The Perfect Neighbors

A Novel

The Perfect Neighbors

One of Glamour’s Best Books of Summer * An Us Weekly Trending Title
“A delicious beach read.” –People
“Relatable characters round out a fun, fast read.” –Good Housekeeping
“A compelling, suspenseful tale.” –Kirkus Reviews
“The perfect summer read.” –Booklist


How well do you ever really know the family next door?

Bucolic Newport Cove, where spontaneous block parties occur on balmy nights and all of the streets are named for flowers, is proud of its distinction of being named one the top twenty safest neighborhoods in the US. It’s also one of the most secret-filled.

Kellie Scott has just returned to work after a decade of being a stay-at-home mom. She’s adjusting to high heels, scrambling to cook dinner for her family after a day at the office—and soaking in the dangerous attention of a very handsome, very married male colleague. Kellie’s neighbor Susan Barrett begins every day with fresh resolutions: she won’t eat any carbs, she’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour, and she’ll stop stalking her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. Gigi Kennedy seems to have it all together—except her teenage daughter has turned into a hostile stranger and her husband is running for Congress, which means her old skeletons are in danger of being brought into the light.

Then a new family moves to this quiet, tree-lined cul-de-sac. Tessa Campbell seems friendly enough to the other mothers, if a bit reserved. Then the neighbors notice that no one is ever invited to Tessa’s house. And soon, it becomes clear that Tessa is hiding the biggest secret of all.
  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501106491 | 
  • July 2016
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Perfect Neighbors includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Throughout the novel, Newport Cove’s residents hold their status as one of the twenty safest neighborhoods in the United States as a point of pride. Yet each of the four female narrators feels unsafe in some way, due to the secrets she is holding. Do you think people need to feel emotionally safe in order to feel physically safe, and vice versa?

2. In a series of flashbacks, we observe that Tessa “tried to do everything right” after her baby Bree was born, but quickly “felt as if she was failing her daughter” (p. 22). How does her anxiety about the “right” way to be a mother impact her children and/or her marriage? How have you observed this pressure in your own life, or in the lives of your friends or family? If you have children, how have your beliefs about how to best raise them been affected by the opinions of “experts”?

3. When it comes to her children’s safety, Tessa grows to believe she is paranoid or too sensitive, to the point where she becomes wary of raising an a see more

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About the Author

Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls, The Best of Us, Catching Air, and Things You Won’t Say. Her work has been published in People, The Washington Post, and USA TODAY, among other publications. She lives with her family in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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