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A Good Neighborhood

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  546 ratings  ·  323 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 279 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Susanne  Strong
5 Breathless, Stunning Stars.

Actions. Circumstances. Ramifications. My Oh My! What a tangled Web You Weave!

When you think of a suburban community, you think barbecues and book clubs. That’s exactly how life was in the quiet suburb of Oak Knoll. Life was positively idyllic, but of course, good neighbors sure are hard to find!

Valerie Alston-Holt loves raising her teenaged son Xavier in the quiet neighborhood of Oak Knoll and both consider themselves lucky, until the drilling and demolition
Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
UPDATE.....( below)

5 Phenomenal Affecting Stars!!!!
Emotions and thoughts spin around and around in my head!!!
They will for a LONG TIME!
Huge Kudos to the author!!! She is insanely talented!!!
Unbelievable how engaging - thought provoking - urgent - and - heartbreaking- this story is!!!

Full Review still to come!


“Most of us hide what troubles and confuses us, displaying instead the facets we hope others will approve of, the parts we hope
David Putnam
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Solid five stars. Won it on the Goodreads Giveaway contest. I predict it will instantly be a New York Times bestseller. I don’t say this too often but it’s the kind of book that I tell friends to, drop what they’re doing, go out and buy it.
I’m a firm believer in the Fictive Dream, it’s what I need most in a book. To be dropped into a character driven story and live it with the character. If done correctly time stands still. When I come out of the fictive dream it seems like
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this ARC in a GoodReads Giveaway - big thanks to the publisher, author and GoodReads fo this opportunity! I obsessively read this book all night until I was finished - and devastated by the heartbreaking ending. This heartbreaking story is timely and and all too plausible and the only thing that kept me going was a great story and poignant, heartbreaking protagonists that kept me invested till the bitter end.

I loved Therese Anne Fowler's historical novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald so
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
My feelings are all over the place on this one. I think it is extremely well written, the use of the third person omnipotent point of view is always an interesting view. I think it’s hard to use it successfully which this book did. The premise, though not a new one, is good and relatable. A story of a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, in an older suburb where the residents are now having to “make way” for the Brad Whitmans of the world.

Valerie Alston-Holt is a widowed African American
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
To write about the black experience as a white woman is a brave thing to do and being a white woman, myself, I don’t know if Fowler nailed it or not. In addition to racial profiling, class, white privilege, power, sexual abuse, and Christian conservatism this book tackles an ecological issue. All of these are timely topics and a lot to pack into one novel. Initially, the pacing is a bit slow but necessary to fully develop the characters whom I felt like I knew rather well. I liked the narration ...more
Katie B
This was my first time reading a book by the author, and I have to say, I'm impressed. It's the type of story in which you keep thinking about the characters long after you are done reading. Would make an excellent book club selection!

Valerie Alston-Holt is a professor of forestry and ecology so obviously nature is pretty darn important to her. She's been a single mother for years, raising her biracial teenage son and Xavier is quite the talented young man. The Whitmans have just moved to the
A Good Neighborhood is a realistic fiction that's as real as it gets. On the surface, it's about the forbidden love between two teens--one white and one biracial--but more deeply, it's about the extent of racism in America's broken criminal justice system. This book broke my heart.

Complementary reading: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

NOTE: I received this as an Advance Reader Copy from Goodreads in September 2019.
"Trees are life. Not just my life, … but life, period."

As this story begins, set in a neighborhood populated by modest homes built when the boys who fought in World War II returned home to a housing boon in the rapidly growing suburban developments. A neighborhood in North Carolina, these many years later, by now established. That is, until a new family, the Whitmans, build a new, far more upscale, sprawling house next door to Valerie Alston-Holt. Valerie is a black female professor of
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am familiar with Fowler's historical fiction, but this is her first contemporary novel for me. I won an advance copy from goodreads -- a year in advance. Expected publication is Feb. 2020. Can't wait to see the cover page added. Amazon shows one, so why not GR?

For Valerie and her son Xavier, it seemed like a good neighborhood for them, a widowed black woman and her bi-racial teenager. Until, that is, Brad & Julia Whitmore and their 2 daughters moved in behind them, clear cutting the lot
A Good Neighborhood is a simple book to read. It’s short, it has an interesting and relevant plot, the characters are believable. A simple book to read - and a complex storyline to absorb.

When I first started reading, I was bemused by the narrator, who is apparently one of the neighbors, although exactly which one is a mystery. This tactic is captivating and kept me wondering throughout the story, but in no way overshadows the tale itself, which could have come right out of any current
Denise  Reed
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Here I am once again to be a killjoy amongst all of the 4 and 5 star reviews ....

I want to start off by saying that I love a book that isn't afraid to tackle tough, hot button issues straight on, and this book attempts to do so, and for that attempt, I give Fowler props; however, the issues for me started right off the bat. It took way too long to get to the "heart" of the premise. I was at Chapter 19 (and they weren't small chapters) and NOTHING substantive had taken place yet! There was just
Camille Maio
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Engrossing read that is so timely today. Fiction writing at its best - one that entertains and informs with equal skill. This is going to be a hit.
Kelly  Seifert
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Great story. I especially like the little narratives in the beginning of the chapters.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. I have been sharing it with family and friends, and I cannot wait for it to be published so others can enjoy it as much as I did.
Therese Fowler
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I thought I'd share the following interview from the July 16th, 2019 issue of Shelf Awareness, in which I talk about many things including why I decided not to write another biographical-historical novel for my follow-up to A Well-Behaved Woman and Z. There are no real spoilers here. Thanks for reading.


Therese Anne Fowler: The Sum of All Our Parts

Therese Anne Fowler is the New York Times bestselling author of Z and A Well-Behaved Woman. Z has been adapted for
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
When the Whitman family moves into the quiet Oak Knoll neighborhood, they have finally achieved ultimate success: home, family, and happiness. But their arrival has caused the unraveling of a chain of events, and there is no stopping what is on its way. Narrated by a Greek chorus of neighbors, who see all and know all, they are nonetheless drawn into the vortex that the Whitmans create, and the scene is set for an explosion. Fowler writes a timely story about race, wealth inequality, young love, ...more
Sharon Huether
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When a new neighbor moved into a grand home in a modest neighborhood, Valeria Alston-Holt, their nearest neighbor and the Whitman's share an old Oak tree between their yards
Valerie saw her beloved oak tree loosing leaves and looking tired. She wanted to sue the Whitman's
and their builder for disturbing her tree with the building of their home.

As a result nothing was what it once was before the Whitman's moved in.
A very sad ending. I will not forget this story.

The author made all the words
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I could not put this book down. From the opening sentence to the tragic ending, Therese Anne Fowler has created a story that is current and believable. Don't miss this one - it's stunning conclusion will stay with you long as you finish the last page. #AGoodNeighborhood; #GoodReads
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm, Myrtle Beach
A Good Neighborhood was an easy read and a decent book, but I didn't love it. I feel like it was such a slow build, and then all of a sudden everything happened and the ending was rushed... it also seemed kind of farfetched and forced to make people buzz about the big twist. Solid 3 stars
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. Fun and easy read book
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you netgalley and author for this book to review. I have to start by saying I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book. I had seen it several times on goodreads and I was interested. This book took me so long because I had a feeling I knew where this was going.... and didn’t care for where this was going. After reading things like this I will have a not so good attitude afterwards, because these type of topics (excuse the bluntness).... piss me off! Knowing the history ...more
Jun 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
i was given an ARC of a good neighborhood (unsolicited) and wow everything about it is a Bad Concept from start to finish!!!

i tweeted about this book the other day and have zero interest in reviewing it, so i'll link my little summary. content warnings for racism, murder, suicide, rape/sexual assault, pedophilia, incest, and possibly more things i missed while skimming through to the end. also spoilers i guess,,, if you care?
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it

We know a few things right from the first page: at the end of the book, there is going to be a funeral. And we know the consequences of this funeral continues to reverberate; this “good neighborhood” is “still maintaining its tenuous peace, a loose balance between old and new, us and them.”

So what we have here is an old-fashioned tragedy, and if we’re left with any doubt, the “voice” of the book puts them to rest. Like an ancient Greek chorus, the neighborhood speaks in first person plural;
Laura Rash
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’m not sure how I feel about this book. It was an intriguing story with timely matters but it seemed as if too many facets were packed into one book. It also left me feeling a tad depressed.
Amy Imogene Reads
Oct 21, 2019 marked it as to-read
So excited!

Thank you to St Martin’s Press for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Bonnie Brody
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This novel has a unique structure, written in third person narrative with 'the neighborhood' itself serving as a Greek Chorus. This chorus lets us know immediately, upon starting the book, that something will happen to this here that will change everything. It is only appropriate to surmise that what will occur is not good. It portends fear and danger.

Juniper Whitman is 17, white, and privileged. She has just moved into Oak Knoll, a "desirable neighborhood" in North Carolina, with her mother,
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel might better be titled “A Good Neighbor” as it revolves around two neighbors who drastically differ in their concept of what makes a good neighborhood. It begs the question “Is a good neighborhood what we make of it or what we want others to perceive it makes of us?” Fowler develops her storyline around Valerie, who deeply values nature and in particular, a hundred year old oak tree, and Brad, the new neighbor who seems to value himself but appears as the ultimate 'nice guy' to ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A Good Neighborhood is an interesting read. It centers around two very different families. I do not usually read this genre but I found this book very interesting and important for this day and age. You never know what goes on in ‘good neighborhoods’.
Meg Clayton
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I loved Therese Anne Fowler's provocative new novel, which begins as a story about how a nice, middle-class neighborhood incorporates the addition of a home built by a new, wealthy neighbor, but evolves into a thought-provoking novel about so many things, including race and religion, single parenting, gender, young love--and older love--and the environment. I gulped it down in three sittings, which is fast for me even when I am not in Paris, which I was when reading this. It is hard to put down, ...more
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