Free Prime A Good NeighborhoodAuthor Therese Anne Fowler – Z55z.co

So what makes A Good Neighborhood Oak Knoll was originally made up of post WWII ranch houses But lately, those older houses were being torn down and McMansions built in their place It s a phenomenon being seenandoften in closer in, older neighborhoods Valerie Alston Holt lives in one of the older houses She s a widow, raising her teenage son A professor of forestry and ecology, she isthan disturbed by the new house going in next to her, especially as the construction impa So what makes A Good Neighborhood Oak Knoll was originally made up of post WWII ranch houses But lately, those older houses were being torn down and McMansions built in their place It s a phenomenon being seenandoften in closer in, older neighborhoods Valerie Alston Holt lives in one of the older houses She s a widow, raising her teenage son A professor of forestry and ecology, she isthan disturbed by the new house going in next to her, especially as the construction impacts the health of the huge oak tree in her backyard This book covers preconceived notions, prejudices of all types sexism, educational and class divides, and racism The new family is nouveau riche all about impressions, with some very conservative values At the core, this is a Romeo and Juliet love story I m always into how a narrative style affects my thoughts about a book Here, we have an invisible narrator speaking directly to the reader Saying things like before we depict our first encounter between our story s other central players It s an odd mechanism It annoyed me at first, but then, as the story goes on, I felt it really worked It was like the narrator and I were sharing a book club discussion about this particular book It evoked the removal of the fourth wall in a play I love that Fowler made the initial issue that divided the neighbors a tree and let it snowball from there As the unknown narrator says The stories we as a culture love best, almost always have a villain The question is, who is the villain in this story Who is the bad neighbor Fowler s also does a great job in showing how people misinterpret actions based on their perceptions Fair warning, there s a creep factor to one of the plot lines that had me squirming This isn t a fast paced book Fowler draws out the plot We know there s a crisis Again, our unknown narrator says every meaningful story has to have a crisis We know it s coming Fowler teases us with how this story will play out And when it does play out, it brought out all sorts of emotions for me Five big stars here This book is perfect for anyone looking for an emotionally charged book It ll make a great book club selection My thanks to netgalley and St Martin s Press for an advance copy of this book My reviews can also be seen at compelling and timely read This story involves two families whose lives will intertwine in ways they would never have imagined We begin our story here, in the minutes before the small event that will change everything The Whitman s have just built an upscale new house in the neighborhood of Oak Knoll.Seventeen year old, Juniper Whitman seems to have it all But appearances can be deceiving Juniper s mother, Julia met My reviews can also be seen at compelling and timely read This story involves two families whose lives will intertwine in ways they would never have imagined We begin our story here, in the minutes before the small event that will change everything The Whitman s have just built an upscale new house in the neighborhood of Oak Knoll.Seventeen year old, Juniper Whitman seems to have it all But appearances can be deceiving Juniper s mother, Julia met Brad Whitman when she was a single mother to nine year old, Juniper Before Brad, life was hard and money was extremely tight He made life much easier At one time, Brad had been Juniper s hero, but now everything has changed.Juniper has secrets.Juniper is relaxing by the pool when she first meets her new neighbor, Xavier Alston Holt Xavier Zay for short has an intense personality, but his mother taught him to use that intensity to his benefit Xavier was set on getting into his first choice college His grades were excellent and his teachers and bosses loved him His hard work paid off and he received a scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.Xavier s mother, Valerie Alston Holt was NOT in a hurry to meet her new neighbors She already thought Brad Whitman was a man child with money She had cried when she watched their yard being cleared of all the beautiful trees.When Valerie discovers something very upsetting, she makes a decision that will change all of their lives A Good Neighborhood is a truly distinctive and well written story that asks many tough questions Emotionally powerful this was a very quick read at only 279 pages However, the author fit quite a lot into those pages.A heartbreaking, compelling, and thought provoking story with many well developed characters This story deals with many important issues Many of the conversations and situations in this novel will stay with me for a long time.I think this book would be a great choice for book clubs and or group reads This is a book that you ll want to talk about.I d like to thank St Martin s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel All opinions are my own 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 2 1 2 stars.Reading this was a bit like reading two separate books, in which the first two thirds was Liane Moriarty at her slowest, and the final third was a constant stream of heart pounding, horrible drama that made me so unbelievably angry not, I should say, in a bad way.This was the only book that sounded interesting for March Book of the Month, which is why I picked it It takes on several delicate subjects race, racism, class and womanhood all in a middle upper middle class North Ca 2 1 2 stars.Reading this was a bit like reading two separate books, in which the first two thirds was Liane Moriarty at her slowest, and the final third was a constant stream of heart pounding, horrible drama that made me so unbelievably angry not, I should say, in a bad way.This was the only book that sounded interesting for March Book of the Month, which is why I picked it It takes on several delicate subjects race, racism, class and womanhood all in a middle upper middle class North Carolina neighbourhood, and the author is keenly aware of her own whiteness when it comes to the first two She addresses it, and the steps she took to overcome her biases etc , in an author s note at the start of the book.A Good Neighborhood follows two families in the picturesque, good neighborhood of Oak Knoll Valerie Alston Holt is a professor of ecology and has been raising her musically gifted and biracial son Xavier in Oak Knoll for a long time now She senses trouble as soon as the Whitmans move in next door Brad Whitman is a local businessman and something of a celebrity, while his beautiful wife Julia stays at home and raises their daughters While she looks like the stereotype of a perfect suburban housewife, Julia s past is a sad story and one she intends to never have her daughters repeat.All of this is narrated by a first person plural the neighborhood in question This style won t be for everyone, but I actually quite liked it I think it gave the story a bit of an ominous tone, added a much needed touch of foreboding to the earlier and slower chapters of the novel Several things happen in these early chapters, though I confess none of them were very interesting to me Fowler s writing flows well, though, so it wasn t all bad, just a little dull as we sit through book club meetings and daily life The beginnings of the flirtations between Juniper and Xavier lack excitement Even when Valerie attempts to sue Brad over his destruction of a historic oak tree, I could definitely understand her frustrations, but the stakes felt low Also, Fowler clearly means well and is trying her best here, but I do think this book perfectly highlights the issue white authors face when trying to write about race She has done everything she can to avoid stereotypes and portraying either Valerie or Xavier as thuggish and yet, what is left are two very one dimensional characters who lack flaws and do absolutely nothing wrong They don t even feel like people In her effort to be PC, there is something a little patronizing about her depictions of the two black characters She tries to avoid the oversexed black man stereotype by denying Xavier a sexuality beyond his feelings for Juniper He even at one point thinks this, which actually doesn t make sense He knew he was supposed to want to jump if and when any girl asked What normal cis male wouldn tThis is an incorrect use of cis Cis males can be gay Or asexual, for that matter.As I said, though, the last part of the book was extremely effective While I d been meandering my way through the book up until that point, I couldn t put it down during those final chapters It was perhaps eveneffective for me because I recently read Just Mercy and am all too aware how this situation is not even fiction It seems outrageous to me, but this shit actually happens.I may readfrom Fowler We ll see.Facebook Instagram 5 Breathless, Stunning Stars Actions Circumstances Ramifications My Oh My What a tangled Web You Weave When you think of a suburban community, you think barbecues and book clubs That s exactly how life was in the quiet suburb of Oak Knoll Life was positively idyllic, but of course, good neighbors sure are hard to find Valerie Alston Holt loves raising her teenaged son Xavier in the quiet neighborhood of Oak Knoll and both consider themselves lucky, until the drilling and demolition start 5 Breathless, Stunning Stars Actions Circumstances Ramifications My Oh My What a tangled Web You Weave When you think of a suburban community, you think barbecues and book clubs That s exactly how life was in the quiet suburb of Oak Knoll Life was positively idyllic, but of course, good neighbors sure are hard to find Valerie Alston Holt loves raising her teenaged son Xavier in the quiet neighborhood of Oak Knoll and both consider themselves lucky, until the drilling and demolition starts next door, signaling that someone new is moving in That someone is wealthy businessman Brad Whitman, his wife Julia and her daughters, Juniper and Lily, who are ecstatic to move to the town of Oak Knoll Little do they know that their moving in has disrupted their neighbors peace as well as the land surrounding them Tsk tsk, Brad If only that was your first mistake Tragedy awaits this little town as the reader is immediately made aware Everyone has a plan, and some areselfish than others Trust, for some, isn t that easy As for justice, hmm.So it begins Chest tightness Heart palpitations Stomach a ball of nerves I had my own suspicions about this novel as I began reading I was sure, so very sure of what was going on So darn sure Yet my heart caught, my pulse pounded, my eyes filled Then, here and now, I sit pondering, mesmerized at the sheer brilliance of Therese Anne Fowler s writing in A Good Neighborhood, the character driven storyline and specifically, at the characters The characters, whose personalities delight and or vex me Xavier, Juniper, Valerie, Julia and Brad My, Oh My What a Tangled Web You Weave.As soon as I read the synopsis for A Good Neighborhood I knew I had to read it Little did I know once I started that it would top my list of favorites for the year For me this book has it all and is a must read I hope you will grab it and love it just as must as I do A huge thank you to Marissa and Naureen at St Martin s Press and to Therese Anne Fowler for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review Published on Goodreads on 10.26.19 Will be published onin February of 2020 upon release What hasmeaning to humankind than words Without a call to action, change rarely occursA tragedy strikes a Good Neighborhood This is where good families and good people live But under the veneer of perfection, exists deep seated racism, gender bias, class separation, and a sexual predator Families are ripped apart based on choices made stemming from greed, desperation, doing the right thing, and love Fowler explores themes of racial and class divisions through the characterWhat hasmeaning to humankind than words Without a call to action, change rarely occursA tragedy strikes a Good Neighborhood This is where good families and good people live But under the veneer of perfection, exists deep seated racism, gender bias, class separation, and a sexual predator Families are ripped apart based on choices made stemming from greed, desperation, doing the right thing, and love Fowler explores themes of racial and class divisions through the characters of Xavier, Valerie, vile Brad, and Julie, and Juniper Through them, we learn of bias, racism, gender dynamics that exist in the good neighborhood As difficult as it is to read, themes of social justice and love leave the reader feeling a little hopeful My one criticism of this book is the narrator Told through a third person POV, the narrator is invasive, offering commentary on characters events They often direct the reader on how to think or feel about certain situations I feel that this book could have reached me on an even deeper level if I hadof an opportunity to think of broader implications on my own but that s just me.I appreciate what this book has to say about American society, but I would not want to read this again I knew what I was getting into reading this, but reading about it and hearing about are two very different things Sickening, disturbing, beautiful at times, this book hit me hard It took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride and left me with a broken heart I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review NOW AVAILABLE My feelings are all over the place on this one I think it is extremely well written, the use of the third person omnipotent point of view is always an interesting view I think it s hard to use it successfully which this book did The premise, though not a new one, is good and relatable A story of a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, in an older suburb where the residents are now having to make way for the Brad Whitmans of the world.Valerie Alston Holt is a wido NOW AVAILABLE My feelings are all over the place on this one I think it is extremely well written, the use of the third person omnipotent point of view is always an interesting view I think it s hard to use it successfully which this book did The premise, though not a new one, is good and relatable A story of a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, in an older suburb where the residents are now having to make way for the Brad Whitmans of the world.Valerie Alston Holt is a widowed African American woman raising a teenage son She is a Forestry and Ecology professor and an advocate for keeping their neighborhood beautiful and ecologically sound She almost grieves when the adjoining lot is cleared of large established, beautiful trees just for the purpose of clearing the land easily Their new neighbors, the Whitman s, have done just that Cleared the beautiful land and installed a modern mini mansion complete with swimming pool, fast cars and expensive private schools for their two daughters So we have the new money Whitmans, he s a hustler and got in early in the air conditioning heating business and he has a lot of disposable income Julie was raised in a trailer park and met Brad before he really became wealthy but she definitely loved her new wealth, enjoying the house, pool, etc.When first these neighbors meet it almost seems as though there might be a chance for these two families to be able to exist side by side in spite of these differences That was, however, before we started to understand the depths of Brad Whitman s corruptions He is manipulative, controlling and has been known to watch 15 year old Juniperoften than sounds parental It is also before we are reminded of young love and it s incredible strong pull Through these characters we are made to feel this age again and try to understand that it was never supposed to end this way.The characters are a bit stereotypical, yes I know he is bi racial, but that was my thought That didn t however take away from my enjoyment of the book.This is a quick roller coaster of a ride that is so muchdangerous than it first appears I don t want to give away anyof this multi layered cautionary tale, this descriptive word is at one time mentioned in the book and I thought that was a perfect single word description This book flies along quickly and we are forced so many times to say if even one of us had been privy to how Brad s mind worked, we would have stepped in and at least given Julia a heads, we would have seen the situation so differently I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss UPDATE below 5 Phenomenal Affecting Stars Sooooo ENGROSSING Emotions and thoughts spin around and around in my head They will for a LONG TIME Huge Kudos to the author She is insanely talented Unbelievable how engaging thought provoking urgent and heartbreaking this story is Full Review still to come NEW UPDATE NO SERIOUS SPOILERS Most of us hide what troubles and confuses us, displaying instead the facets we hope others will approve of, the parts we hope oth UPDATE below 5 Phenomenal Affecting Stars Sooooo ENGROSSING Emotions and thoughts spin around and around in my head They will for a LONG TIME Huge Kudos to the author She is insanely talented Unbelievable how engaging thought provoking urgent and heartbreaking this story is Full Review still to come NEW UPDATE NO SERIOUS SPOILERS Most of us hide what troubles and confuses us, displaying instead the facets we hope others will approve of, the parts we hope others will like.The characters in A Good Neighbor are protecting and hiding something They have their agendas, their opinions, their judgements, their anger, their distrust, and their plans The community and media will speculate and wonder who was to blame for the tragedies that will unfold between the two families who live next door to each other The reader is encouraged to examine our own thoughts the different issues at hand looking at circumstances reasons ideals truth lies secrets justifications what s right what s wrong what would you do what do you think the neighbors will do what do you agree with who do you believe who don t you agree with what side are you on Or do you see yourself split down the middle, on both sides The Whitman family, new to the close knitneighborhood in Oak Knoll, North Carolina, lives next door to the Alston Holt family Most of the houses in the neighborhood are moderately built, including the Alston Holt family The only house that stands out as prestigious among all the other homes in size swimming pool and ultra modern amenities is the Whitman s custom built home Single mother, widowed, Valerie Alston Holt, 48 yrs old, a black female Professor of forestry and ecology and her 18 yr old son Xavier biracial , classical guitar musician, An A student senior in High School, accepted to the San Francisco Conservatory of music in the fall , both tolerated the builders construction noise for many months before the Whitman family moved in Brad and Julia Whitman, a wealthy white family, have two daughters Juniper, 17, and Lily, 10.Each of the characters in both families other than perhaps little Lily Whitman , had a full plate of problems We learn back stories from each of the characters that has us understand where they were coming from helping us understand the choices that they each made It s easy to make assumptions from stereotypes but those assumptions will not particularly be the complete picture or true Can we compare environmental protection to civil rights Perhaps not but Valerie s passion for trees, we need to keep at least seven trees for every human on the planet, or else people are going to start suffocating , was her life s purpose Had Valerie been alive during the civil rights movement..justice for racial equality might have been her life s purpose.But today she felt saving the planet was where her life s work could make the most difference Tending her plants was her therapyirises, peonies, azaleas, phlox snowdrops, camellias, rhododendrons, clematis, honeysuckle etc If the plant grew in North Carolina, Valerie installed it somewhere on their plot Her magnificent oak tree with it s wide trunk, wasthan just a tree of arboreal history She had a personal, and emotional connection to it Her oak tree is what sold she and her husband, Tom, a young white sociology professor, on the house many years ago in the first place Oak Knoll had been conceived in the boom years after the second world war with wide streets, sidewalks and because it was North Carolina it was rich in both trees and small functional 3 bedroom homes set on spacious tree filled lots Valerie spent many moments pressing her forhead against its nubby gray brown bark and cried while Xavier slept in his crib.Xavier just a baby was too young to understand that his father, Tom, a white sociology professor, died in a freak accident Brad Whitman, late 40 s, owner of the national growing business an Air Condition company, Whitman HVAC a man who worked from the ground up made serious money He was a local celebrity seen in TV commercials and radio Normally an enormous mansion such as the one he just had built for his family would be seen in a nearby community, Hillside The Whitman s had once lived in one of those neighborhoodsbut Brad knew to get the extravagant ultra modern house he wanted for a mortgage he could afford, building his dream home in Oak Knoll, wascost effective He would still be able to drive his BMW, later his Maserati..and Julia, 34 years old, who was once a financially struggling single mother with 10 year old Juniper, when they first met, could enjoy her new Lexus.Juniper and Lily could go to a private school which they did The house that Brad built was the risk to the nearby trees The large oak tree in Valerie s backyard was showing distress from the disruption of her trees root systems from the way the Whitman s swimming pool was installed Environmental corners had been cut while the Whitman s house was being built Not everything was up to code when installing the swimming pool Brad Whitman s connections with a builder friend allowed him to put his own needs above the integrity of the environment His corner cutting would come back to haunt him Valerie planned to sue Brad for the damage to her Oak Tree Her lawyer was asking for 500,000 Love thy neighbor vs justice becomes a fascinating inquiry and debate When Julia married Brad, her life was completely turned around no longer living in a trailer home and we wonder did she marry him for love or money Maybe both Julia wanted her daughters in a private school away from bad influences that had led to so much trouble in her own growing life In turn Julia became overly protective and controlling mother Juniper became a chaste Christian girl She still had urges and temptations, but she was at peace with her religious values of not to have sex until marriage She and Brad attended the purity ball when she was 16 She agreed to not have sex until marriage and Brad agreed to look out for her best interest Girls at school teased Juniper JeniPURE It wasn t fun being teased by othersexually liberated girls at school but Julia was mostly able to hold her head high She loved books and was interested in attending college Possibly to study Biology or zoology She didn t have time for boys anyway Ha in the same way Xavier didn t have time for girls with his studies, work, and music But Julia and Xavier will get together Their connection was slowly developing into a substantial authentic mature relationship Together they tried to not be influenced by Valerie and Brad s disputes rather discover what was best for them Julia was trying to fit into the neighborhood.She joined the book club which took place on Thursday nights at Valerie s house She only had to walk next door Valerie s friends were all bright professionals in their 40 s and up Julia the youngest new to the book club was judged as a bourgeois snooty white rich woman.from the size of her house next door to the foie gras dish she brought to share Nobody ate her foie gras because in order to make it, birds were force feed in order to create a fatty liver They put tubes down their throat s The women at the book clubeducated wouldn t touch Julia s appetizer Julia simply didn t know about the ducks and geese.She had no idea felt horrified small less than less valued and intimidated She tossed her foie gras in the trash Julia wanted desperately to be part of the sisterhood with Valerie and her friends So she opened up and shared of how she grew up with her mother cleaning homes so they could afford their run down trailer She also shared that Juniper was the result of a man who raped her While Brad Whitman and Valerie Alston Holt are fighting out their problem young love between their kids Juniper and Xavier are growing I can t express enough how terrific this novel is.The issues are gripping The intimacy of the characters including the collective community narrative sheds insightful compassionate details giving this novel fully evocative power A Good Neighbor , is totally my type of book Important fiction It s a close inside look at the pressures of racism, justice, legal disputes, conservative religious beliefs, young adult love, parenting, and what it means to be a good neighbor Author Meg Waite Clayton described my feelings to a t A provocative, timely, page turner, about the crucial issues of our time I gulped it down, and the stunning conclusion left me both heartbroken and hopeful HIGHLY RECOMMEND Thank you St Martin s Press, Netgalley, and Theresa Anne Fowler I m soooo a new fan In the love literature Gods, what an incredible, tasteful gem I just read This is epic This is masterpiece This is surprising I loved everything about it and I m sure it s gonna be most anticipated and highly recommended fictions of 2020 Please stop singing Mr Roger s epic song It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood, would you be my, could you be my Won t you be my neighbor because this book is nothing about good neighboring It is about tangled, complex situations and their eventu In the love literature Gods, what an incredible, tasteful gem I just read This is epic This is masterpiece This is surprising I loved everything about it and I m sure it s gonna be most anticipated and highly recommended fictions of 2020 Please stop singing Mr Roger s epic song It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood, would you be my, could you be my Won t you be my neighbor because this book is nothing about good neighboring It is about tangled, complex situations and their eventual consequences You love to travel to the South to take a quick break at beautiful suburban houses, friendly people, genuineness, friendliness, respectful and exampled families that you may root for So yes, it started like a dream is coming true Oak Knoll is heaven of NC, a splendid suburb with its lovely people Who doesn t want to solve his kidneys to live there But wait a minute Is that a drilling sound Rrrrrrrr Does somebody start to build a mall across the street Oh, thank God No Keep calm Just new neighbors moved to your next door Valerie Alston Holt, African American woman, raises her son Xavier he is biracial by herself and considers herself lucky because she is living in this peaceful neighborhood, a wonderful house fits with her own expectations And Xavier is a musical prodigy He is hard worker, respectful son who takes his duties very serious But when Whitman family moves to their next door, their peaceful life will be shattered into the pieces Brad is the jerk and rich father of the family, making tons of money from air conditioning and heating business unfortunately those two adjectives can be often used to describe a same person and his wife Julia, their girls Lily little one , Juniper sarcastic, problematic one are the other members Only Julia is too friendly, raised in a trailer park and now she is happy about their new wealthy condition and wants to enjoy the whole benefits, making friends in the neighborhood.At first everything looks safe and sound But their teenagers romantic involvement will change many things.I don t want to give spoilers but this book is a quiet crazy train ride When you learnabout the way of thinking Brad and other characters back stories, motives, actions, you get shaken and say several times Oh no I didn t see this coming So this is surprisingly provocative, unconventional, exciting book And I repeat it again I didn t read much 2020 s upcoming fiction books but I m so adamant to say this gem earned a place at my top ten list.Special thanks to NetGalley and St Martin s Press for choosing me to share this amazing ARC COPY And I have to congratulate Therese Anne Fowler for creating this remarkable, unique work.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter In the beginning we re warned that a tragedy has occurred and I was hooked already wondering As the story progresses, it s intense to say the very least and I became so emotionally involved with these characters and was heartbroken already before the ending, trying to imagine which one would be impacted by the tragedy Suffice it to say, they all were.The third person we narrator, seemingly removed but yet all knowing about the neighborhood, the characters, gives the feeling that they are p In the beginning we re warned that a tragedy has occurred and I was hooked already wondering As the story progresses, it s intense to say the very least and I became so emotionally involved with these characters and was heartbroken already before the ending, trying to imagine which one would be impacted by the tragedy Suffice it to say, they all were.The third person we narrator, seemingly removed but yet all knowing about the neighborhood, the characters, gives the feeling that they are part of this community, but we never know who they are The perspective felt eerie, like the we whoever they might be, were invading the privacy of these two families, of the thoughts and feelings of these characters In spite of that, I was drawn in to this complex story which is not just about this neighborhood and the people who live there or a lawsuit over a dying tree, but so muchThere s a lot to take in, so much ground covered racism, class differences, single parenthood, first love, a disturbing and creepy revelation, the burdens that these characters carry from their past.Valerie Alston Holt, a professor, an environmentalist, mother to her musically gifted biracial son, Xavier hosts the book club, tends to her garden and dearly loved Oak Tree seems to be living a satisfying life even though she has lost her husband, Xavier s white father That is until, Brad and Julia and their daughters Juniper and Lily move in next door after Brad has felled all the trees on the lot and built a huge house with a swimming pool It s apparent from the get go that Brad is racist, but that s not the half of it As Xavier and Juniper begin secretly dating and Valerie s beloved Oak Tree begins to die, this tragic story is set in motion and I couldn t stop reading While I was connected to the present, I was also pulled in by their pasts that are slowly revealed This is a heartbreaking story, so relevant and moving in its depiction of racism It should make you sit up and listen I know I did I received a copy of this book from St Martin s Press through NetGalley