Rating: 5 / 5
I received a complimentary copy of A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD by Therese Anne Fowler in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the change to read and review!
A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD begins with a neighborhood full of established families in a tight knit community complete with book clubs and get togethers. Valerie Alston-Holt is a widowed mom who is passionate about the environment and especially the trees surrounding her home.
Brad Whitman owns a successful HVAC company and made a decent windfall off of something he invented. He has a new mansion built on the lot behind Valerie’s home with all the luxuries which necessitates taking out all of the trees and skirting some rules which causes irrevocable harm to Valerie’s favorite trees.
The families are incredibly different in terms of race and economic status and belief systems. On top of the tension between families over the issue of the tree, tensions flare when a relationship develops between Valerie’s son Xavier and Brad’s step-daughter Juniper. The situation quickly escalates and from the beginning we are let know that a tragedy is coming.
This book! One of the biggest compliments I can pay it is that I was stuck in jury duty and this book managed to keep me fully engaged even in the midst of that less than comfortable situation! This book looks at racism and the ugliness of people that will have you mad and frustrated and concerned for the outcome.
The story telling is very creative. In addition to getting chapters focusing on both families, there is also a point of view that comes from the community as a whole. From early on in the story this outside perspective tells us that things are building to a catastrophe. This voice speaks to the upset in the neighborhood as a whole with neighbors taking sides in the dispute. There is a sense that this voice knows more now than they did at the time and questions about how things might have gone differently if different facts were known. I really appreciated this added perspective and thought it worked really well in this narrative.
I really highly recommend picking up A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD when it is released on March 10, 2020!