Good Neigh­bors

  • From the Publisher
April 6, 2018

In an idyl­lic Mass­a­chu­setts sub­urb, four young fam­i­lies – two Jew­ish, two Catholic– form a neigh­bor­hood clique, their friend­ships based on lit­tle more than the ages of their chil­dren and a shared sense of cama­raderie. When one of the mem­bers of the group, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopt a lit­tle girl from Rus­sia, the group’s loy­al­ty and moral­i­ty is soon called into ques­tion. Are the Edwards unkind or even abu­sive to their new daugh­ter? Or is she a dif­fi­cult child with hid­den destruc­tive tendencies?The nov­el is told in the first per­son by neigh­bor Nicole West­er­hof, a Jew­ish woman who must grap­ple with one of the most cen­tral tenets of Jew­ish life, the duty to save lives. As Nicole finds her­self drawn fur­ther into the life of the adopt­ed girl, she is forced to re-exam­ine the decep­tive nature of her own fam­i­ly ties, and her com­plic­i­ty in the events unfold­ing around her. Good Neigh­bors asks read­ers to wres­tle with their own ideas about com­mu­ni­ty and fam­i­ly – and to ques­tion what they would do if they were in a sim­i­lar situation.

Discussion Questions