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 family with new money ambition and a secretly troubled teenaged daughterThanks to his thriving local business Brad Whitman is something of a celebrity around town and he's made a small fortune on his customer service and charm while his wife Julia escaped her trailer park upbringing for the security of marriage and homemaking Their new house is than she ever imagined for herself and who wouldn't want to live in Oak Knoll? With little in common except a property line these two very different families quickly find themselves at odds first over an historic oak tree in Valerie's yard and soon after the blossoming romance between their two teenagers Told from multiple points of view A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today―What does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don't see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class race and heartrending star crossed love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful

10 thoughts on “A Good Neighborhood

  1. 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 itI’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 twenty minutes have passed and in reality it’s four hours Normally narrator intrusion dispels the fictive dream The Narrator steps in and interrupts the forward motion of the story to give the reader information This book is stylistic and the narrator is actually the neighborhood really love this aspect So instead of the third person close voice or the “I” narrator it’s “We” who is telling the story The neighborhood “We” stops the story and gives us needed information And it works But only because the author is a master at word craft and voice Voice is the big kahuna in creating the fictive dream It’s the everything of writingThe symbolism in this book is subtle yet obvious The tree at the root of the story symbolizes life and the encroaching neighbor who is slowly killing off the tree is everything that is wrong with society today Brilliant Love this book It’s good vs evil black vs white or vice versa It’s also a parable of climate change and how if things don’t change the neighborhood is doomedHighly recommendDavid Putnam Author of the Bruno Johnson Series