“The Neighbors are Watching”, by Debra Ginsberg is an intriguing tale of what may go on behind closed doors in an otherwise normal neighborhood in San Diego. The story begins when Joe Montana’s 17-year-old, pregnant daughter shows up on his front porch. He had never told his wife Allison that he’d even fathered a child and she is suddenly thrust into their home. Needless to say difficulties ensue.
Theirs is not the only house on the block with problems. The overbearing neighbor and his nosy wife don’t seem to know that their son is high most of the time. Another neighbor seems to be running a call girl operation out of her home. Then there’s the kid down the street alternately banging away at the piano or the basketball.
As summer becomes fall the unraveling continues until it culminates in the Santa Ana driven wildfires of 2007. As fire closes in on the neighborhood everyone is evacuated; but not everyone returns.
I really enjoyed this novel. The cast of characters were intriguing and well-developed. The story was told from different points of view at different times so you were able to get in the head of the characters and see what was driving them and actually going on in their homes. I thought Allison’s complete melt down was a bit much but, more understandable as the novel got into what the reason behind it was. The pacing of the story kept the pages turning and the suspense building. All in all, a worthy read.