Author: Portia Moore
Title: He Lived Next Door
Genre(s): Literature & fiction; Romance; Family saga; Inspirational
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Review: I love everything about this book. It has the perfect amount of romance, character growth, and suspense. Chassidy is a representation of so many women who struggle to conceive. Fertility problems seem like such a taboo subject and I have not encountered this difficulty in a novel until now, and I am very glad that Moore decided to make it part of this novel. I cannot imagine what kind of struggles a couple would go through after losing a child, but I think that Chassidy and Bryce's journey displayed an accurate portrayal of what some people might go through. While reading their story, I could feel the pain radiate off of the page; I could also sense the joy that the characters once had for each other. This story, at some points, is so incredibly devastating and I had to take some moments to reflect about what I was feeling. I think it's amazing when novels force you to reflect because it indicates how much the story is relatable. He Lived Next Door also uncovers how easy it can be to fall into temptations, especially when we are struggling with those we love. There were so many times when I wanted to yell at Chassidy and tell her what mistakes she was making, but her journey really shows how much hindsight is 20/20. This book reminded me to fight in my own marriage when things get tough. I also really enjoyed the spiritual journey that Chassidy and Bryce went on. I think that faith is something that everyone has or will struggle with at some point in their lives and to find that faith (in whatever you believe) brings such a peace and wholeness. Moore is clear that her spiritual beliefs came through in this book, but she did so in such an elegant way. A reader can always tell when they are being actively preached at, so it's refreshing when an author can write about their beliefs without telling others how to believe. This book would most definitely have received 5 stars from me, but there was one glaring error that I have a hard time handling only because it is a huge pet peeve of mine. Moore writes a line where Chassidy is considering someone to have Bipolar Disorder because of a fluctuation in the character's mood. As a doctoral student in clinical psychology, it bugs me to no end when anyone uses a mental disorder as a slang term to describe someone's behavior. Moore could have used the word "moody" and it would have been completely accurate of what she was describing of the character, but instead she used a diagnosis that was completely off base. With that rant over, I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for incredible character development, romance, struggle, suspense, and a little bit of heat.
Book Description: "There are ugly truths and pretty lies. When I lost them I chose neither. I wrapped myself in silence. My husband, my best friend, became a stranger who gave up. Then....He moved next door, and everything changed. You think you know this story, but you don't. Be careful what you ask for because the answer may not come the way you think."