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Next Door to Happy

"A tender exploration of a budding friendship between two introspective tweens." - Kirkus Reviews

"A perceptive first novel." - Booklist

"In a softly told debut, Strout captures family chaos, sibling rivalries, and the delicate nature of new bonds via two protagonists who bravely build confidence in their unique identities." - Publishers Weekly

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About Me

I grew up in Westchester County, NY but have lived most of my life in New York City with brief detours in Washington, DC and Los Angeles. It’s hard for me to leave NYC because I love to walk (particularly walking with a destination), and NYC is hard to beat for that.

I have three kids: Griffin, Eliza, and Nate–who are not named for children’s book characters. And two dogs who are: Percy and Ramona.

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Next Door to Happy

About the Book

I was a pretty quiet kid from a small, self-contained kind of family. Especially during the summers, I spent much of my free time at the local library with a big stack of books by my side or at the town pool swimming underwater. Although I was reserved, some part of me wanted to be more social. I was jealous of kids who were completely at ease in groups, especially those kids who started with what seemed like the ultimate advantage: having lots of brothers and sisters. It appeared that kids from these big families always had an eager playmate, a ready teammate–and a best friend.

Imagining myself being a sibling in one of those kinds of families is where the story of NEXT DOOR TO HAPPY began. Violet, who’s a little lonely and a little lost, watches the large and rambunctious Walker family move in and tries to become a part of their charmed lives.

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