Other People’s Houses by Kelli Hawkins. (2021).
**3.5 out of 5 stars**
Kate still grieves over the loss of her young son. 10 years on, she spends her weekends hungover and attending open houses on Sydney’s wealthy north to imagine the lives of the people who live there. Then Kate visits the Harding house – the perfect house and with it, seems the perfect family. She sees a photo of the family and for one heartbreaking moment the boy reminds her of her own son. When her curiosity turns to obsession, she uncovers the sordid truths that lie beneath a glossy facade of perfection. But is it her imagination? As events start to spiral dangerously out of control, could the real threat come from Kate herself?
On the one hand, this one turned out to be fairly darker than what I was expecting and I can appreciate that. On the other hand, it felt a bit predictable as well as unbelievable in the end. Did I find it entertaining and interesting enough to keep reading to the end? Yes, I did, but I wouldn’t say I highly enjoyed it. As more of Kate’s history was revealed, I could see where it was heading and I did feel for her; it also explained some of her nature and personality (to put it bluntly, she’s an absolute mess). I thought it was a bit strange just how quickly Kate becomes obsessive over the Harding family, who even though they are extremely wealthy with a gorgeous house, are not entirely happy and some members are keeping big secrets.
I liked this story well enough but I personally didn’t like where it ended up (no spoilers here haha); I think many readers would enjoy this novel.