“That Woman Next Door” is a novel that gets under your skin. It was published by none other than the incredible Harper Bliss in 2021.
It has been a long time since a book has touched me as much as this one. And as I devoured this novel, I asked myself why? What does this book have that other Harper Bliss novels don’t? And why does this book feel so damn personal to me? How could I put this book down when the author’s words blow me away? These questions made me keep reading because I wanted to find the answers.
I consider myself a Harper Bliss fan, even though I haven’t read all of her novels (yet). I love the way she often tackles controversial or uncomfortable topics (eye on you “In Distance There Is Light“). But in “That Woman Next Door”, she went to another, new, entirely personal level. And not only did the story feel so realistic, but I felt a little bit represented myself.
The story follows two main characters. The first is Olivia Chevalier, a 44-year-old book translator who lives alone in Brittany’s rural area. She has no problem living so isolated from others. In fact, she embraces it.
The second character is Marie Dievart, a 56-year-old self-proclaimed womaniser who works as a successful neurosurgeon in Brussels. But after something unexpected happens in the operating theatre one day, she decides to do a sabbatical to clear her head.
When the reclusive, introverted Olivia meets the extraordinary Marie, who states that her hobby is “women”, her life is turned upside down. Are they really as different as they seem?
I must confess that I had tears in my eyes for a moment in the middle of the book because Olivia’s character was so wonderfully complex and realistic. She lived as her unapologetic self, and that’s exactly how it should be.
Everyone constantly accused her of always being alone and lonely. But Olivia never felt alone. She was happy with her cats, her job and her poetry. She was just living her true self. And oh god, I could relate to her so much. But when I got to the “author’s note” at the end of the book, I cried.
“I might as well have hung my soul out to dry, for all the world to see, that’s how much of myself is portrayed in the character of Olivia.” – Harper Bliss.
And when she said that this book was “too revealing and private to become a true reader’s favourite”, I had to disagree with her. Because, dear Harper Bliss, this book is going on my favourite book pile. Thank you.
My rating for ‘That Woman Next Door’
I absolutely loved the plot and the characters. It was a fantastic read, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
About the author
She has also published several standalone stories such as “Seasons of Love”, “In The Distance There’s Light”, or “The Road to You”, and many more.
More books by the same author
Here you’ll find all the other books by Harper Bliss that I read and reviewed.