At This Book Club, the Truth Is About to Come Out. It’s Not Pretty.

In “The Neighbor’s Secret,” L. Alison Heller gives us a dishy tale of nosy neighbors, mysterious vandalism, family shame — and murder.

By Elisabeth Egan

Welcome to Group Text, a monthly column for readers and book clubs about the novels, memoirs and short-story collections that make you want to talk, ask questions and dwell in another world for a little bit longer.


In the close-knit community of Cottonwood Estates, three women have skeletons in their closets that can no longer be contained or ignored. Some of their secrets are mildly worrisome; others are deadly.

Ever wonder what goes on behind closed doors? Welcome to this neighborhood-wide open house with a convivial host who makes you think about what you’re hiding — and why.

My sister recently noted, in a somewhat snippy tone, that she tends to avoid books about women in our stage of life. This is the phase where strangers no longer address us as “miss” or (cringe) “mom”; we’re “ma’am” or simply invisible. We are now the ages of women in detergent commercials.

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