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Dramatic,
Dark,
Scary

4 reviews

A Friend of the Family
by Lauren Grodstein

Published: 2009-11-10
Hardcover : 304 pages
14 members reading this now
8 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 4 of 4 members
Pete Dizinoff, a skilled and successful New Jersey internist, has a loving and devoted wife, a network of close friends, an impressive house, and, most of all, a son, Alec, now nineteen, on whom he has pinned all his hopes. But Pete hadn’t expected his best friend’s troubled daughter ...
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Introduction

Pete Dizinoff, a skilled and successful New Jersey internist, has a loving and devoted wife, a network of close friends, an impressive house, and, most of all, a son, Alec, now nineteen, on whom he has pinned all his hopes. But Pete hadn’t expected his best friend’s troubled daughter to set her sights on his boy. When Alec falls under her spell, Pete sets out to derail the romance, never foreseeing the devastating consequences.

In a riveting story of suburban tragedy, Lauren Grodstein charts a father’s fall from grace as he struggles to save his family, his reputation, and himself.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2009: In A Friend of the Family, Lauren Grodstein, author of the breakout debut novel, Reproduction Is the Flaw of Love, goes to even greater 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. --Brad Thomas Parsons

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "A cautionary tale..."by tompatrice (see profile) 11/14/10

Grodstein's story of suburban life will keep you up late at night, turning the pages, waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's scary in that it could easily happen to anyone. It's addictive in that you... (read more)

 
  "A Friend of the Family"by gourmet (see profile) 10/01/10

This is a very dramatic, graphic, and somewhat dark story of an American family in crisis. These are educated, upper class folks who get involved in life situations that are not always of their making,... (read more)

 
  "A Friend of the Family"by blsnshin (see profile) 04/02/10

This book was okay for me. The discussion our book club had on it is what I really enjoyed. It was easy to follow, but as we discussed the main character, Pete Dizinov, was not really likable - too self-involved.... (read more)

 
  "On target for today's world"by dcb155 (see profile) 02/13/10

Especially meaningful for parents of teenagers/young adults.

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