‘There’s something up with the people next door’
The Other Side of The Wall is the debut novel by Andrea Mara, a Dublin based freelance writer and award-winning blogger ( http://officemum.ie/ )
Just published by Crimson, a new imprint of Poolbeg Press, The Other Side of The Wall is psychological thriller that will have you questioning how well do you really know your neighbours….
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Poolbeg Press for my copy and today I have my unbiased and voluntary review so please do continue reading…
When Sylvia looks out her bedroom window at night and sees a child face down in the pond next door, she races into her neighbour’s garden. But the pond is empty, and no-one is answering the door.
Wondering if night feeds and sleep deprivation are getting to her, she hurriedly retreats. Besides, the fact that a local child has gone missing must be preying on her mind. Then, a week later, she hears the sound of a man crying through her bedroom wall.
The man living next door, Sam, has recently moved in. His wife and children are away for the summer and he joins them at weekends. Sylvia finds him friendly and helpful, yet she becomes increasingly uneasy about him.
Then Sylvia’s little daughter wakes one night, screaming that there’s a man in her room. This is followed by a series of bizarre disturbances in the house.
Sylvia’s husband insists it’s all in her mind, but she is certain it’s not – there’s something very wrong on the other side of the wall.
Andrea Mara had me up very late last night as I devoured her novel The Other Side of The Wall.
With sinister disturbances and creepy vibes throughout, this is one hell of a debut.
Sylvia is back at work after maternity leave. She had looked forward to the prospect of having a cuppa in peace without the constant presence of sticky fingers and whinging voices. But, unfortunately, returning to her job does not turn out as planned. With her career set in the highly stressed world of the financial/corporate sector, Sylvia soon realises that she has walked straight into a hornet’s nest. There is serious trouble in her department and it is Sylvia’s role, as the departmental head, to get it sorted…no excuses!!
Sylvia is exhausted. With late night feeds and the stress of the job, Sylvia is finding the going very difficult. One night, while awake with her young baby, Sylvia looks out of the window and is convinced she sees the body of a child face down in the pond of the next door neighbour’s back garden. Sylvia rushes next door only to find the pond is empty with nobody answering the door.
Sam and Kate are the new neighbour’s next door to Sylvia. The house originally belonged to an elderly lady so it is now in need of substantial upgrading. Kate has recently given up her job in digital marketing to care for her children, but she is finding it very tough. She had visions of a rose-tinted lifestyle – the perfect mum with the perfect kids – but the reality turned out very different. With Sam, her husband, increasingly busy at work, Kate finds herself relegated to general dogsbody. She is feeling very hard done by, as she now spends her days in the company of small children and an endless list of housekeeping chores. A small bit of the green-eyed monster creeps in as Kate becomes somewhat bitter with the freedom Sam has away from the home all day.
Kate’s Mum Laura runs a B&B in Galway so Kate packs her bags for the Summer and heads West. At least with her Mum, she might manage some ‘me-time’ and also it gives Sam an opportunity to get some work carried out inside the house.
As is common in most modern estates these days, does anyone really know their neighbours anymore? Long gone are the days when mothers and children spent hours out the front of their houses, with the mothers catching up on the local gossip as their children played hide-and-seek. These days most estates are extremely quiet during the day, as the activities behind closed doors are kept private from the rest of the local community.
Sylvia meets Sam one day and sees no reason to be suspicious of him. He explains his story about his wife been away, all very plausible. But as strange events occur, Sylvia soon finds herself becoming wary of Sam. She conveys her suspicions to her husband but he too is convinced that Sylvia is imagining things.
No plot spoilers here so this is where I will leave my review……
What I can say is that Andrea Mara has written a remarkable debut novel that will make you reflect on what really goes on behind closed doors. The Other Side of The Wall is a well balanced novel that moves long at a very fast pace. it is littered with more twists and turns than the old road from Dublin to Galway!!
I thoroughly enjoyed it and do hope you do too…..
Purchase Link ~ The Other Side of The Wall
Andrea Mara worked for 17 years in Dublin’s IFSC before moving into freelance writing – now she writes lifestyle features for Irish newspapers, magazines, and websites. She’s won a number of ‘best parenting blog’ awards for OfficeMum.ie, where she writes about the everyday chaos of bringing up her three young children.
Her first novel, The Other Side of the Wall, was partly inspired by the very regular night-time waking of her youngest child, though she’s quick to clarify – unlike her main character – she never saw a body in the garden next door.
Twitter ~ @office_mum