A Good Neighborhood

A Good Neighborhood

Large Print - 2020 | Large print edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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 daughter. Thanks 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 more than she ever imagined for herself, and who wouldn't want to live in Oak Knoll? But 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 in multiple points of view, A Good Neighbourhood asks big questions about life in America today-- what does it mean to be a good neighbour? 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.
Publisher: [Waterville, Maine] :, Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage company,, 2020
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781432872601
Branch Call Number: LT F FOW
Characteristics: 497 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print.,rda
Alternative Title: Good neighbourhood


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 20, 2020

First off, this book should come with a content warning for sexual abuse. Secondly, save your time and money. This is a book that tries to tackle way too many issues in one book and doesn't handle any of them well. The racism tropes are so cliche, non-white characters are flat and underdeveloped, and the stereotyping is thick. Perhaps this is the intent, to be a "wake-up," but if so, it is very 101. And there is enough maddening content otherwise that it does not make it worthwhile. The only upside is that it is a fast-paced read. Honestly, I wish I knew what the author was thinking writing this and how it got past the editing team.

Apr 14, 2020

Warning this book contains offensive/racist language

Mar 29, 2020

Again, the question of whether a white person can write a book with the perspective of a minority. This falls short. Yes, she quotes Zadie Smith in the foreword, but the story doesn’t follow through. Perhaps before the uproar over this issue earlier in AMERICAN DIRT, I might have enjoyed this book more. The story is okay, but the characters lack depth. After reading the book, I never felt I really wanted to live in this good neighborhood. Xavier is too much of a goody-goody bi-racial boy being raised by a single mom. Juniper, his neighbor who had a purity ceremony with her father in a church ceremony at age 14, is flat. I felt I was reading a story filled with clichés about various people.

Mar 12, 2020

Set in a middle class neighborhood in the South, A Good Neighborhood is about the collision of two families, one white and one mixed race.

I find this to be a pretty compelling read, and I thought the way it presented the subject matter and the media's handling of what happens fairly well. However, to me it lacks the nuance and complexity needed to make it great. The characters are basically either all good or all bad. I don't want to say too much more, but to me at least one of the characters approached caricature. So mixed feelings. I enjoyed it as I was reading it, but had niggling doubts that have grown since I finished it.

debwalker Mar 12, 2020

Barnes & Noble has chosen A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin's Press) as its March national book club selection.
" A fast paced and enthralling tale of two very different families living out their own versions of the American Dream."

Mar 10, 2020

Point of view is distinctly different in Fowler's A Good Neighborhood. The story is told in the first person plural, using the pronoun "we." Who that "we" represents is never made clear, but it seems to be the people of the title, the "good neighborhood" folks who live in Oak Knoll, a respectable middle class place, where people of different ages and races have lived together peacefully . Using this device puts a distance between the reader and the story and it made me a little uncomfortable.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at RPL

To Top