Martha D. (Poway, CA)
A window to a time gone by
I'll own up to having fantasies about this time period and place. So, right away, this book had me. I loved the characters, they jumped off the page and became real to me. The story flowed and made me nostalgic for a time and place I didn't know but wish I did. Now I feel I do know it. Wonderful book, I highly recommend it.
Sue J. (Wauwatosa, WI)
Characters were great and the history in the story was really interesting. I learned a lot about amusement parks and the lives of the people working them.Toni starts out selling homemade french fries in her parents stand as a kid and ends up being a high diver performing spectacular stunts. Palisades Park kept my attention from the first to the last page. I definitely recommend this book.
Sharon A. (Tierra Verde, FL)
Thrills & Chills in Palisades Park
Many of us discovered Alan Brennert thru Moloka'i and he has become an author that makes you want to read whatever book he may write. Palisades Park grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. The characters are beautifully developed and the writing style gives you wonderful images that immerse you in the lives of the characters. Each nuance can bring back memories of times past, like the song about Palisades Park yet the book is a great read for any age. The book is extremely well researched and would make an excellent youth book for the way it sneaks in discussion points about important moments in history. This book shows the depth of the authors' writing, in that the story of Palisades Park is so far removed from his previous books. He just seems to be able to tell a great story, bringing the reader into the lives of the characters and keeps the reader intrigued via his writing craft. A book I will highly recommend to others.
Rebecca E. (Bala Cynwyd, PA)
Memories of Yesteryear
Alan Brennert's two previous novels, Molo'kai and Honolulu, captivated my attention and transported me to the tropical world of their settings. Palisades Park takes the reader to the New Jersey shore and its many amusement parks, but the story engages the reader more deeply in the lives of the people and the communities behind the roller coasters and thrill rides. With the destruction of so many of the boardwalks and amusement park attractions on the Jersey shore with last year's Hurricane Sandy, there has been much talk on the east coast about whether or not to rebuild these treasures of Americana. Can rebuilding ever bring back the memories of the past? Palisades Park is successful in recreating those memories for those of us who remember these bygone times, as well as creating vibrant imagery for those who have never been to these places. While Palisades is not the meaty, discussion-rich book club pick that Molo'kai was, it is an enjoyable read nonetheless.
Karen R. (Locust Grove, VA)
Another great novel by Alan Brennert
Alan Brennert won me over with "Molokai" so I was eager to read another novel by this multitalented author ( tv producer screenwriter). In Palisades Park, he pays tribute to the renowned Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. He hit it out of the ballpark in my opinion. I was transported to the time and place of this legendary park during a volatile period in history and I felt invested in the story and its' cast of characters. I did not want the story to end. Wonderfully written.
Esther L. (Newtown, PA)
An authors memories
Alan Brennert is the author of one of my favorite books...Moloka'i. When you laugh,cry and feel totally connected to a story and it's characters sometimes an authors new book can't live up to your expectations. That is what happens with Palisades Park. I felt Mr Brennerts's love for the amusement park and its story but didn't connect well with the characters. There was one surprising connection in the mention of the Hawaiian Cottage, a restaurant that used to be outside Cherry Hill,New Jersey. I was first there in 1963 with a date for his junior prom and had my first taste of a pu-pu platter and Hawaiian music. It brought back fond memories of a simpler time.
Portia A. (Mount Laurel, NJ)
I loved this book
My review has to start with two facts; I'm 80 years old and I live in New Jersey. My memories mixed with those in the book and they made me happy and they made me cry. I never went to Palisades Park but this beautifully written book reminded me of so many things. But you don't have to be a Jersey girl or and old lady to enjoy this book. The story is of a girl with ambition and how she follows her dream. The author has done true justice to her and Palisades Park.