Weekend Reads: “City in a Forest”
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Arden and Parker were best friends during their Georgia childhood. Arden, a gifted artist and a woman of color, lives in a rather squalid situation in Atlanta. Parker, a white PR executive, lives with her family in a fancy DC suburb. The two wind up reconnecting when business takes Parker to Atlanta and she learns that a long-time family acquaintance is trying to have Arden turned out of her home.
That’s the basic plot of City in a Forest. There are more twists and turns than imaginable in the tale, as we see the difficulties in Parker’s marriage and her relationship with her daughter, as well as what Arden experiences due to her depression. What’s particularly well-handled is the way that Arden’s depression is shown, rather than merely described, as she tries to navigate life outside her little compound.
There’s no small amount of city-level politics on display from both Arden and Parker’s perspectives … including the kinds of corruption that most of us know exists behind smiling faces.
The book was well-written, and the characters deftly drawn. Those who like literary fiction are sure to enjoy it.