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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
House of Hoops, the fourth book in the Hillary Broome Novel series, by June Gillam is a brilliant and glorious tale about the dynamics of societal change and its impact on two opposing sides of redevelopment. Hillary Broome Kiffin is promoting a soon-to-open community center in downtown Sacramento, California called Ans Botha Center, which most members of the community are in favor of. Hillary is thrilled over the contribution that the center will make to prosperity, as it promises to give educational and professional opportunities to people of all ages. But Hillary faces opposition. One, in particular, is Professor Charles Bierce, an old school who is determined to preserve his aging and historic old town neighborhood. He believes that Hillary is a dreamer who rips off the poor and the middle class and stuffs money into greedy developers’ pockets. As for Hillary, the professor is more than an old curmudgeon. The fact that Ans Botha is his target has something to do with what happened in the past between the professor and her father.
House of Hoops is a thoughtful piece of fiction that speaks to all of us. With Hillary and Charles as the two opposing forces with great philosophical differences, June Gillam has created a story where two sides are fully sympathetic and divert from the usual trope of good versus evil. Rather, what you get is a thought-provoking story about good versus good. It is up to you whether you want to choose sides or remain neutral. Either way, you get a great feel for their actions with a hero protagonist and a hero antagonist, depending on whose perspective carries more weight for you. As for the storyline itself, House of Hoops has greatly benefitted in elaborating the themes that it tackles. Gillam gives us an enlightened grasp on defining changes that happen in any city when gentrification encroaches. This is an eye-opening story that deserves a must-read recommendation for it is truly worth reading.