A Good Neighborhood
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 ...more
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 ...more
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!
NO SERIOUS SPOILERS...
“Most of us hide what troubles and confuses us, displaying instead the facets we hope others will approve of, the parts we hope ...more
Valerie Alston-Holt is a widowed African American ...more
Please stop singing Mr. Roger’s epic song: “It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood, would you be my, could you be my? Won't you be my neighbor?” because this book is nothing about good neighboring. It is about tangled, complex situations and their ...more
I loved Therese Anne Fowler's historical novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald so ...more
We are told this on the very first page — “Later this summer when the funeral takes place, the media will speculate boldly on who's to blame."
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 ...more
I received a gifted copy from the publisher.
The story itself was a good one, somewhat predictable, not in scope, but I pretty much knew where it was going before its arrival. Until the end, that I ...more
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 ...more
Wow. Just wow.
This book certainly covers a multitude of subjects! Racism, stereotypes, white privilege, sexual abuse and even ecology.
A Good Neighborhood is not a fast paced read. When a well-to-do white family with two daughters (one is a 17 year old) moves in next door to a single, black mother raising her teenage biracial son, things start off well enough. That is, until the teenagers fall in love. What originally starts out as a disagreement over a tree between the two neighbors ...more
I’m reluctant to say much about the plot of A Good Neighborhood because knowing too much would ruin the effect. In very bare terms, it’s the story of two families who become new neighbours, and what that does to them and the neighbourhood. There is tension between the adults and a budding romance between their older teens. A complicating and crucial factor is that one family is African American and the other family is white.
There was lots I loved about A Good ...more
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.
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
It begins when a small incident escalates between their families that ends up changing everyone’s lives forever. All Xavier’s mother wanted was to protect a historic oak tree in her yard, but unfortunately.. manipulation and deception were in the game ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
A girl sitting beside a swimming pool behind her newly built home. The neighbor boy welcoming her to the neighborhood. A typical day in a typical good neighborhood, upscale and friendly, a place where women gather for book clubs and teenagers can safely run in the local park.
But underneath the 'tenuous peace' simmers the possibility of ...more
A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD begins with "An upscale new house in a simple old neighborhood." Oak Knoll is a desirable area to live in North Carolina. A mixed race color-blind progressive area....or so we're told.
The storyline has an interesting narration with just a bit of commentary by the neighbors along the way that does not detract, but added to the telling....from my perspective.
It's a Sunday afternoon in May. The new self-made privileged millionaire, wife and two daughters...more