I had a lot to process after reading Therese Anne Fowler’s new novel, A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD (StMartin’sPress). It’s such a sad story with a compelling narrative. Right from the start I was caught up in the injustice in the middle of a neighborhood, that when it comes down to it could be yours or mine. Once finished, I looked back at so many opportunities there were for a different outcome. Fowler has a unique talent of capturing the pulse of today’s society. In A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD, that’s a very telling and very unhappy commentary.
In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son, Xavier, who’s headed to college in the fall. All is well until the Whitmans―an apparently traditional family with new money and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter―raze the house and trees next door to build themselves a showplace.
With little in common except a property line, these two very different families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie’s yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.
A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today―what does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.
Therese Anne Fowler is the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (adapted for television by Amazon Studios as Z: The Beginning of Everything starring Christina Ricci and David Hoflin), A Well-Behaved Woman, and (forthcoming) A Good Neighborhood. She is married to author John Kessel.
A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD will be published March 10th.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what the last book you read that really shocked you. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
GIVE: USA only please
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