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Publisher's Summary

A gripping novel about friendship, secrets, misjudgments, and redemption among women by the USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of a Piano.

Martha Hale is an affable wife and mother who lives in an affluent neighborhood of well-tended lawns and high expectations. If only her clumsiness at penetrating the social circles of her neighbors weren’t making Martha so lonely.

That’s why she’s thrilled when the glamorous Minnie Foster, a former high school classmate, moves in next door. Despite Martha’s determination, picking up where they left off is trickier than anticipated—especially when their memories of the past don’t always align. But Martha is undeterred. In fact, her preoccupation with Minnie’s life, her success, and her marriage is becoming an obsession. When she sees a darkness and shame hiding inside Minnie’s perfectly deceptive home, Martha realizes that not even Minnie’s secrets are what they seem.

Visceral, sharp-witted, and deeply empathetic, A Gracious Neighbor explores the judgments women pass on one another and the ills of a society curated to keep them on the outside looking in.

©2022 Chris Cander. (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Cander cleverly combines sharply observed satire, a keen sense of place, and a feminist sensibility. Fans of Liane Moriarty will eat this up.”Publishers Weekly

“A suspenseful tale of relationships, loneliness and what goes on behind closed doors.”People  

“A dynamic and insightful storyteller, Cander imbues her work with such poignant character detail, as a reader, I felt I’d all but moved into Martha’s neighborhood. As a documented lover of tales of complicated relationships between women, I must say that A Gracious Neighbor is among the best.”—Chandler Baker, New York Times bestselling author of The Husbands 

What listeners say about A Gracious Neighbor

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nosey Neighbor

A long story about a nosey neighbor replaying high school slights that mature adults would have long forgotten. The reader’s whining, while befitting for the protagonist had me longing for the story to end.

1 person found this helpful

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💤💤💤 boring. disappointing. polarizing. 💤💤

not my jam. boring. a frumpy social loser spies on the cooler, yet miserable neighbors? nothing new here.

1 person found this helpful

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Meh

I really wanted to like this but the main character was so pathetic it was hard to relate. And it goes on and poof just ends. The part about West U was accurate

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Too much, Too drawn out. couldn't finish

The story started out sympathetic, but became too explicit for my liking and was too slow and drawn out

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Drawn Out

I struggled to finish this one. The main character's behavior was so obsessive, it was hard to take her seriously. Then this thing happens with only about an hour or so left. I wish it had happened at least midway through to be able to explore the relationship between neighbors a bit more. I don't like not finishing a book just in case it gets better. This one did not get better for me and seemed unrealistic. But maybe some people do think this way. 🤔

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Did not finish

Ugh this book (or at least the portion I listened to) was awful. Poor character and plot development, unlikeable characters, ridiculous story lines. Not sure why I picked this one, but don’t recommend it.

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The most annoying woman

Martha drove me NUTS with her meddling, always accommodating, door mat personality. Her magical what if thinking was ridiculous. I don’t have my life completely together, but at 40 I can’t imagine having full on day dreams about interactions with people I know but aren’t friends with. This was just the oddest, most unsatisfying book.

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Loved it!

I assume every city has a "West U", but as a Houstonian I really enjoyed this book. A raw account of just how lonely life can be, with a few twists to keep you listening.

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A nice, insightful story.

Itss worth the read. A peek into the life of someone, a family, who loved their every day life, surrounded by a changing neighborhood, nose-to-the-grindstone. A story about understanding....one's self, and others. When you think you know, you really don't.

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Who are these people?

The main character doesn’t behave in a way I could relate to at all. On chapter 16 and still can’t finger out what is happening in this book, other than the main character is an idiot. Don’t wait your time on this break.

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