Book Review: We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White

I selected this book because I wanted an enjoyable audio book. The story of two Southern women spanning the time from JFK’s Camelot to the election of Bill Clinton appealed to me. Yes, a form of Chick Lit that I often turn to in the summer. In years past, this would have been a pool book.

As I listened, every so often something would feel off to me. For example, hearing an affluent, white girl who arrived at college with her family silver tea set express passion for the Civil Rights movement struck me as off. Would the characters remain tone deaf due to privilege or was Susan Rebecca White writing for women, similar to her characters, to view the times differently with the added filters of history? It would be a very cleaver move to address weighty and hot button topics with characters very similar to her target audience.

Overall I enjoyed this listen and recommend it for a variety of reasons. I like books that challenge me by either sending me down a rabbit hole or making me think. Viewing the lives of Eve and Danielle, and later their daughters, through political action and inaction had me thinking about privilege and the role it plays in politics. This book covers very weighty issues, but always from a place of privilege. It also had me thinking about how privileged white females have influenced and/or reacted to the current political landscape with COVID-19, Black Lives Matter and a looming presidential election. I found the process fascinating.

White does know her audience. For some this will be an enjoyable pool book. Others may find a gateway to explore how their privilege impacts their way of being and acting in the world at large.

Self disclosure, there is a reason I choose Southern women focused books in the summer. I fit the white, middle class, middle aged, Southern demographic.

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