Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2017
I had heard great things about this book and this author. It started strong then just, sort of fizzled. I kept waiting for something fantastic to happen, but was left disappointed.
The people on Hemlock were used to their little lives on their little street. They all portrayed themselves as content and happy, but behind closed doors it seemed that no one was fulfilled. And those who were fulfilled was blinded to the misery their parents and children felt. But, each family lived the lives expected of them. The husbands went to work each day, the children to school, and the wives stayed home to care for their families. Each house looked the same from the outside.
However, a newcomer entered their quiet little world and was not like the rest of them. She was divorced with children, she wore different clothing, wore more make up and jewelry, except for the one piece which seemed to define a woman: a wedding band.
As the months went by she began to touch more and more lives. She, succeeding as a single mother made other women question their roles as a wife. Her vulnerability made her an object of desire for men on Hemlock. Her unusual habits made her an individual for children yo shy from and spread rumors of being a witch, and thusly, ostracize her oldest son.
As her desire to be accepted free, the desire of her neoghbors' lives to change in conjunction.
Theo families on Hemlock experienced changes, joys, and tragedies. Life went on, people adapted....
...and then it was over. No huge revelation. No big scene of true acceptance or otherwise. It just stopped.
The story, all in all, was decent. I had a connection for some characters. I had sympathy for some, but mostly I was indifferent toward them. Perhaps that was the point: just a snapshot of a year in the life of a street that could be anywhere. Just to be introduced and move on.
Because the book didn't drag on and on, I gave it a 3 star rating; it was a fast read. Had there been more drama, a twist of some sort - something! - which would have been entertaining, I would have given it 4. So, if you're in the mood for a shallow, quick story without much substance, this is your weekend read. If you're looking for something to take your breath away and keep you turning pages, you'd be better served to look elsewhere.