Have you heard about Lauren Grodstein's new novel, A Friend of the Family?
A Reader's Respite just finished reading it and what a riveting novel it is, too. This is one of those psychologically taut novels -- not what we'd call a thriller, by any means -- that keeps you on the edge of your seat just having to read "one more page."
Pete Dizinoff is a successful husband, father and doctor in suburban New Jersey. All of Pete's hopes and dreams are pinned on his teenage son, Alec. But when Alec finds himself entangled with the wild-child daughter of Pete's best friend, just how far will Pete go to ensure his son's future?
Okay, so this book would make a great book club read...lots of grist for the mill, so to speak. Grodstein writes a tight plot which closely examines the fluidity of our morals and values, as well as the consequences of our actions. Bad things do indeed happen to good people in this novel.
There is enough tension to keep you turning the pages. And the ending? It's, ummmmm, good. Not great, but good. We admittedly were a tad disappointed that the ending wasn't as high of quality as the rest of the novel. Quite frankly, that is why this will be a book we mention to our friends, as opposed to a book everyone is talking about.
But don't let this small criticism keep you from picking up the book. Mediocre ending or not, the book is worth your time.
It's your turn to read it! Leave us a comment if you're interested and we'll draw a random winner here on November 30th, so check back here then to see if you won. (International entrants welcome!)