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A Friend of the Family: Book summary and reviews of A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein

A Friend of the Family

by Lauren Grodstein

A Friend of the Family
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2009
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Pete Dizinoff has spent years working toward a life that would be, by all measures, deemed successful. A skilled internist, he's built a thriving practice in suburban New Jersey. He has a devoted wife, a network of close friends, and an impressive house, and most important, he has a son, Alec, on whom he's pinned all his hopes. Pete has afforded Alec every opportunity, bailed him out of close calls with the law, and even ensured his acceptance into a good college.

But Pete never counted on the wild card: Laura, his best friend's daughter—ten years older than Alec, irresistibly beautiful, with a past so shocking that it's never spoken of. When Laura sets her sights on Alec, Pete sees his plans for his son not just unraveling but being destroyed completely. Believing he has only the best of intentions, he sets out to derail this romance and rescue his son. He could never have foreseen how his whole world would shatter in the process.

Lauren Grodstein delivers a riveting story in the tradition of The Ice Storm, American Beauty, and Little Children, charting a father's fall from grace as he struggles to save his family, his reputation, and himself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An astute dissector of male aspiration, Grodstein brings great insight into a father's protective urge for his son in this gripping portrait of an American family in crisis." - Publishers Weekly

"Grodstein's wry insights, her fully imagined social panorama and her vision of a middle-class man at the crossroads testify to her considerable skill. Ambitious, often impressive but structurally flawed work." - Kirkus Reviews

"Horrifyingly plausible and deeply poignant, A Friend of the Family will leave you shaken and chastened—and grateful for the warning." - The Washington Post

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Author Information

Lauren Grodstein Author Biography

Photo: Nina Subin

Lauren Grodstein is the author of the bestselling A Friend of the Family, which was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a New York Times Editor's Pick, and an Indie Next selection; the collection The Best of Animals; and the novel Reproduction Is the Flaw of Love. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.

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