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A Friend of the Family Hardcover – November 10, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
While attending the University of Pittsburgh, Pete meets his eventual wife, Elaine. After college, the couple lives in a stately home in Round Hill, New Jersey, where Pete builds a thriving medical practice. Elaine, who has received a PhD in English Literature, is totally devoted to Pete. Following graduation, they manage to remain close with Joe and Iris Stern, good friends from their college days. Pete and Elaine have celebrated the births of all the Sterns' children --- from their first-born, Laura, to their other three kids --- all the while wondering why they themselves can't conceive even one child.
After years of battling infertility, Pete and Elaine are at last blessed with a son, Alec. Pete is unashamedly devoted to Alec and has pinned his hopes and dreams on his son's future. Now 20 years old, Alec has a mind of his own and a passion in art. He drops out of school to study art and lives in a studio apartment above his parents' garage...until someone from the past turns their lives upside down.
When she was a teenager, Laura Stern was accused of committing a crime so unbelievably heinous that the State of New Jersey was determined to lock her up for years. At the time, her parents believed she was mentally deficient and not responsible for her act.Read more ›
The anticipation was not worth the result and the writing was overly dramatic. The plot development was SO SLOW. I hated the foreshadowing and the jumping back and forth in time. Sometimes I would get a couple of sentences into a paragraph and then realize she had shifted time YET AGAIN. Annoying.
There was way too much detail, but about what?.....something the reader did not really know about, that was not revealed until the last few pages (the reason for Pete's banishment to the garage). So how are we supposed to care? By then I had lost interest. The author did not know when to stop building suspense and tell the darn story! I realized that Pete was in agonizing mental pain, loved his wife and son....but Grodstein kept beating the reader over the head with these facts. Too much manipulation by the author.
The book was full of characters I did not care about....and way too much writing about things that had nothing to do with the story and detracted from it.
The ending (from the time Pete went into NY to confront Laura to the end of the book) seemed tacked on. Her revelations made absolutely no sense and the story of Roseanne was not at all integrated into the novel --- the accusations seemed absurd given Pete's marginal interaction with her as a patient. The fallout from all of Pete's woes seemed false and forced. Not well done at all.
I usually do not stick with books to which I give two stars, but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. My opinion: much ado about not much.
When I finished this book I thought .. .. HUH? Laura tells people Dr. Pete 'raped' her and given her history of mental problems, the wife (especially the wife)and son actually believe her? It just didn't make any sense! This man who stood beside her all of these years - through infertility and breast cancer - suddenly decides to rape his son's girlfriend. AND the best friend believing his daughter - and he knows the truth of her sexual past . . .What utter nonsense . . and WHAT is the problem with the son? An obnoxious character to say the least and the wife comes off as spoiled rotten. I have to say - the moment Dr. Pete hauled off and smacked Laura was most satisfying - and I'm not even a violent person:)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book will leave you thinking about it for a long time...but only because its so anticlimactic! I finished and was like HUH? I read all that for that ending? Read morePublished 13 days ago by Melisanthy
I read some of the other comments about this book--being curious, since I just finished it--and I guess I sort of agree with some of the drawbacks--the behavior of characters in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ruthy Wexler
Engrossing and insightful for any parent who has experienced challenging years with their teenager(s) - and funny and sad at the same time. Also elegantly written.Published 3 months ago by Alex Dimitrief
This is the strangest book I have ever read. After I finished it, I loaned it to a few friends to read, and none of us liked it because the story was so weird and we couldn't find... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting but disappointing conclusion. Would not recommend.Published 5 months ago by The princesses' mom
This book is really scary and makes you think about what can happen and what can go wrong.Published 6 months ago by M. M. Lusak
Good read but one of those books you will forget very soon. Male character too feminine.Published 8 months ago by Vivian Moore
You know something is going to happen and you race to see it but are never s y re of the outcome. Isn't that w :) st a good read is all aboutPublished 8 months ago by Carolyn Marsh
Takes to long to get to the point. Feels like narrator is too focus on himself. Characters are not fully developed as much as they could be. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Katie McGee