Finished A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler. I received a copy for review. It’s out in early February so put a hold request in at the library now.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“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 is headed to college in the fall, and after years of single parenting, Valerie is facing the prospect of an empty nest. All is well until the Whitmans move in next door―an apparently traditional family with new money, ambition, and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter.
Thanks to his thriving local business, Brad Whitman is something of a celebrity around town, and he’s made a small fortune on his customer service and charm, while his wife, Julia, escaped her trailer park upbringing for the security of marriage and homemaking. Their new house is more than she ever imagined for herself, and who wouldn’t want to live in Oak Knoll? 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.
Told from multiple points of view, 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 star-crossed love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.”
I’ve read Therese Anne Fowler before, but that was her historical fiction about Zelda Fitzgerald. This is an entirely different book (though just as compelling and well-written). This story feels very timely and is also all too plausible. I want to read her other historical fiction, but I also hope that she keeps writing contemporary fiction because she has a real gift for it.
It’s hard to discuss without spoiling so I’ll give you a prediction instead: this is the book that everyone’s going to be talking about, and it’s one of the times that it’s really worth all the hype and comparisons (I’m guessing it’ll be compared to Big Little Lies most often). Make sure you read it before it’s spoiled for you. Highly recommended.