Cover Image: The Court of VIntage Woods

The Court of VIntage Woods

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Kindle ARC of The Court of Vintage Woods, by Josh Penzone. I was intrigued by the book's description and didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed this book far more than I could have imagined. The story of lives intertwined in a neighborhood, some good, some despicable. Mr. Penzone's writing develops the characters - from neighbor's in a well-kept neighborhood to dark, sad and lonely lives. The book is chapters of the separate neighbors, intertwined into each other's lives. A recent widow, a middle-aged woman off her medications, a teenager seeking acceptance on a pay YouTube link. I look forward to reading more from Josh Penzone - this was a great debut novel.
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I had a hard time trying to follow the characters and  ended up giving up on the book about a quarter of the way through. Such potential though - and a great premise!
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If you ever wonder about the people who live in your neighborhood, this book if for you. It’s an interesting look at suburbia and the stories that might be going on behind closed doors. I always enjoy a book that exposes the secrets people are trying to keep, and this one delivers on that front. The characters have their public lives and their private lives, and the intersection of the two is where this novel gets interesting.
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Thank you NetGalley and publishers for an ARC.

This short novel chronicles the lifes of neighbors and exposes the secrets that the street has tried to keep away from others. 

I really enjoyed this novel. It is reminiscent of J.D. Salinger's character development and fits right into the theme of small town secrets.
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Sorry but I couldn't get through this one.  The subject matter for each of the characters was just too heavy for me and there were no periods of relief. Add to that some severe mental health issues of multiple characters, this book just wasn't a good fit for me.
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The idea of The Court of Vintage Woods, the cul-de-sac in the suburbs shaped like a peephole, is that feeling of wanting to find out what goes on in everyone’s life, the desire to find out what goes on behind closed doors, and seeing what goes wrong in our neighbour’s house. 
However, the result is a rather flat collection of stories from too many people, whose only connection is that they live in the peephole.
Due to the number of characters, none of them have been developed, or given much of a backstory. There is no time to relate to any of the characters enough to get the feeling of peeping into someone’s life. 
While some situations are interesting, they get no context and only scrape the surface of the problems they try to portray. 
While the idea seemed intriguing, the result is sadly disappointing.
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The people who see you almost every day have lives that you know little about. Who is the man who raises the flag on his lawn every morning before dawn? Who is the woman with two sons who is sneaking into the house across the street?

Josh Penzone has written a study of the people who live next door. Everyone's life is different than what most people see. From the woman struggling with fertility to the man trying to raise a teenage daughter, this is the people of your neighborhoods.

The transitions between 'chapters' was rather abrupt and unknown portions of time would pass but the people were the same, connected by a thin thread and a a street. Still, I was interested in the 'behind the closed door' aspect of each person.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I expected to enjoy this book more than I did.  The premise is that it tells stories around all the characters living in a little close in America.  The baton is passed to a new character in each section.  However, the handover was not very slick and the reader felt jolted out of one story into the next.  However, some of the characters had pathos and there was humour, as well as some dark secrets.  

Somehow it lacked a central theme to draw the characters together - the fact they live in the same close was not really sufficient.  It may have helped to have had an introductory few paragraphs first of all to set the scene, and a section to draw the whole thing together, which the author did try to do in the final tale.  I could see where he was going, but it needed some more refinement and depth.

It was a pleasant read, but not gripping.

Thank you to NetGalley and Brown Posey Press for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Quite a different concept and we'll written. Great story and gives the heebie newbies. It will leave you wondering even in the best of neighborhoods , how well do you really know your neighbors?
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