What makes a neighborhood? This question has been at the forefront of my mind during this season of One Book, One Chicago which explores the theme of "Neighborhoods: Our City's Bedrock." With this theme in mind, I've reflected on my own experiences as a native Chicagoan and what I've realized is that every neighborhood is a unique expression of the people who live there, and our neighbors living near us shape our life experiences.
This year's OBOC selection, Bedrock Faith, explores what it means to live in a community and how one neighbor's homecoming directly impacts the lives of everyone living in that neighborhood. Check out the fiction books below to further explore how neighbors play a vital role in communities and the lives of everyone living there.
Tomorrow's Bread follows the lives of the people living in a bustling middle-class African American neighborhood in the 1960s. When city government decides to "revitalize" the area and push out the current residents, Loraylee Hawkins takes it upon herself to save her community. What follows is a tale about the lives of its residents and what makes a community a home.
In Natalie Tan's Book of Luck & Fortune, Natalie learns of her estranged mother's death and returns to her childhood home to grieve for her mother, reclaim her family's restaurant and help revitalize her once vibrant community in San Francisco's Chinatown. Along the way, she learns about her neighbors' unwavering support for her family during their most desperate times. Now it's Natalie's turn to heal the community and its members by cooking three dishes from her grandmother's cookbook for her neighbors in the most need.
How well do you know your neighbor? In The Family Next Door, the seemingly perfect residents of a suburban neighborhood are fascinated by the arrival of a new neighbor, but when the residents look too closely, long-held family secrets are revealed.
Lastly, My Kind of People follows recently orphaned Sky and her guardians as they relocate to a small island community. While every neighbor has their own personal struggles, they rally together to help provide the structure and support that Sky and her new family need during this time of transition.
Have you read any good books about neighbors? Share your book recommendations in the comments.