Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'City Mouse,' A Novel by Stacey Lender.
In City Mouse by Stacey Lender we are given an opportunity to deal with that question from both angles as Aaron, Jessica and their young daughters move out of Manhattan and into suburbia.
For Jessica, she is torn and loves the city, but Aaron wants to find a place where they can raise their youngsters that is safe, and will be better for the family. The hustle and bustle of city life will fade away, and their family will grow as a result.
After much discussion, Jessica finally decides that she is being stubborn and selfish, wanting the excitement of the city, but the closeness of a great family life. However, it isn’t just about the family but the finances as well, it is more expensive to live in the city.
Once they find the house of their dreams in the suburbs, Jessica sets about becoming a part of the group of mothers in the neighborhood. They seem so together, and their connections seem to keep them sane. Wanting to be a part of the community, and knowing that will help form friendships, both for her children, but for herself and Aaron as well, she dedicates time to belonging, and fitting in. Initially all is wonderful, new friends, a settled and less busy schedule, and just an overall feeling of happiness. Sure, she missed the noise and excitement of the city but this too is bliss. Or is it?
She misses Aaron, he is always headed to the city to work, and with the drive time, they do not see him as much. She begins to suspect that her girls are being bullied, and she is beginning to feel a tension within the group that cannot be seen, but simmers just the same.
She tries to ignore the occasional catty remark, but as time moves forward she finds herself less trusting, and becoming alarmed at the things being said. When she gets caught up in some of the strange, unique situations, a form of blackmail that is used to keep the group in tow, she decides to fill Aaron in on her suspicions. Initially skeptical, he too is finding the living in the suburbs is not as expected. Can they rekindle their own love and trust, and pull the family back together again before it is too late?
If you enjoy human drama, and stories that pull you in, you will find this a great summer read. Lender does a great job of keeping you interested and wanting to know more.