Tag Archives: Therese Anne Fowler

Review: It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This
By Therese Anne Fowler
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250278074, June 2022, 352pp.

The Short of It:

My expectations for this one were high but it fell short for me.

The Rest of It:

Meet the Geller sisters: Beck, Claire, and Sophie, a trio of strong-minded women whose pragmatic, widowed mother, Marti, will be dying soon and taking her secrets with her. Marti has ensured that her modest estate is easy for her family to deal with once she’s gone––including a provision that the family’s summer cottage on Mount Desert Island, Maine, must be sold, the proceeds split equally between the three girls.

You’ve probably read a story like this one before. A family home, filled with memories suddenly goes up for sale and there is the last “hurrah” of all the family members getting together to say goodbye to it. I was eagerly looking forward to this one because I loved Fowler’s A Good Neighborhood. But this one left a lot to be desired.

For one, I didn’t care for any of the characters. I found it hard to relate to any of them. As sisters, they didn’t seem to be all that close and honestly, there was little to be sentimental about in regards to the house. However, I liked it enough to give it a chance and although the three sisters didn’t work for me, some of their individual stories were interesting enough to keep me reading. I expected it to be quite compelling given my love for her previous book but it just landed too softly for me. Plus, I finished the book and then a week later couldn’t remember if I had read the ending so read it again. It left my brain that quickly.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: A Good Neighborhood

A Good Neighborhood

A Good Neighborhood
By Therese Anne Fowler
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250237279, March 10, 2020, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Absolutely riveting.

The Rest of It:

I wanted an excellent book to kick-off 2020 and let me tell you, A Good Neighborhood was just that.

The story is set in a North Carolina neighborhood that has some history behind it but is in the midst of modernization. Old, beautiful homes being razed for sparkly new homes, and the types of residents you’d expect with such flashiness. Two homes, next to each other have their own stories. One, old and beloved by Valerie and her son Xavier. The other, flashy and new, owned by Brad, his wife Julia and their two children, Juniper and Lily.

One black family. One white. Although one has a little more money than the other due to some opportunistic business dealings, the other is well-educated and well-respected in the community. But when Valerie’s grand oak tree begins to show signs  of distress due to all the construction that her neighbor authorized, tensions rise and when Juniper, a white girl, falls in love with Xavier, the tension really ramps up.

This is a timely story of how one thing leads to another and how race can’t help but get in the way. The way the story is told is from an observer’s point of view, so we know early on that something horrible happens to one if these families and although we see hints here and there of how the story will play out, the ending still packs a punch. I finished this book late at night and I was so affected by the storytelling that I had to sit there for many minutes to compose myself.

This is a tragic story and will break your heart in so many ways but it’s so well done. It gives you much to think about. It would make an excellent book club read and I want everyone to read it.

I should note that the book comes out in March, so pre-order it now or request it from your library and once you read it, let me know because you will need to discuss it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.