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Book Review: A good neighbourhood by Therese Anne Fowler

Wow! A Good Neighbourhood is definitely one to watch! Mark your calendars – it’s out next month Huge thank you to @headlinebooks for my advance copy.

A good neighbourhood by Therese Anne Fowler

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

BUG Rating: 4.5/5

Overall: I loved this book! I don’t want to over reveal by saying too much on the plot (see below). The book wasn’t fast paced, but you totally lose yourself in the heartbreaking story – centred around racial/class division, love and injustice! It literally has it all. A totally engrossing and shocking read and really gave me Little Fires Every vibes (so, Celeste Ng fans – you’ll want to read this!). I also loved the writing style and the way the story was narrated, as if the town was actually telling the story! I definitely think this will be a top read in 2020! 

Plot:

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. 

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