Tag Archives: Climate Change

Review: Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors
Good Neighbors
By Sarah Langan
Washington Square Press, 9781982144371, October 2021, 320pp.

The Short of It:

No good neighbors here. This is an example of how an entire neighborhood can fall prey to rumors, lies, and accusations if the right person makes it her mission to to see a neighborhood into ruin.

The Rest of It:

You might have a Maple Street in your neighborhood. That perfect cul de sac neighborhood, that borders a park, is home to many families and children, and yes, drama, lots of it.

One very hot summer, the maws of Maple Street literally open as a result of global warming and climate change. Their once idyllic neighborhood is now home to a very large sink hole. One that oozes noxious fumes and sludge that covers every surface, shoes, walls, car tires, carpets. You name it. The neighborhood kids, affectionately called The Rat Pack (sarcasm) congregate as best they can while the sink hole seems to have its own life. But when something happens to one of their own and the accusations start flying, the inhabitants of Maple Street begin to take sides and just short of a lynching, one family finds themselves as the target.

I found it interesting that the street in question is Maple Street. Do you remember that Twilight Zone episode where all the neighbors turn on each other? It was called The Monsters are Due on Maple Street and that same title applies here. Seemingly sane people become anything but that. Common sense goes out the window and the family at the top of their list struggles just to live in this hostile neighborhood.

At first, my book club didn’t think there would be much to discuss but we took the entire time discussing the book and how, although a bit ridiculous when it came to the sink hole, we all agreed that a neighborhood could easily turn if the right person was stoking the fire. Think of your neighborhood groups like Next Door. I cannot belong to these groups. Their constant chatter about a kid on the corner, or a car driving by more than once, gives me anxiety. But it just takes one person to stir up hysteria in a neighborhood.

This was not an enjoyable read. There is a lot of nastiness going on but it was suspenseful even though much of the plot points are given away at the top of each chapter via news articles. I had absolutely no problem flying through this one. I had to know how it all ended given how grim the story was.

Have you read it? It was a good book to discuss.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Migrations

Migrations

Migrations
By Charlotte McConaghy
Flatiron Books, 9781250204035, July 2021, 288pp.

The Short of It:

A thoughtful look at the impact of climate change.

The Rest of It:

This is my first review of the year, but it’s not the first book I picked up. This review just seemed easier to write at the moment so here goes.

This was an interesting story and a good one for my book club to discuss. Franny Stone is convinced that the Arctic terns will be migrating one last time. That the birds will be extinct as their food source has been somewhat depleted by fishing and global warming. The interesting thing about Franny is that she is not a scientist. She is married to a professor who studies such things and has become consumed with their survival.

Franny is a broken woman and through the back and forth timeline, it’s clear that Franny is running from something just as much as she is running towards something. There’s a little bit of a dark past trying to catch up to her, and yet she is quite likable and perhaps, the demons she faces is what makes her relatable. Franny finds herself a place on a fishing excursion, convincing the crew and captain that she can help them find the fish based on where the terns have headed.

This crew, although doubtful that Franny can lead them to the fish, gives her a chance to prove herself. Perhaps sensing the desperation in her plea. While traveling, Franny’s husband is back home. Not an unusual occurrence because although Franny has no problem loving or caring for people, she does have a problem with staying where she is.

This was a good story. A little sad when everything is revealed but also quite beautifully told. Powerful. It’s about love and loss and trying to find the people you are meant to have. And it did make me think a lot about how climate change impacts how we eat, live and make our decisions.

Have you read it? I recommend it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.