Saturday, June 15, 2019

Those People by Louise Candlish

Those People.  Louise Candlish. Penguin Publishing Group.  June, 2019; pb, 368 pp.; ISBN #: 9780451489142.

Lowland Avenue is an upper middle class street in a perfect neighborhood, where the residents get along and cherish the Sunday street rules which ban parking and establish a place where children can draw in the streets, ride bikes, skateboard and all in all play without fear of approaching danger from encroaching transportation.
But the peacefulness and perfection are about to disappear.

For Darren and Jodi, a young couple, move into the neighborhood.  Their noise of blaring rock music at all hours of day and night along with their car business manifest in dozens of cars and vans parked on the lawn and around the street immediately draw the ire and complaints of their neighbors.  Efforts at talking out the problem result in the hurling of foul language and angry diatribes. 

At first there are efforts to band together but it turns out that nothing being done is illegal. But the spreading of the neighborly hate is fast spreading through the internet and yielding some protesting articles in  a local newspaper.  However, all of this turns ugly very fast with no change looming on a street fast moving toward attitudes that could become very dangerous.

Finally, a disaster happens with the collapse of a scaffold for renovations and the death of a resident on the street.  Accusations fly and now it’s hard to figure out who is throwing legitimate protests and threats of a response and what turns out to be another death before the end of this riveting but virulently angry novel.

What is most amazing is how what starts out as a disagreement quickly destroys the peace of home owners, frays the tempers and marriages of some, and elicits a response that becomes criminal. Astonishing and violent story that doesn’t end soon enough!

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