Sunday, December 27, 2015
Good Neighbors, by Gary Earl Ross
By the time the Washingtons moved into the house two doors away late last summer, Loukas and Athena Demopoulos had lived next to Helen Schildkraut for nearly five years.
Dang, that is a good opening sentence. Clear, a bit complex, and instantly predicting the conflict that is to come.
Lou and Athena have retired after running their Greek restaurant for decades. Lou's hobby is antiques. He doesn't collect them, he just wants to buy low and sell high. But then he discovers that his elderly neighbor Helen has a house full of them. And Helen has no relatives, no favorite charities, no one to leave her precious belongings to. So Lou and Athena set out to become really good neighbors and wait for Helen to pass away.
But then the Washingtons -- remember them? They appear in that crucial first sentence and then disappear for most of the story -- move in on the other side, and they are good neighbors too.
This is one of those rare stories I reread as soon as I finished it, because there was so much in it I wanted to see what I had missed.