A Good Neighbourhood Book Review
Hey book clubbers! It has been a crazy few weeks watching the events of the world unfold. While we all come to terms with our new reality, I urge you to keep your mind busy and engaged now more than ever. It can be easy to switch over to reality television at times like this (guilty), but there’s nothing like reading a new book and right now, we all need a novel distraction.
I picked up A Good Neighbourhood right before I left Australia and moved my life over to South Africa. I was in need of a good read for the plane, but ended up finishing Crawdads on my flight back to Cape Town. Now with all this spare time on my hands, I’ve finally found the time to dive into this novel and finished it within a sitting.
A Good Neighbourhood takes place in a small, tight-knit North Carolina neighbourhood. The book explores how race, class and a prohibited love story will change two families lives forever. Valerie Alston-Holt lives in the quiet neighbourhood of Oak Knoll and is raising her talented bi-racial son. All is well until the Whitmans move in next door – led by the local celebrity salesman Brad Whitman. Brad is joined by his wife Julia and their two daughters – one of which we come learn is a troubled teenager.
Valerie Alston-Holt has little in common with her new neighbours except for a property line. The neighbours come to find they conflict at first over an oak tree in Valerie’s yard and later, over the blossoming romance of their two teenagers. The book explores race, class, and what does it mean to be a good neighbour?
Jodi Picoult says of the book, ‘A feast of a read: compelling, heartbreaking, and inevitable. I finished A Good Neighborhood in a single sitting. Yes, it’s that good.’
We’ve given this book 8/10 for being such a readable, hard-to-put-down book that still manages to go beneath the surface. Therese explores race and class issues in the South of the United States, an issue that continues to live on in this country. The book is provocative, powerful, and brilliantly written for a large audience.