Sunday, March 3, 2013

Book Review - A Friend of the Family

A Friend of the Family, by Lauren Grodstein, is a suspensful novel about the tragedy of aging in the suburbs. There's a lot more to it than that, but to me that seemed to be the essence of it. Pete, a doctor and the narrator of the story, has had a good life. It's by no means over, he's in his mid-fifties as he tells his story, but he has suffered some MAJOR setbacks. His only son hates him. His wife is suing for divorce, and he's been kicked out of his house. He's also being sued for malpractice. Oh, and his best friend is no longer his friend at all. So basically, he's lost everything.

And yet, as he says in the first page or so, life goes on. Then he takes us through his story, breaking down the events that brought him to this point. Secrets,mistakes, and betrayals are revealed. At the story's core is the relationship between his son, Alec, and his best friend's dauther, Laura, who may or may not have murdered her baby when she was a teenager. Pete is convinced that Laura is bad news and he absolutley doesn't want Alec to be involved with her. Eventually he'll stop at nothing to end their relationship, even if it means losing his son.

This book is very well written, suspensful and packed with emotion. I wasn't quite sure WHY I was so involved, but I was really involved. I mean, I sort of knew he was headed for disaster. And he wasn't always a character I could like or even identify with. But the writing was efficient and compelling, and there was a ton of deeper meaning to the story though I'm not always sure I got what the deeper meaning was. If you read it, you'll see what I mean - all the stuff about the deer. Anyway, I enjoyed this book a lot, and I'd definitely reccomend it to a friend.

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