties all the families in the neighborhood together.

Shirley L. (Norco, LA)

An Enjoyable Ordinary Read
This is an ordinary story about four ordinary families who live in an ordinary middle class neighborhood in L.A. Nothing really extraordinary happens in the narrative. The writing does not take the reader's breath away. The novel will probably not win any major literary awards.

It is simply a slice of real, honest American life written in a funny, enjoyable voice that grabs the reader by the heartstrings. Five years from now I won't remember details of the plot, but if I'm browsing in a bookstore then I would definitely pick up Waxman's newest work. She writes beautifully about ordinary, flawed characters muddling through life doing the best they can. I enjoyed every page of this wonderful, ordinary story.

...29 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Abbi Waxman Author Biography

Photo: Leanna Creel

Born in England, Abbi Waxman worked as a copywriter at various advertising agencies in London and New York. Eventually she quit advertising, had three kids and started writing books, TV shows and screenplays, largely in order to get a moment's peace. Abbi lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three kids, three dogs, three cats, a gecko, two mice and six chickens.

Author Interview
Link to Abbi Waxman's Website

Other books by Abbi Waxman at BookBrowse
  • The Garden of Small Beginnings jacket
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