The Woman Outside My Door by Rachel Ryan, 3.5 Stars

There is literally nothing more terrifying to a parent than the worry that harm could come to their child. I really don’t even want to talk about it, because it is so scary. I’ve always watched my children like a hawk in public places, although my third child would give me a run for my money.

I lost him once at Kohls. Although I “lost” him isn’t really a correct term. Not when my child basically had so much fun running and hiding from me. To him it was a game. To me? Terrifying. I found him that time, giggling in a changing room. The time I lost him at Sam’s club? Giggling behind a pallet of Cheerios. It’s hard to watch your kids when they are actively trying to escape you at all times.

I would try not to freak out, but alas, it was hard. Even though I knew he was 99% just hiding from me, that 1% was just too much to bear.

The premise for The Woman Outside My Door is that there is a woman communicating with Georgina’s son. Giving him candy, talking to him on that phone. And no one know who it is…I’m surprised I could even read this one!

From the Publisher:

From an unforgettable new voice in suspense fiction, The Woman Outside My Door is a thrilling page-turner about a young mother who can’t shake the feeling that her son’s “imaginary” friend is putting him in very real danger, and she will stop at nothing to keep him safe—perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Mary Kubica.

All children have imaginary friends, Georgina tells herself. It’s perfectly normal, and they all grow out of it in the end. But when her seven-year-old son, Cody, tells her about New Granny, the new friend he’s met in the park, Georgina is instantly suspicious. Something—call it maternal instinct—tells her he isn’t making it up.

But maybe Georgina is losing her mind. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all. And with her own mother’s recent death leaving her bereft and trying to cope with life as a busy working mom, it’s no wonder she’s feeling paranoid that Cody has invented a “New Granny” to replace his beloved grandmother.

Her husband, Bren, becomes the voice of reason, assuring Georgina that it’s just a game, the product of their son’s overactive imagination. But what if Cody’s imaginary friend is not so imaginary after all?

My Review:

Georgina and Bren seem to have figured things out in life. They love each other, they are the parents of one child, and Georgina is going to school to realize her dream to be an art teacher now that their son Cody is in school. It’s been a rough year, Georgina lost her mom the year before, but with everything else in life going well, Georgina is slowly coping and coming out of her grief period.

But when her son Cody starts talking about a friend he met who is giving him candy, Georgina doesn’t know if he’s imagining it, or if it’s real. And when she starts worrying it’s more than a passing childhood phase, other parts of her life start falling apart and she really starts to wonder if anything is real.

In The Woman Outside my Door, Rachel Ryan preys on one of the scariest aspects of being a parent – the safety of our children. Sometimes the everyday fears are what is most terrifying on the written page. This one was well written and entertaining enough, but it fell a little flat for me. I found Georgina to be a little tiring and the story lacked the twists and turns I look forward to in books of this genre.

Special thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out January 5! Get your copy:

Indiebound

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