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