The BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge is in full swing, and today’s book review is a surprise pop up blog tour. Arboria Park is inspired by Kate Tyler Wall’s actual childhood neighborhood and her love of punk rock.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Stacy Halloran has lived most of her life in 1950s-era housing development Arboria Park. But her beloved neighborhood may not survive much longer.
Despite her parents’ entreaties to “stay in the yard where it’s safe,” the Park is where young Stacy roams in quest of “real life.” Through her wanderings, she learns about the area’s agricultural history; meets people from backgrounds different than her own; watches her siblings develop interracial and same-sex relationships; helps launch the local punk-rock scene; and finally, settles as a wife and mother. As the neighborhood declines (along with her relationship with her mother), Stacy considers moving on to rescue herself and her daughter. But then a massive highway project threatens the ever-resilient Park―and it’s Stacy’s task to rally family, friends, and neighbors to save it.
My thoughts on Arboria Park:
The novel tells the story of a community through the eyes of Stacy and the people connected to her. In many ways it’s a coming of age novel about a neighborhood and the changes it goes through over the decades with class, race, and punk rock playing important roles.
Despite being labeled historical fiction, Arboria Park felt more like an issue book with the story coming in second to the message the author wanted to send. My number one complaint about books is not being able to get lost in the story, and that was the case here. However, just because this book wasn’t for me doesn’t mean it’s not for you. If you are looking for a novel that examines the evolution of a neighborhood while exploring place and time, you might want to check this out.
What are you reading?
P.S. For more book reviews, check out The book you’ll want to throw in your beach bag: Every Last Lie!
This book was sent to me to review and is part of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge. This blog uses affiliate and referral links. Clicking a link costs you nothing, but the small commission from your click/purchase helps support this blog. Thank you!