A Good Neighborhood

A Novel
Narrated by: Ella Turenne
Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (583 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“A feast of a read.... I finished A Good Neighborhood in a single sitting. Yes, it’s that good.” (Jodi Picoult, number one New York Times best-selling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of LightIn 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, who’s headed to college in the fall.)

All is well until the Whitmans - an apparently traditional family with new money and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter - raze the house and trees next door to build themselves a showplace.

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.

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 heart-rending love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press “While Faulkner’s story veers off into the traditional grotesquerie of Southern Gothic literature, Fowler’s culminates with injustices that are painfully easy to imagine because they continue to be a part of our contemporary lived experience.” (Washington Post)

“A timely story about what happens when we fail to consider how our actions affect others and the tragedy that can befall us if we can’t coexist with those whose values are different from our own.” (Atlanta Journal)

©2020 Therese Anne Fowler (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Relentlessly paced, stylishly written, and perfectly timed, Therese Anne Fowler’s latest is a sharp, moving portrait of an American neighborhood on the brink of change." (Christina Baker Kline, number one New York Times best-selling author of Orphan Train)

"Compelling and captivating, A Good Neighborhood left me speechless yet wanting to discuss. This is a story that will stick with you for a long time." (Emily Giffin, number one New York Times best-selling author of All We Ever Wanted)

Editor's Pick

Do good fences make good neighbors?
"Nothing can stop the budding romance between Xavier Alston-Holt and his new neighbor, Juniper Whitman. Not the fence between their backyards, not the lawsuit Xavier’s mother files against the Whitmans because of her beloved dying oak tree, and not the purity vow Juniper took to appease her mom and stepdad. With these two teenagers on a crash course toward what I can only describe as a heartbreaking end, Therese Anne Fowler nimbly negotiates issues of race, class, sexual violence, and environmental destruction in this timely call to action. The narration is just as heartfelt. Ella Turenne brings the diverse North Carolina neighborhood to life, empathetically conjuring nuanced characters you won’t soon forget."
—Margaret H., Audible Editor

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What listeners say about A Good Neighborhood

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Good Neighborhood

This book was so gut wrenching. I am so filled with anger at the miscarriage of justice, the deep repercussions of bigotry, and the fact that it never ends. Interesting use of narration and written in a way that the hard truths are easier to take along the way. And most of all, the characters are so well wrought out. Lovely people, evil person. I will not ever forget this book. Kudos and congrats!! Now I’m going out to make a black lives matter sign...

4 people found this helpful

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Boring with leftist agenda

I really wanted to like this book. I actually ordered the hardcover as my first BOTM but ended up purchasing it on audible because I was having trouble getting through it. The first 3/4 of the book is slow and tedious and at times just plain boring. The last 1/4 of the book is interesting but the overall theme is white men are privileged and bad and young black men are mistreated and misjudged. Not to say that doesn’t exist at all in the world, but this book is complete liberal propaganda. It’s highly misadvertised as this sleepy love story with small town drama, so just be forewarned, it’s not that at all. It pushes a strong agenda.

3 people found this helpful

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Terrible!

This book sounded so good. I read the reviews but still decided to make my own opinion. I had a free audible credit so I didn’t pay for this and I’m glad I didn’t. the readers voice sounded like it was dripping with venom as she was reading about white men. It was so bad I Stopped listening. I only made it through 44 minutes. I have no desire to finish this book. I don’t care what color anyone is and I don’t like reading/listening to racist books.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Definitely a good read and it touched my heart because I have 2 nephews who look mixed and I am worried this could happen to them! a good lesson for all that racism is not dead.

2 people found this helpful

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No depth of character or cause

Recently chose this book for our book club and it was a universal disappointment. It is like the author tries to cover so many characters and so many causes that the reader has whiplash trying to decide what the book is really about and you end up hating most of the characters because you never really get to know any of them. Environmentalism, Ecology, Racism, Classism, Peophelia, Suicide, Poverty....and the list goes on but none of them below the most surface level.

2 people found this helpful

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A Good Neighborhood

Poor story line. Author seems to be trying to push their political agenda and make all people who believe in God look like idiots. Give me a break.

2 people found this helpful

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Listen at 1.5x

The story was okay but the narrator read way too slowly. Also, the author’s use of “We” for the narration was strange.

1 person found this helpful

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I have mixed feelings.

I didn't enjoy the narrator's dreary tone and her occasional mispronunciation of words. The story had promise, as it tackled modern-day issues with relatable characters. But it felt quite preachy at times - so many agendas in just one book! Still, I hoped there would be a resolution involving positive change in the hearts of some of the characters. Not only was I denied that satisfaction, but the ending was a real punch in the gut. I feel like the writer's goal was to reveal the evils of white men, Christian churches, and everything in The South - and then tell us there's no hope that anyone can do anything about it. I'd have preferred to see enlightened people making things better.

1 person found this helpful

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not what I expected....beyond expectations

What hold more than words, actions. Whew this book here...... a depicts racial divide, injustices in the justice system, and how man acts by his pants and desires. Juniper and Xavier are two kids in love. Xavier a mixed boy, but recognized by society as a black boy, and Juniper a white girl. Xavier's father died as a result of his racists brother fight with him for marrying a black woman and having the nerve to bring them back home. He fell and hit his head, resulting in a concussion, and death. Xavier raised by his mother, excelled in school, especially music, with no trouble in site. Here moves in the new neighbors. Brad, a rich entitled male chauvinist. He has a thing for his stepdaughter Juniper, and is planning a way to make love to her. He gifts her with a Range Rover and makes advances towards her, sick bastard. One day, he went looking for Juniper and walks in on her and Xavier, and went berserk. Without disclosing all of the story, it gets weird. Someone dies, one goes off to college, and love conquers all. This is a must read....I couldn't put it down. I read this in one day,I couldn't put this one down. #book16of2020 #bookworm #whatsnext #highlyrecommended

1 person found this helpful

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Well Done!

Intense and in many ways difficult story, but so glad I read it, and will recommend to others. A tough topic, but beautifully told, excellent character development, reader is smooth and lovely to listen to.

1 person found this helpful