Colt and Francie Hart are a poorly matched couple. He works as a
stockbroker, only preoccupied by climbing to the top of his firm's
hierarchy and offering the image of success and respect to the
outside world. She is a romantic soul, a failed poet, addicted to
feeling-good pills. Ten years into their marriage, they fall in
love with a 150-year-old country house in Pennsylvania, which once
belonged to the Musgrove family, whose sole descendant happens to
live next-door. Soon Francie and Colt fall out over his refusal to
become a father and his insensitive removal of the family's
cemetery from their garden. Colt's relationship with his wife and
neighbour deteriorates to the point that he has to reconsider his
life priorities. It is an engaging tale of skeletons literally
coming out of the earth and family secrets being undusted. Kowalski
unfolds the Musgoves' past as he subtly follows his contemporary
characters' evolution, to create a moving tale of self-discovery.
The Good Neighbour effortlessly weaves together the tragic stories
of two families, hauntingly linked by whispers across the
centuries. When Colt and Francie Hart stumble upon an empty,
150-year-old house during a weekend drive in the country, each of
them falls in love and wants to buy it - for entirely different
reasons. For Colt, the house will become a trophy to his enormous
success at trading stocks. For Francie, a blocked poet, the house
seems to offer a chance for her to reawaken her creativity. Yet the
more the Harts learn about the house, its history and its previous
inhabitants, the more it drives them apart. When they meet their
new neighbour, a descendant of the house's original owners, they
inadvertently start a war over Colt's plan to move the family
cemetery off their property. Colt returns to the city, leaving
Francie to deal with the angry neighbour, but the consequences of
his actions follow him there - while at the same time old secrets
of his own resurface, forcing him to confront his family -- and
himself. Events that conspire to destroy their marriage could just
as easily bring them together again, in this story of two people
who, in looking for a place to call home, find themselves instead.
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