Welcome to the Neighborhood

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Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Pages: 304
ISBN13: 978-1728249063



At the heart of this story about a new beginning thwarted by badly behaving neighbors and duplicitous friendships is a mother-daughter love story, a dive into what it means to want the best for your child, and a cautionary tale about holding on to what really matters.

After years of struggling to make ends meet, Ginny, a single mom from Queens, falls for sweet, divorced Jeff, and relishes the idea of moving with her quirky eleven-year-old daughter Harri to his home in an upscale New Jersey suburb. Though she's never been impressed by material things, she is thrilled that getting a second chance at love comes with the added bonus of finally giving Harri everything she never could before.

And then she meets the neighbors.

Ginny is quickly thrust into the complicated realities of a neighborhood defined by the ever-shifting alliances of PTA moms, Real Housewife contenders, and their mean-girl daughters. When the neighbors' secrets, back-stabbing, and bad behavior take a devastating toll on her daughter and new marriage, Ginny must decide what really matters―and protect it at all costs.

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“Touching and deeply satisfying—you’re stronger than you think and fiercer than you ever dreamed!”
—Abbi Waxman, USA Today bestselling author

“A rollicking mom-com about navigating the nuances and not-so-niceties of life in the burbs. I tore through it in a single sitting.”
—Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Everything Must Go

“A love letter to mothers of tweens everywhere.”
—Kelly Harms, bestselling author of The Seven Day Switch

“A must-read. Readers will cheer for Ginny as she stands her ground.”
—Jamie Beck, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

“A tale of shiny objects amid shark-infested waters is, at its core, a mother-daughter love story. I loved it!”
—Julie Valerie, bestselling author of Holly Banks Full of Angst

“We need Lisa Roe’s side-eye on navigating a new marriage, a quirky child and a fresh start for everyone, with neighbors who put it all at risk. Warm, funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking.”
—Ann Garvin, USA Today bestselling author of I Thought You Said This Would Work

“A heartfelt and endearing story about keeping one's feet firmly planted while simultaneously dreaming big.”
—Kathleen West, author of Are We There Yet?

“A mother-daughter story infused with such love, humor, heart, and charm that readers won’t be able to put it down – I know I couldn’t!”
—Carolyn Brown, New York Times Bestselling author


Chapter One

There is a chicken on my kitchen counter. But it’s not sitting in a roasting pan with a sprig of rosemary and a squeeze of lemon. It is a live, fat chicken scraping its thorny feet across the granite, pecking at the black specks in the tan stone.

“Harri, what the hell!” I yell to my daughter standing just feet from said chicken, her arms out to her sides as if she is protecting the bird from falling off or flying away. “It’s going to get E. coli all over the place.”

Harri wrangles the chicken and tucks it under her arm like she’s been living on a farm for all of her eleven years and not, until today, in a fourth-floor walk-up in Woodside, Queens.

“Relax, Mom. I’m showing Mrs. Clucklesworth around her new house. You want her to feel welcome, don’t you?”

“Jeff built you a lovely coop. That’s its new house. Rule #1 of our new house is: Livestock stays outside. And besides, chickens don’t like kitchens. Too close to the oven for their liking. Don’t make Jeff regret inviting us to live here.”

Harri pushes her glasses further up her nose with her free hand as Mrs. Clucklesworth pecks at an unraveling braid.

“Mom, he wouldn’t… You’re married now!”

I look at my hand. The new silver band tries to class up the territory my paint-stained fingernails are dragging down.

I nod, clinking my wedding ring to the matching one on Harri’s left hand. “I guess he’s stuck with us. Now, get that—”

“Mrs. Clucklesworth!”

“Get that Mrs. Clucklesworth out of here.”

Harri slides back the big glass door leading into the yard and skips past an enormous swing set toward the chicken coop.

I open the box on the counter—the one containing the sum total of my kitchen items. Inside are a perfectly seasoned wok, a set of flea-market-find Flintstones jelly-jar glasses, and the mug with the photo of a baby Harri from before the glasses and the dreaded braces but with the same sweet, rounded cheeks I still love to cup in my hands.

The rest of it, the place settings and utensils for two, a few scratched pots and pans, and a stack of ratty dish towels, went to Goodwill. In fact, many of our earthly belongings stayed back, thanks to a deal I made with the landlord, whose next tenant agreed to buy them all for next to nothing—exactly what they were worth.

None of my possessions, collected over years of scraping by, could compare with the stage that has already been set in this house. I could hardly drag in my chenille couch with the worn patches at the arms to compete with the eight-person sectional manspreading in front of the fireplace.

I open each cabinet looking for room to tuck my things. It’s like shopping at Williams-Sonoma—thick, cream-colored dishes, service for twelve; chunky glasses of every size; copper-bottomed pots nestled within each other by size like Russian dolls.

As with every other room in this house, every stick of furniture, every scrap of fabric, this kitchen oozes her.

His former wife.

The woman I’m replacing.