Saturday, June 27, 2015

A fun, dark family drama

I recently finished the Kindle version of Lauren Grodstein's A Friend of the Family.

Amazon blurb:

"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."

Ed's mini-review:

A fast-moving book that doesn't contain much fluff, despite it's suburban setting. The 30-year-old villain, Laura, manages to be seductive, creepy, evil, and oddly sympathetic, all at the same time. 

Although the downfall of the main protagonist, Pete Dizinoff, is a foregone conclusion, the reader can't help but feel for him on his way down. Pete only wants the best for his son, but this turns out to be a thankless pursuit. 

In this regard, A Friend of the Family highlights some of the challenges of modern parenting--especially fatherhood--in which it is no longer taken for granted that "father (or mother, for that matter) knows best".

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