Summary and book reviews of Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson

Quiet Neighbors

by Catriona McPherson

Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson X
Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2016, 360 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2018, 360 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Mollie Smith Waters
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About this Book

Book Summary

It's the oldest bookshop in a town full of bookshops; rambling and disordered, full of treasures if you look hard. Jude found one of the treasures when she visited last summer, the high point of a miserable vacation. Now, in the depths of winter, when she has to run away, Lowell's chaotic bookshop in that backwater of a town is the safe place she runs to.

Jude needs a bolt-hole; Lowell needs an assistant and, when an affordable rental is thrown in too, life begins to look up. The gravedigger's cottage isn't perfect for a woman alone but at least she has quiet neighbors.

Quiet, but not silent. The long dead and the books they left behind both have tales to tell and the dusty rooms of the bookshop are not the haven they seem to be. Lowell's past and Jude's present are a dangerous cocktail of secrets and lies and someone is coming to light the taper that could destroy everything.

Excerpt
Quiet Neighbors

When Jude crossed the road and tried the handle, she half expected to find Lowland Glen locked too and was ready to sit in the bus shelter, then retrace her journey to Newton Stewart, Castle Douglas, Dumfries, with a night in one of the tired hotels clinging on in a tired town, then a train south and the tube home to face the music.

But the door opened.

There were one or two more carrier bags stacked in the passageway, but otherwise nothing had changed. Well, the light was different—no sunshine competing with the lamp behind the curtain—and there was Calor Gas as well as tobacco and dust in the bouquet today as she pulled aside the heavy brocade and stepped through. Also, this time, the man was at his desk, sitting with the fawn cardigan around his shoulders and a cup of greyish coffee steaming.

"I—" said Jude.

"I'm just—" he said, sliding something into a drawer and turning back to face her. He pushed his reading glasses halfway ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Because the novel is classified as suspense, readers will need to be careful not to become discouraged with its pace. The climax builds very slowly, but the last few chapters bring several surprises and answers to tidbits that seemed irrelevant at first mention. The ending is swift, and although the book takes a while to gain momentum, readers should stick it out.

While Quiet Neighbors does have some quirks, it is an engaging read that most will find worth their time and effort...continued

Full Review (591 words).

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(Reviewed by Mollie Smith Waters).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. McPherson's literary observations are delightful, her quirky collection of characters intriguing, and the unfolding mystery highly satisfying.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Although softer-edged and less terrifying than most of McPherson's stand-alones, the slow unraveling of several deeply puzzling circumstances and the complex characters provide a fine read.

Author Blurb Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Quiet Neighbors drew me in from the very first page, and I stayed up late reading it because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. That's the definition of a good book.

Reader Reviews

Bogopea

A different girl on a different train
Quiet Neighbors begins with a girl on a train, from London to Scotland, obviously running from something/someone. She ends up in Wigtown, Scotland, where she once vacationed. This woman, Jude, is befriended and given a job and a place to live by a ...   Read More
Michael Haughton

Quiet Neighbors
Jude which seems to be the main character was wondering in a town call Newton Stewart. Evidently as curious as a child this town seemed forgotten as no noise of such was noticed. In fact the writer made it into a dead town fill with hotels and more ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Wigtown: National Book Town

WigtownLocated in southwest Scotland in the Dumfries and Galloway district, Wigtown, the setting of Catriona McPherson's novel Quiet Neighbors, became Scotland's National Book Town in 1998. The Wigtown website touts it as: "A book lovers' haven…with over a quarter of a million books to choose from, old and new."

This claim to fame was very much planned. Wigtown's two main employers – a creamery and distillery – were closed in the earlier part of the 1990s, causing a depression. The hope was that the national search to decide Scotland's Book Town would land on Wigtown and help reinvigorate it. It did (land on it) and it did (reinvigorate it.) The BookstoreThe town website lists many operating bookstores (with most selling new ...

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