A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY by Lauren Grodstein

I am never surprised to see Jill from Breaking the Spine writing about something that I am interested in, but it was funny tonight to see her post about the same book I was planning to write about: A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein. (Of course, she has read it already, and I haven't). I picked up a copy of A Friend of the Family at BEA last June, and I think I will move it to the top of the TBR list. From Amazon:

Grodstein In A Friend of the Family, Lauren Grodstein goes to [great] literary heights with a contemporary suburban drama brewing with an undercurrent of violence that, with each turn of the page, takes on the weight of an American tragedy. As the book opens, Peter Dizinoff, a successful New Jersey doctor, is struggling to adjust to the aftermath of his actions as the foundation of his personal and professional life crack beneath his feet. At the center of his troubles is his beloved son Alec, who deflates his father's high expectations when he drops out of college after just three semesters and moves into the apartment above their garage. And when his son begins seeing Laura, the troubled daughter of Peter's best friend who is ten years older than Alec and lives in the tainted shadow of being acquitted for an unspeakable crime when she was 17, Alec's ambivalence to his father's hopes in living a good life turn into a simmering rage. Dizinoff, a man with a clear definition of right and wrong, flips back and forth in time as he narrates the history of events that build their way to a layered, emotionally wrenching climax.

Just from the plot description, this book reminds me somewhat of one that I read a few years ago, Trespass, by Valerie Martin. Similar story about parents watching their dreams for a their child fade away when he becomes involved with someone with a complicated past and a different agenda. (See review here). Beth Fish Reads enjoyed this book: " A Friend of the Family is not a happy novel with easy answers and a clean ending. The characters are multidimensional, and the reader's sympathies change as the book progresses. Grodstein pushes you to question the limits of the trust and faith you have put in your family, your friends, and even your doctors. It's a novel that will make you think."

I am excited to read this!

5 Comments

  • November 18, 2009 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Beth’s right…it’s a book that definitely makes you think. Looking forward to your thoughts on it. Thanks for the link to my site!

  • November 18, 2009 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the mention. I’m interested in your reaction. I wasn’t expecting to like the book.

  • November 18, 2009 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I hadn’t seen this one yet; it’s going on the TBR list. I’m going to have to head over and see what Jill and Beth have to say.

  • November 18, 2009 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I have this book in my review pile. Really looking forward to getting to it!

  • November 18, 2009 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m anxious to read this one too.

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