In Noble's (The Reading Group) fifth novel, the girl next door is always more than she seems. In this nearly yearlong chronicle of the lives of the residents of one Manhattan apartment building, she's newly arrived British ex-pat Eve with the workaholic husband; mousy Charlotte, living vicariously through romance novel heroines; sexy and worldly Madison; romance-shy Emily; brittle Kim, throwing herself into motherhood at the expense of her marriage; golden girl Rachael; and Violet, a regal Englishwoman who holds the world at arm's length until the arrival of Eve stirs old wounds and new joys. Verdict Covering territory familiar to readers of women's fiction, if in slightly condensed form because of multiple, intersecting story lines, the novel features an overly ambitious cast of characters. However, the vivid primary protagonists and dramatic plot twists full of headache and heartache make this a safe bet for fans of Barbara Delinsky and Jane Green.-Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L., NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Noble charts the intertwining lives of the residents of a New York City apartment building in her charming love letter to Manhattan. After banker Ed Gallagher's promotion necessitates a move from the U.K. to New York, he and his wife, Eve, are thrilled to find the perfect Upper East Side apartment, though Eve struggles to meet people until she befriends Violet Wallace, an 82-year-old fellow Englishwoman in her building who enchants her with the story of her path to Manhattan. Elsewhere in the building, shiftless trust fund baby Jackson Grayling III has fallen in love with Emily Mikanowski, a stunner living downstairs, while Emily's downstairs neighbor and friend, frumpy librarian Charlotte, works up the nerve to speak to Che, the Cuban doorman. And on the sixth floor, the Kramers and Schulmans, married couples with young children, struggle with two sets of very different marital problems. Noble (The Reading Group) presents her sprawling cast without neglecting them as characters or confusing the reader, and though she's got something of a wooden ear for her younger characters' dialogue, her handle on heartbreak and hopefulness is admirable. (Dec.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.