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Safe from the Neighbors
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Safe from the Neighbors

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  236 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In a small town in the Mississippi Delta, Luke May teaches local history to students too young to remember the turmoil of the civil rights era. Luke himself was just a child in 1962 when James Meredith’s enrollment at Ole Miss provoked a bloody new battle in the old Civil War. But when a long-lost friend suddenly returns to town, bringing with her a reminder of the act of ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2010)
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May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most of my GR Friends gave Steve Yarbrough's Safe From the Neighbors 4 stars. Why not 5? 4 or 5, 5 or 4. Perhaps this has a bit to do with the text that goes along with the ratings. 4 = I really liked it 5 it was amazing. If I give this book 5 stars does that mean nothing else can touch it? Once again I'm conflicted by the use of stars but for me Mr. Yarbrough (I'm a new fan) deserves my 5.

I heard Steve Yarbrough speak at Booktopia Vermont 2013. At first he reminded more or a rock musician and i
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
When books have reviews by acclaimed authors like Richard Russo, John Grisham, Jill McCorkle, and Tom Perrotta, I always begin with a wary and careful eye. Is it really going to be that good? In this case, a resounding YES. Yarbrough seems to be an undiscovered gem in our group of US southern writers. Perhaps not, but I had never heard of him before.

This book has a well developed story, almost mystery, and carefully drawn characters. And the dialogue is amazing. I won't say anything else, disco
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first book by Steve Yarbrough and he is fabulous! Interesting subject about which, sadly, I am learning how much I do not know: Civil rights. Specifically an incident that occurred in 1962 on the campus at Oxford, Mississippi. I never knew about the drama that erupted there over a boy trying to enroll in college. The story goes back & forth from current to the 1960s and includes racial violence as well as family drama/marriages in crisis. All told from the point of view of Luke May, a hig ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sadly I am on a bad book streak. I hated the main character in this book. He was a whining jerk. The story seemed like it had some mystery - a teacher tries to unravel a murder in the 1960s and a family that his dad doesn't want to talk about. The mystery was slowly revealed, but it was not a mystery that was very interesting. Just really hated this book - wish that I had stopped wasting my time reading it. But I am an optimist and kept hoping it would get better.
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yarbrough, Steve. SAFE FROM THE NEIGHBORS. (2010). *****. Yarbrough can really write. I’ve been reading his books for years now and each one gets better and better. In this novel he tells the story of Luke May, a high school history teacher at his old high school in Loring, Mississippi. As a young man growing up, he was mentored by Loring’s newspaper publisher, a survivor of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. He knew first hand about those events, and passed them on to Luke. Luke, in turn, ...more
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very character driven novel with a minimal plot, which definitely breaks the usual mold of what I typically read and enjoy.

But this book has some important things to say on relationships, racism, family history, attitudes in the south and loyalty. Specifically on the topic of racism, there are some really ignorant, bigoted people out there which is unfortunate... but does that mean their entire lives are loathsome? That they aren't multi-dimensional human beings, capable of compassion
John Pappas
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yarbrough's novel depicts the intersection of public and private histories - the things we struggle to forget and can't help but remember from our personal and collective past - in his story of a history teacher who attempts to excavate his own troubled family's involvement in the brutal events of the civil rights era in Mississippi while succumbing to the siren-song of childhood love and nostalgia. An excellent novel.
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, botns, booktopia
I want to read/listen to more from Steve Yarbrough. Thank you BOTNS for introducing me to a new author. I look forward to meeting Steve in April 2013 at Booktopia Vermont. Having lived there, I love stories set in Mississippi. Now to listen Prisoners of War Prisoners of War by Steve Yarbrough
So happy I've been introduced to Steve Yarbrough. His characters and plot are deep and thought provoking...and the writing is sublime.
I listened to this and the reader, T. Ryder Smith, totally inhabited the narrator and all of the other characters (male and female) that he portrayed.
This book was a pleasure and I'm so anxious to meet the author at Booktopia Vermont.
Feb 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but what kept me from giving it a higher rating was that it just sort of ended abruptly. I was enjoying the story and the main characters, and then it just sort of ended. It was well written but left me with questions.
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Born in Indianola, Mississippi, he received his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Mississippi and his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas. Writing largely within the Southern tradition, he draws his themes and characters from Southern history and mores in ways that have been compared to Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, and Willie Morris.

Yarbrough's major wo
More about Steve Yarbrough...
“It's a lot easier to say when something ended rather than when it began. Most of us can recognize the end from a mile away, but the beginning always slips up on us, lulling us into thinking what we're living through is yet another moment, in yet another day.” 57 likes
“Just look what happens to poets," I used to tell my honors class on the first day of school. "Half the time they go mad. And you know why I think that happens? Too much truth distilled to its essence, all surrounding evidence ignored or discarded. And I'm not faulting them for that.” 5 likes
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