In The Neighborhood Of True by Susan Kaplan CarltonIn The Neighborhood Of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton

In The Neighborhood Of True

bySusan Kaplan Carlton

Hardcover | April 9, 2019

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A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out.

“The story may be set in the past, but it couldn’t be a more timely reminder that true courage comes not from fitting in, but from purposefully standing out . . . and that to find out who you really are, you have to first figure out what you’re not.”Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things

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.
 
Susan Kaplan Carlton currently teaches writing at Boston University. The author of Love & Haight and Lobsterland, her writing has also appeared in Self, Elle, Mademoiselle, and Seventeen. She lived for a time with her family in Atlanta, where her daughters learned the finer points of etiquette from a little pink book and the power of s...
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Title:In The Neighborhood Of TrueFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 inPublished:April 9, 2019Publisher:Algonquin BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1616208600

ISBN - 13:9781616208608

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The story of a disturbing period in History Set in 1958 in Atlanta, this book is a fictionalized account of the racist South and how Jews living there at that time were affected. The main character, teenaged Ruth Robb, has moved to Atlanta from Manhattan with her mother and younger sister Natalie to live with her Protestant maternal grandparents following the sudden death of her Jewish father. Ruth is faced with keeping her faith (her Protestant mother had converted to Judaism) a secret to fit in with her peers at the private Christian school in which she was enrolled and within their society, which was largely closed to Jews. The bombing of the synagogue (based on an actual event in 1958 Atlanta) pushes her to reveal her faith and to project her identity. I found this story very absorbing and read it in one day. It portrays a dark period in American History which sadly has not been eradicated. A very good read.
Date published: 2019-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow. Inredible read! From the moment I began this story, I was instantly hooked. It started with Ruth in a courtroom about to testify about the hate crime that occured during the novel. What was the hate crime? What was she specifically there to testify for? What was she going to say? So many questions popped into my mind in the first few pages, and I knew I needed to have all of them answered. Ruth, her mother, and her sister have moved from New York to Atlanta to live with her grandparents after her father’s sudden and unfortunate death. Fontaine and Mr. Hank (the grandparents) are Christian, but Ruth and her family are Jewish. In Atlanta in 1958, being Jewish was not something that was very accepted. Ruth hides this part about her as she goes to a Christian school and is influenced by Fontaine to get involved in debutante life. The glitz and the glamour capture Ruth, along with Davis, the boy with the lovely smile and cute dimple. In her infatuation, Ruth continues to hide the real her. Until a violent hate crime occurs, and Ruth must ultimately decide the person she wants to be. This book was incredible. Incredible. I was sucked in from the very beginning and just couldn’t put it down. The writing really brought the setting of the 1950s to life. I could picture the fashion, the speech, and the manerisms so clearly in my mind. It was almost like watching a movie. But what was most important about this book was how Susan Kaplan Carlton chose to tackle such a prevalent issue. Sure, this was book set in 1958 and schools and busses and movie theatres are no longer segregated and you won’t be turned away from a debutante ball if you’re Jewish, but you can’t sit there and tell me that people do not experience awful prejudices in 2019. It may not be as clean cut as 1958, but it sure as hell exists. And just as it was important in 1958 for Ruth to decide whether or not to do the right thing, it is also important for us to absolutely decide to do the right thing in 2019. Susan Kaplan Carlton has graced us with a lovely novel and I think you should all pick it up when you have a chance. Every single thing about it was great. When someone can present such a vital topic with a beautiful story and elegant writing, it’s not something you want to miss out on.
Date published: 2019-04-13

Editorial Reviews

“Carlton captures the racism, anti-Semitism, and social interactions of the time and place with admirable nuance. The dialogue and setting are meticulously constructed, and readers will feel the humidity and tension rising with each chapter.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review “Susan Kaplan Carlton offers a rich sense of time and place and a compelling profile in courage of a conflicted 17-year-old finding her voice in this interesting snapshot of a little-known chapter of the early civil rights movement.” —The Buffalo News “Every character is memorable and complex, and the plot quickly becomes engrossing . . . the characters' moral decisions are so complicated and so surprising that many people will be kept spellbound by even the tiniest detail. Riveting.” —Kirkus Reviews “Carlton does an excellent job of mixing the personal with the historical . . . Ruth crisply relays her conflicted feelings, the tense situations, and characters who are well-shaded and occasionally surprising.” —Booklist “In the Neighborhood of True, inspired by real-life events, is a testament to an important time in our country's history with themes that resonate today.” —Shelf Awareness “Inspired by the 1958 bombing of an Atlanta synagogue, this novel uses its immersive historical setting to convey truths about hatred that remain relevant today . . . Timely YA historical fiction that belongs on all shelves.” —School Library Journal “A gorgeous story about a teenage girl finding her voice in the face of hate, heartbreak, and injustice.” —Nova Ren Suma, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Room Away from the Wolves   “Susan Kaplan Carlton’s snapshot of 1958 Atlanta is both exquisite and harrowing, and I will hold it in my heart for a long time.” —Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone and Our Year of Maybe “You might not think a book set in 1959 could feel wildly relevant, but wow does this YA set in Atlanta that explores anti-Semitism in the south during the Civil Rights era feel incredibly on point after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. In both cases, the synagogue was specifically targeted for being not just a place of worship for Jews but for being active participants in the eternal American fight against racism.” —Barnes & Noble Teen Blog   “One of the most honest, multifaceted, and authentic portrayals of teen girlhood I've ever read. This is a must for readers of historical fiction, particularly areas that receive less attention.” —Young Adult Books Central   “I loved this book. The characters are complex and relatable . . . Carlton captures the emotions and the struggle perfectly, making it a great place to find representation of what it’s like to be Jewish then and now.” —Teenreads   “In the Neighborhood of True is a story that really struck a chord with me. It highlights issues that remain as relevant then as they are now. It reminded us that we can’t truly hide ourselves, not when it matters the most. Most important of all, it reminds the reader that we must always tell our truths, no matter how hard it might be for others to hear them.” —The Nerd Daily