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The Mother Next Door

My Madness Level : Crazy Madness

How much of a Madness :  The mystery keeps me turning page after page, there’s no stopping with this book, I just want to continue reading and reading.

What brings the Madness :

  • The story. It has that Desperate Housewives vibe. Full of drama, lies and secrets.
  • The mystery. Everything keep me guessing who’s the murderer and what exactly happened in the past.
  • The eerie feelings. The woods, the lake, the old bridge, and it happens on Halloween.
  • The characters. Just like that TV series, I love some characters, I hate some too, some I root, some I just want to slap right out, overall this book has strong characters, love how determined they are to protect their family.
  • The neighborhood, love that small-town vibe where everyone knows everyone, rumour spread like wildfire.

What Madness I don’t like : 

  • A bit predictable for me.


TW/CW : cheating, death, murder

Where to buy this Madness :

My Madness Review : Goodreads

The Blurb :

Never show their feelings.
Never spill their secrets.
Never admit to murder.

The annual Halloween block party is the pinnacle of the year
on idyllic suburban cul-de-sac Ivy Woods Drive. 
An influential group of neighborhood moms—known as 
the Ivy Five—plans the event for months.

Except the Ivy Five has been four for a long time.

When a new mother moves to town, eager to fit in, 
the moms see it as an opportunity to make 
the group whole again. 
This year’s block party should be the best yet... 
until the women start receiving anonymous messages 
threatening to expose the quiet neighborhood’s dark past—and
the lengths they’ve gone to hide it.

As secrets seep out and the threats intensify, 
the Ivy Five must sort the loyal from the disloyal, 
the good from the bad. 
They’ll do anything to protect their families. 
But when a twisted plot is revealed, 
with dangerous consequences, 
their steady foundation begins to crumble, 
leaving only one certainty: after this year’s block party, 
Ivy Woods Drive will never be the same.





Ladies and gentlemen, skulls and boys: by the time our Halloween block party is over tonight, one of us will be dead.

And I don’t mean dead as in dull, or dead as in zombified. I mean dead as in gone. Dead as in expired. Killed.


You may be feeling distressed about this, knowing what you know about Ivy Woods—the great neighborhood it is, the sweet, loving families that live there. How could such a tragedy happen in such a wonderful place? You may have traveled here yourself, as a child or as a parent, lured in by the local fame of the street and its ghoulish decorations each year. The lights, the smoke, the gravestones, and the moaning. The witches, cackling and handing out candy. The swarms of little Frankensteins and cowboys and robots and ballet dancers lugging their pillowcases and plastic pumpkin buckets filled with sugar and junk.

But Ivy Woods isn’t perfect.

Far from it.

Look closer. Look under the makeup and the masks, look into the windows of the perfect houses. Dig under the surface of those freshly mowed lawns and you’ll find the worms. I’ve looked—believe me, I’ve looked. There’s something about this street. There are secrets. I know from watching through the windows, from hearing the hushed conversations, from lingering on their faces when they think everyone else has looked away.

Oh they think they are perfect. They pat themselves on the back for throwing such good parties, for raising such fine children, for living in such big houses.

But they are pretending.

They don masks on this one single night to dress up as someone or something else, but in reality they live their lives this way.

We all do.

We hate ourselves. We are too fat, or too thin. We should work hard, be smarter. We are lonely and depressed. We are worried about money. We are ashamed of the way that our friends and family treat us. But we lie about it all. We hide behind a protective façade, fragile glass figurines inside elaborate dollhouses designed to look like perfect, safe, happy places.

Tonight it will all shatter.

Watch closely and you’ll begin to see what I see. There’s trouble in the air, a cold wind blowing in from far away, and it’s settled on Ivy Woods Drive. The secrets and the lies we tell ourselves and others will emerge tonight like spirits of the dead. Lines will be drawn. Sides will be taken. Someone won’t make it out alive.

I can’t save that person, but I’ll tell the story. Turn over the rocks, expose the worms. Pull back the masks.

Because I know their secrets, secrets that will destroy them all.

If they don’t destroy themselves first.

Excerpted from The Mother Next Door by Tara Laskowski, Copyright © 2021 by Tara Laskowski. Published by Graydon House Books. 


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