Good Fences: A Novel

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Random House, 1997 - Fiction - 216 pages
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In this exciting novel, an upwardly mobile black family moves to the affluent suburbs--with dramatic,
sexy, funny, and provocative results.
Mabel Turner, born and raised in the small and all-black town of Lovejoy, Illinois, meets and marries Tom Spader, a driven man,
who shares her dreams of the good life. Together they flee Lovejoy, Tom becomes a successful attorney at a prestigious law firm, and eventually
they move to Greenwich, Connecticut. At first, life in the elite suburb is like paradise--they seem to have finally knocked down the fences between
themselves and the white American dream. But soon they discover that some of the highest fences are the ones they cannot see. The kids act up and out,
and Mabel feels she has to hide who she really is, secreting Jet magazine under her fancy new sofa cushions and serving expensive gourmet cookies
to the other PTA mothers. In the novel's startling climax, these problems are suddenly overshadowed by the very odd behavior of Mabel's
neighbors, and of Tom, too.
Fresh, illuminating, and written in a captivating voice, Good Fences introduces a strong new fiction talent, with a can't-put-it-down story.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A first-novelist's in-depth look at a black family's move into a white world. Mabel, who ranks low on the self-esteem scale, thanks, in part, to a supercritical father, has continually underestimated ... Read full review


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About the author (1997)

Erika Ellis lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband. This is her first book.

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