Coming in at just under 300 pages this new novel by Therese Anne Fowler packs a helluva punch. Fowler leaves very few issues untouched. And does a bang- up job.
The novel begins in a simple old neighborhood where an upscale new house has been built where once existed a perfectly fine home. But that’s what happens when the wealthy move into this North Carolina community. Tear down the old, put up newer and supposedly better…
This wonderful novel delves deeply into the lives of two families brought together in a most unlikely way. When the wealthy Whitman family moves into the newly built McMansion next to the humble abode and property of Valerie Holt and her son Xavier you get the feeling that all is not well. The Whitman’s are white and entitled. Valerie Holt is African American. Xavier is mixed race. You can see where this is going, right?
Fowler takes her time building this story. She says she did tireless research. After all, her usual genre is historical fiction. This new book is contemporary and edgy. And wonderful.
The buildup is slow and you begin getting a creepy feeling about Mr. Whitman. Who are these people. Really? What is their background? And then we find out.
Where is Xavier’s father? Why is Valerie so enamored with the massive oak tree in their backyard? The tension begins to ooze into the story when Valerie discovers the root system of her beloved oak has been compromised. And she’s enraged and saddened beyond comprehension. So what does she do?
The publisher sent me this amazing card with pop up tree. I’ve been taking it along on my speaking engagements this season and it never ceases to emit gasps from the audiences. It is a great marketing device.
Of course there is much more to this amazing story than this. One of the Whitman’s daughter’s, Juniper, is a lovely seventeen-year-old teenager. She’s very close in age to Xavier. They are, of course, attracted to one another. You have to know this is not going to end well.
Watching the build- up will have you reading far into the night. It’s a quick read. But it’s a deep novel filled with people who are dealing with life issues. It’s being called a tragedy and it is that.
I’ve read more than one novel lately about neighborhoods. Tranquility in a community can be breached with one problematic neighbor. It all can turn on a dime. In this case, that is exactly what happens.
Therese Anna Fowler is the New York Times bestselling author of and A WELL DRESSED WOMAN and Z a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald that I loved. This new novel addresses issues of race, class, and heartbreaking star-crossed love. It’s certainly provocative like the back of the book says. And it’s stunningly powerful!
Pick up your copy of A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD at Copperfish Books. It’s discounted 20%. Copperfish is also able to send you a copy through the mail. This is one of the most anticipated novels of the year and rightly so. This is a must-have novel!!
My review copy of A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD arrived from the generous publishers at St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely LOVED it!