TITLE: A Good Neighborhood
AUTHOR: Therese Anne FowlerPUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
PUB. YEAR: 2020
RATING: - 4.5/5
Oak Knoll, NC is a "good neighborhood" that is about to face tragedy.
The story immediately draws the reader into the lives of two families: the Whitman's, a blended family with new money who buys a house, tears it down along with the surrounding trees to build a McMansion. Brad owns a successful HVAC business, his wife Julia, has a somewhat troubled teenage daughter named Juniper from Julia's previous relationship and, together the couple has a 7 year old daughter. The other family is Valerie Alston-Holt, a black ecology professor and her bright, soon to be college-bound, biracial son, Xavier. Initially, the two families seem to have very little in common, but, they try to be cordial as their property lines connect. Before long tensions rise between the neighbors leading to a devastating and unexpected outcome.
This page-turner has great character development, is emotionally complex and touches on a variety of topics: race, class, love and environmental issues as well. I was emotionally invested from beginning to end. This is one of those novels that would make for a great book club discussion.