Skip to main content

Book Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena is a modern tale of a couple whose baby goes missing. Anne Conti and Marco Conti are beautiful and their six-month old daughter Cora is amazingly cute and sweet. She has beautiful, round blue eyes, chubby cheeks, blond hair with curls. And Cora is another amusing name to fall for.

Anne and Marco are invited to a birthday party without carrying children by the next door neighbors, Cynthia Stillwell and Graham Stillwell. It is Graham’s 40th birthday, and Cynthia wants to do something simple. Cynthia and Graham are childless by choice. Moreover, Cynthia doesn’t like children and Cora is a faddy baby.

To put through the problem, Anne and Marco hired a baby sitter called Katerina; she would take care of the child while they attend the party next door. But unfortunately her grandmother dies just in time, thus forcing Katerina to call them to cancel her arrival at 6:00 PM. But the party is at 7:00 PM. Out of nowhere, Anne offers to stay home with the baby. But Marco insisted her not to stay home. Anne was seeing a psychiatrist for her postpartum depression and nobody knows about that except Marco and Anne’s mother Alice, not even her step-father Richards Dries. Anne and Marco argues about going to the party, and finally Marco persuaded that with the monitor on the next door they could hear the baby anytime (the monitor’s audio was fine but the video was not working). They also decide that they would take turns to check on her every half an hour. They thought nothing bad would happen. When they arrived home after the party around 1:30 AM, the front door was slightly ajar, and the baby was gone. There was just an empty crib.

Soon detective Rasbach is assigned to solve the case.

As the story advances half way through the book it becomes clear what was the plan and who was behind it. But where is the fun if you knew the plan midway so there were so many twists. At some point, readers wondered if that many twists were needed. Readers may grow suspicious of every single character, but the story will force them not to trust any character till they reach the end.

Also, leaving a child unattended comes under child endangerment. No? But surprisingly that was never mentioned in the book. It was never mentioned in the book: backdrop. It says that the houses were attached and the man went downtime for work. What part of the world was that place was totally kept hidden.

The ending was predictable. Rather quite disappointing. The writing and language usage are reasonable; one can enjoy it during a wintry afternoon. Would Anne and Marco succeed in getting back Cora? Was she still alive? What was the actual plan and who was behind it? You must give this one a shot to unravel the mystery.


Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r