Header image credits go to the Fantastic Flying Book Club
In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton
320 pages | Published Apr 9th, 2019
After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.
Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.
As you might have guessed from the title, I did not finish this novel. Unfortunately, I could not get into the book and, since I wasn’t enjoying the reading experience, I figured I should not force myself to go through with it just because.
In the Neighborhood of True is a historical novel set in segregated USA during the late 1950s. In it, we follow Ruth, who is secretly Jewish in a southern Christian community. In the first chapter, we see Ruth as she is about to go to court to testify, but we don’t know what happened and it is not revealed right away. That first chapter was actually really interesting, and I was excited to find out what had happened.
Unfortunately, however, what followed this exciting scene was pages and pages of not much happening. At some point, I got tired and started skim reading for a while in a quest to find some action, but eventually quit at around 13%. Additionally, the dialogue didn’t click with me and I found it quite unnerving how the characters talked. I’m guessing this is how people spoke around that time, but I did not enjoy that aspect whatsoever.
All in all, I think I picked this up at the wrong time. Maybe historical fiction wasn’t what I was in the mood to read, but since the beginning had captivated me, I thought I would go through with the read and enjoy it. Unfortunately, as I said, that didn’t work. And I know this is a pretty shitty review that doesn’t really tell you much about the book, so I’m sorry about that. That being said, I hope you’ll still give this a try, as the synopsis is very intriguing – which is why I wanted to be part of the blog tour.
I won’t be giving this novel a rating, as it is partly my fault that I couldn’t finish it and it wouldn’t be fair to give this a low rating when I read so little of it. Furthermore, I do think I will give it another try in the future, so I don’t want to definitively part with it.
DNF at 13% – no rating
I hope you enjoyed reading my not-so-insightful thoughts on In the Neighborhood of True and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!
Have you read this book? Do you think I should give it another go? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡