The Five Towns is a novel which encompasses all that we hope we are not. Set in WW II period in America it is a scene that could have been set anywhere in the world. The story of bigotry, racism overt and covert, a segregation on the grounds of race, envy, the feeling of being above it all are unfortunately characteristics in society not just then but even more so today.
However much wealth one has acquired as John Dodge has, or however poor and downtrodden you may be like Lulu the maid who is African American, and the Jews who want to be like their WASP neighbors but will throw up their hands in horror if their daughter should even consider marrying one of the "white" boys, this is a story very well told of what is hypocritical and wrong in society.
Interwoven amongst three different families - all who have similar dreams for their children. But please within the strict guidelines set out by their parents the stories are sad and bitter both from the perspective of both the younger and older generations. Change is coming but it's not welcome.
Though for me the story was negative emotion from beginning to end it was also hurt fully truthful. I doubt situations have changed much but it was a very well written coming of age story for the young characters in the story and an acceptance of life and the future on the part of the older folk.
Thank you to Netgalley and to Open Road Integrated Media for sending me the book for an honest review.