A Good Neighborhood
is the kind of book that you likely only read once, but whose content you carry with you for the rest of your life.
I knew the story was supposed to be a tragedy when I started reading it, but I underestimated Therese Anne Fowler's mastery as a story teller. From the beginning she lulled me into a sense of comfort and familiarity as she built the neighborhood and introduced me to the leading characters. As the plot progressed, I thought I recognized the Romeo and Juliet scenario. I thought I saw what kind of tragedy this would be, and I was braced for it.
What ultimately happens left me sobbing on my couch at 1 in the mo
rning. But it also left me feeling like I had learned something about the world that we live in.
I couldn't wait for someone else on staff to read it so I could share the heartbreak, but also the relevance and the moral importance of it.
Fowler forced me to face some social issues that are still very real and very alive in our world to
day. Isn't that the best kind of fiction:a story that rings so true it allows you to see the real world more clearly?