Sunday, August 15, 2010

105 - A Friend of the Family; Lauren Grodstein













At the core of this novel, A Friend of the Family,  is Dr. Pete Dizenoff, prominent Internist in Round Hill, New Jersey. Pete is a hardworking man, who is deeply in love with his wife of 25 years, and who only wants the best for Alec, his 20 year old only child.  So why is this husband and father, living in the garage, by himself, at the start of this family drama? Pete's dreams of the perfect life is falling apart before his very eyes. His wife wants a divorce, his son hates him, a patient's brother wants him dead, and his longtime friends and neighbors, The Sterns, are no longer sure that Pete is the man they once thought he was. How did Pete's life spiral out of control?

This novel is a story about how far a father will go to protect his only son.  For starters, Alec, Pete's 20 year old son, drops out of Hampshire College, and moves back home to pursue art and painting. He converts the garage into his art studio.  Pete wants his son to go back to school and finish his degree, and to focus on a career plan, but Alec has other ideas.  The trouble intensifies when Alec begins dating 31 year old Laura Stern, who has just arrived back in town. Laura is the daughter of the Dizinoff's long time best friends and neighbors.  Pete disapproves of the relationship, not only because of the 10 year age difference, but because of shocking crime Laura committed as a rebellious teen, years earlier. The incident involved the brutal death of her baby. In the end, Pete's inability to let go and let his son live his own life,  make his own mistakes, causes him to lose the very things and very people, he was trying to protect.

MY THOUGHTS - The audio book is read by Rick Adamson who did a great job.  The novel started at the end, and then bit by bit unraveled to show how a once seemingly perfect life, spiraled out of control. The writing was very good, and the story was chilling in parts, and hooked me early on. This is a novel that will surely give the reader plenty to think about, especially if you are a parent. It begs the reader to ask themself the question, "how far would you go to protect an adult child"? When does protecting a child become an obsession?  This story is shocking, horrifying, gripping, and not for the faint of heart. One thing is for sure, this story will not be one you will easily forget. RECOMMENDED

4/5 stars ~ Library Audio Book

15 comments:

  1. Wow, this sounds really intense! I'm thinking it would be a good one to listen to so I'm glad you liked the audiobook, Diane. Great review.

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  2. Oh my gosh - I love it when a book is formatted like that. This book sounds very thought provoking.

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  3. Your review just made me want to read this!! Well done!

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  4. This one sounds so, so good. I always think that when you try to intervene in something you end up making things worse most of the time. Sometimes things just have to happen the way they do. This whole premise for a book is really intriguing to me.

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  5. I'm trying to decide if I want to read this one or not...I can usually handle the family drama stuff pretty well...but this one freaks me out a little...not exactly sure why?

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  6. such a lovely review. this family drama is great! my father passed away years back, and i know that he'll do anything to protect me if he's still alive. thanks for sharing such a great book. have a nice day/

    mt latest post:
    http://coffeecrackers.blogspot.com/2010/08/movie-wishlist-2.html

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  7. Oh my, you do make this book sound very enticing! I am really glad that you loved the book, and I will have to keep my eye out for it. Great review!

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  8. I was super excited to read your review as I just checked this one out from the library this weekend. It looks really interesting and I can't wait to pick it up :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  9. OMG! I am sure I want to read this one! Wow!

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  10. I like it when a book begins backwards! Thanks for such an interesting review.

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  11. I wondered about this book and now I know I'd very much like to read it! It poses some really interesting questions about life, beliefs, love, loyalty and more. I enjoy books like this even whn they make me cringe!

    Thanks for a terrific review.

    Amy

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  12. I read this book also and really recommend it. I thought it was great.

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  13. This is the first I've read of this one. Looks good.

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  14. Your review put me over the top on this one. I kept wavering as to whether I should read it or not..thanks for a fantastic review.

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