Over the Fence

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

In book 2 of The Neighbors series, this is not a continuation, but a parallel story.  This story follows Milton and Yvonne Hamilton, who are neighbors to Odell and Joyce Watson, who are introduced and the main characters of  One House Over.  This book ended abruptly, like the first book, so hopefully there's another book that will complete both stories.
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Set in the depression era South, this is a fascinating look at the real workings of bootlegging. The characters are well crafted, and keep the reader entertained and captive. Well written fiction.
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Over the Fence is the second book in the series, I am not sure why this book was needed other than to expand the characters from the first book.  The characters are unlikable in this  depression era story.  I just couldn't get into this one.  I so wanted to love it but I just didn't get there.
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Although I didn't read the first book in the series if it was like this one...no thanks,  It seemed like the story was dragged on to make another book, the plot went in circles and there wasn't really a story.
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A quick read for a Sunday afternoon.  I loved One House Over, this book's predecessor. However that story was pretty much complete, at the end . Over the Fence wasn't terrible, just didn't feel necessary.
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I simply enjoyed the first book.  I didn't enjoy this one as much..  I think too much focus given to Yvonne and Milton.  Background is good, but not a whole book.  I still enjoy this writer and look forward to the next book in the series.
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I don't even really know how to rate this book. Why you ask? well, let me tell you. I didn't like any of these people, lols. They were terribly awful people who did bad things to other people and then wondered why life went so bad for them. 

I will say this, Mary Monroe can sure pull emotions out of you when you are reading her books because I'm telling you, you're going to walk away either loving or hating her characters. There is no in-between. The way she weaves these stories, listen...I don't even know. The woman is a good ass writer and story-teller. So, yeah...I don't think I'm going to rate this one because it would be a disservice to Ms. Monroe. But chile, Over the Fence as a whole? All I can say is, if you're going to read it; just be prepared to walk away conflicted.
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Enter the Depression-era South in a small-town Alabama, where Milton and Yvonne take bootlegging to another level. Picking up where One House Over left off, we learn how others view Odell and Joyce. Filled with authentic dialogue and a host of humorous schemes, Over the Fence was highly enjoyable. Known for her deliciously dramatic prose, Ms. Monroe has created a new historical series filled with explosive drama and Jim Crow antics.
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Over the Fence by Mary Monroe is the second book in her The Neighbors series. The novel is set in the late 1930’s and is told through the alternating points of view of the main characters, Yvonne and Milton Hamilton. 

Yvonne Maynard is recently released from prison camp in Alabama where she’s been for almost two years. Milton Hamilton is a young man constantly on the lookout for his next hustle. Milton and Yvonne meet at a bootleggers’ party and the romance is sprung. The two marry and start their own bootleg operation. Jealousy and betrayal abound from all directions, especially between the Hamilton’s and their neighbors, the Odell’s. These petty emotions evolve into dangerous situations. 

Ms. Monroe has done an admirable job and Over the Fence is another triumph to add to her repertoire. The grammar is perfect for the setting. Background details are appropriately rendered, and the characters are so flawed they must be real. The ending is a bit abrupt but is totally in line for the next in the series. I enjoyed this novel from start to finish and rate it 5 out of 5 stars. 

My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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Well written as always. I love how the author started out with more background on Yvonne and Milton this time around. In the first book, I was more for Joyce and Odell, but my feelings for them have shifted a bit. I didn't realize how differently they treated Milton and Yvonne until now. All because they had more money than they did. Very easy read. I do recommend this book, especially if you have read the first one.
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"Over the Fence," is the first book I've read by Mary Monroe. I'm so happy that I was introduced to her work through a complimentary copy given by Net Galley.  Her characters are three-dimensional, warm, funny, lively, and believable. The historical novel is set in 1937 during the Prohibition period in the South.  It centers around the neighborly relationship between married couple, Yvonne and Milton Hamilton, and their neighbors Odell and Joyce Watson. Yvonne met Milton after she was released from prison at a party.  They marry and decide to become bootleggers. Eventually, they earn enough money to leave the poorer side of town and move into upper-class black neighborhood, where the Watsons live. 

Odell is handsome, successful, and wealthy. He and his wife constantly insult the Hamiltons, because they believe they're beneath them. Eventually, Milton learns that Odell is living a double life and keeping a huge  secret from his wife Joyce. So, the bootlegger begins blackmailing Odell to keep the secret quiet. His wife eventually catches on as well. 

I love Mary Monroe's writing style and I could relate to Yvonne and Milton, because I've known people like Joyce and Odell. There were many scenes where I laughed out loud, because the situations were hilarious. All characters felt authentic, and the book was really well researched. I couldn't put this book down once I started, and it's one of my favorite reads, so far this year.

When I mentioned this book, everyone told me to read Mary Monroe's other series, which I will definitely pick up. I feel like I'm late to the party on Mary Monroe, but I'm so happy to find out about her work now.
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I received an ARC copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

First off, I am so elated author Mary Monroe expanded on the "neighborly" relationship between Milton/Yvonne + Odell/Joyce.  If you read the first in the series "One House Over", this one shows Milton is absolutely running things (no spoilers).

"Over the Fence" delves further into the background lives of both Milton & Yvonne.  At the same time Joyce & Odell are still the same judgmental, holier-than-thou neighbors.

This one is a must!  I am eagerly awaiting installment 3 of this series.
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Milton, Yvonne, Joyce, and Odell.  Is any one of these people likable?  Odell and Milton really came off as odious to me.  I wasn't a fan of the first novel, in part because I so disliked Odell so I had hopes for this one.  Nope.  I still can't built the sympathy Joyce deserves.  I did like the depression era setting an the bootlegging aspects.  Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.
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I didn't necessarily feel like the predecessor to Over the Fence needed a sequel, but it was interesting to see how  Milton and Yvonne's household was run, in comparison to Joyce and Odell's from One House Over. Monroe writes simple, small town characters which makes for a quick read, but doesn't leave the reader wondering about those characters later on. There's no depth to the story telling, so while it's a quick read, it's rarely a must read.
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Amazing. Mary Monroe is a fantastic author and I was so excited to be approved for this one. This was one of those reads that I just couldn't put down and just had to know what was going to happen and I wasnt disappointed.
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I fell in love with Mary Monroe, and her writing years ago after reading God Don’t Like Ugly. I went on to read about a half a dozen of her books that all gave me the same feeling of thrill and fascination and satisfaction.

Monroe is a fantastic writer and has a real knack for creating characters with substance and dimension, and I expected nothing less in her latest novel, Over the Fence(The Neighbors)

In her latest work, Monroe highlights the relationship of married couple Milton and Yvonne Hamilton who are bootleggers during the depression. Both coming from a shady past that is plagued with criminal behaviour, prison time and just mere bad luck, Milton and Yvonne are like two peas in a pod and their relationship is, in fact, sweet, in its own way.

They are by definition, opportunist and extremely delusional, but throughout the book, you can’t help but to like them and sympathize with them.

As bootleggers, they are able to move out of their run-down neighbourhood and move into a middle-class community where their business thrives and they befriend neighbours, Joyce and Odell Watson.

Joyce and Odell are pretty much well to do. They have a nice car, they own the local grocery store and they have more than enough to go around. The neighbours relationship with each other though is the classic frenemies dynamic.

Yvonne is mostly annoyed and insulted by the way Joyce speaks to her and looks down on her, yet when Joyce needs something Yvonne is there to do her hair and teach her how to sew.

What’s really funny though is Milton and Odell’s relationship. Milton learns that Odell is hiding an affair and a whole other family from his wife and instead of being a friend and helping him through it, he blackmail’s Odell in order to finance his gambling addiction.

While reading this book I had no idea that this was the second book in a series but thankfully I don’t think you need to read the first one in order to enjoy this one.

There were parts of the story that seemed to drag on a little and I could have done without but overall I think this was a solid story, with good characters and filled with unpredictable drama.
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Drama filled story. This was my first book by this author but I will be back for more. I like stories that I can’t easily predict. Fun read. The characters were family members by the time I got to Chapter 12 so I was tripping about some of the things that went on... no spoiler... netgalley review. Thanks
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Over the Fence is the second book in a series. I didn't know that, so I haven't read the first book yet. The background information would have helped I think. The story is depression era. It's well written and engaging. I like the bootlegging aspect of it. It's a very interesting read. The characters are flawed but likeable. They have complex relationships, and they are funny at times. Overall, this is a good read. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Set in the South during the Depression, Yvonne and Milton are like birds of a feather!  Both of them are thieves, both having spent time in prison and together they go into the business of bootlegging.  Moving into a more respectable colored middle-class neighborhood, they setup their business...and as fast as they make it, they spend it.  Still having itchy fingers, Yvonne helps herself to whatever she needs in whatever store she finds herself.  Milton, for his part, is a gambler and is always running out of money.  However, their neighbors Joyce and Odell become the perfect couple who live next door.  With loose lips, Odell gives Milton a reason to blackmail him and pay for his gambling ways.
Boastful, gossipy and downright devious, this story, although slow at times, was an interesting read.  Ms. Monroe's research proved to be excellent giving the reader a glimpse of another time and another look into a different culture whose lives were less than perfect.  This is the second book in the series called "The Neighborhood" which I didn't read.  Perhaps I would have been more invested in this second book if I had read the first.  To be sure the story will continue with a third book, I'll have to think some about reading it.

My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I had some problems with this book as it was the second installment in a series and I didn't read the first one.
I liked the characters, the well researched historical background, and the setting.
The book is sometimes slow and it seems to drag.
Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC
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