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Therese Anne Fowler’s stunning new fiction, A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD, will leave you breathless, questioning everything–it’s a must read.

By Leslie Lindsay

Hugely gripping contemporary novel that examines the American dream through the lens of two families living side-by-side in an idyllic neighborhood, but that summer their lives change irrevocably.



Five GIANT stars to A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s Press, March 10 2020). I cannot say enough about this book. It’s emotional, it’s timely, it’s affecting, it’s thought-provoking, it’s urgent. Read this book, you won’t regret it.

Here’s what drew me: Neighbors, neighborhoods, trees, houses, families. Suburbia.

But there’s so much more to this story. So much. Don’t take my word for it.

Jodi Piccoult says this of A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD:

“Therese Anne Fowler has taken the ingredients of racism, justice, and conservative religion and concocted a feast of a read: compelling, heartbreaking, and inevitable. I finished A Good Neighborhood in a single sitting. Yes, it’s that good.”

And if that’s not enough, Kirkus gives it a starred review and Library Journal does, too. Many others are calling it ‘speechless,’ and ‘powerful,’ a ‘tour de force.’

Oak Knoll is a leafy, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood of modest homes. Valerie Alston-Holt is a professor of ecology and forestry raising her biracial son, Xavier, who is headed to college in the fall on a partial classical guitar scholarship. A new family has moved in–their backyard meets up with the Alton-Holt’s–and this family, the Whitmans, is ‘new money.’ In fact, they torn down the original home on the lot, and rebuilt their one McMansion, complete with large, in-ground pool, affecting the root system of the Alton-Holt’s prized 75-foot oak tree.

oak leaves and acorns

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Brad Whitman is a small town celebrity-having created and patented a piece for HVAC systems, his charismatic, charming, and usually gets what he wants. His wife, Julia, escaped her trailer park upbringing for the magic of marriage and homemaking, but her backstory is rough, and we learn she’s rife with demons and emotions of her own.

A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD is about so many things–this is truly a multilayered tale that will have you questioning all you ever thought you knew about people, circumstances, the law, everything. Everyone in A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD has opinions, beliefs, stereotypes, assumptions, backstories, emotions–each character is so wholly and authentically formed. There are many ‘gray zones’ here, too–you’ll find yourself not knowing how you’d react to a situation–what’s right, what’s wrong, what would your neighbor do, what would you *want* done, and so much more.

I loved this book. I can’t stop thinking about it. There’s racism, justice, heartbreak, legal snafus, parenting dilemmas, ecology concerns, and darn good writing. Read this book.

I just finished. And I’m completely speechless. This story is incredible and powerful and has one of the all-time greatest final paragraphs.”

Kristen Pidgeon, Riverstone Books

dogs standing under tree during golden hour

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com


You may find some similarities between A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD and LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE (Celeste Ng) meets Jodi Picoult’s SMALL GREAT THINGS but also AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE (Tayari Jones) with a touch of Tom Perrotta’s LITTLE CHILDREN and Barbara Kingslover’s UNSHELTERED.


Read this Shelf Awareness interview with Therese Anne Fowler for more insight.

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For more information, to connect with Therese Anne Fowler via social media, or to purchase a copy of A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD, please see:


img_3057 (1)ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Therese Anne Fowler (pronounced ta-reece) is a New York Times and USA Today best selling author whose novels present intriguing people in difficult situations, many of those situations deriving from the pressures and expectations of their cultures as well as from their families.

Her books are available in every format and in multiple languages, and are sold around the world. Z has been adapted for television by Amazon Studios. A Well-Behaved Woman is in development with Sony Pictures Television.

Therese earned a BA in sociology and cultural anthropology and an MFA in creative writing, both from North Carolina State University. She has been a visiting professor and occasionally teaches fiction writing at conferences and workshops. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and PEN America, she is married to award-winning professor and author John Kessel. They reside in North Carolina.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites: 



#fiction #literaryfiction #racerelations #justice #ecology #suburbia #trees #neighbors 

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[Cover and author image retrieved from author’s website. Author photo credit: John Kessel. Artistic photo of book covered designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Gimme a follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1]


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