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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Her Neighbor by D.A. Olivier is an absorbing relationship drama about best friends Julienne and Daniel, who meet as children and form a lasting friendship. But as the plot unfolds, something happens that jeopardizes the friendship. It was easy being friends as kids, but it's a little more challenging when they're adults. Julienne has her life as a married woman with children and a career as a teacher, while Daniel lives the rocky life of an artist who is into hard liquor and one-night stands. Their loyalty weathers the curveballs of life: marriage, divorce, addiction, miscarriage, and even death, but can something this good last forever?
D.A. Olivier has written an engaging drama that involves your heart and mind from the beginning. The story begins in a hospital setting, and the drama develops steadily from there, going back in time to the beginning of Julienne and Daniel's friendship, and through to the present day. The flashbacks work well for this story. This author is talented at crafting believable characters and situations and letting them play out in natural ways. Not once does it feel contrived or forced. You'll forget you're reading about fictional characters and will be convinced that they're real people. I really like how Oliver handles the best-friends angle.
The plot, though not new, feels fresh and authentic. And the bond she creates between Julienne and Danielle is solid and realistic: "human" may be a better way to describe it. You feel a longing for things to work out in a good way for everyone involved. The supporting characters are used effectively here, especially Greg, Hawk, and Camille. The author's strengths are dialogue, creating a plot, and building emotion, and she creates scenarios that make you wonder what you would do if it happened to you. This emotional ride will move you, and if you like novels about love, loyalty, and the ups and downs of life, you'll be caught up in Her Neighbor by D.A. Olivier.