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Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead    by Saralee Rosenberg order for
Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead
by Saralee Rosenberg
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Mindy Sherman is a typical mom. She's busy and exhausted, loves her children, adores her husband and wants nothing more than to be a good mother and wife. She'd like some adult company during the day, and bonding with her next-door neighbor, Beth Diamond, would be ideal. Unfortunately, Beth is nothing like Mindy. She's perfectly coiffed and dressed at all times, she has a fabulous husband, and her children are little angels. Who can compete with such a woman? Not Mindy, who has nothing in common with her new neighbor. That is, until both women encounter unexpected obstacles in their lives and end up coming together in surprising ways.

The comparison to Desperate Housewives' Wisteria Lane, made in the back cover blurb, is well earned. Beth is the ultimate catty, self-absorbed, gossipy neighbor. She's the woman you love to hate, the one you hope you'll never end up living next to. She's also the character you secretly root for. You want her to learn, to grow, to become a better person. But most of all, you want to see what lies beneath all that makeup and spiteful behavior. Rosenberg, with her smooth, insightful writing, peels back Beth's layers and reveals a remarkably realistic character.

Mindy, for her part, is the perfect foil to Beth. She's a down-to-earth mom and loving wife who dreams of sharing a close bond with her neighbor, even when it becomes painfully obvious that Beth is not the type of woman with whom Mindy can bond in a typical way. With vivid characters, a dash of well-placed humor and a plot that moves along at a fast clip, Rosenberg has crafted a surprisingly tender mainstream women's fiction novel.

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