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Looking for Peyton Place: A Novel Hardcover – July 12, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With her mother deceased and her older sister suffering similar symptoms, successful 30-something novelist Annie Barnes turns detective—Erin Brokovich-style—when she reluctantly returns to her "stifling, stagnant, and cruel" New Hampshire hometown of Middle River in Delinsky's diverting latest (after The Summer I Dared). A company town dominated by Northbrook Paper Mill, owned by the powerful Meades, Middle River's real claim to fame, according to Annie and other townspeople, is that it was the model for the once notorious bestseller Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. Annie's neighbors are equally sure that she's returned to dig up their dirt, and, like Metalious, write about it. Though Annie is less concerned with gossip than possible mercury poisoning, Metalious speaks to her from beyond the grave, egging her on in her investigation. The plucky heroine also begins a flirty e-mail conversation with a Deep Throat who calls himself "TrueBlue" and hints at Northbrook Mill's dark doings. And against all odds, handsome Meade scion James seems to be an ally in her environmental crusade. Readers with an appetite for light fare will find all the right ingredients—romance, mystery, suspense, sisterly rivalry and a thoroughly happy ending. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Say the words "Peyton Place" and what comes to mind? Sex, of course, and hypocrisy, and the kind of small-town secrets that really aren't so secret after all. Middle River, New Hampshire, always knew it was the real-life model for literature's most notorious location by virtue of being author Grace Metalious' hometown. Among the residents Grace made famous were Connie Barnes and her daughter, Alyssa, though Connie is long dead and Alyssa has just died--under mysterious circumstances, if you ask her daughter, acclaimed novelist Annie Barnes. When Annie returns to the town she'd forsaken to investigate her mother's death, the townspeople fear she's back to follow in Grace's footsteps by exposing a new generation of dirty little secrets in a tell-all novel--and they'll stop at nothing to see that she never writes a single word. Working from such an intriguing premise, Delinsky is at her best, skillfully weaving elements of a tantalizing mystery and titillating romance in this vibrant page-turner. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (July 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743246446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743246446
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Delinsky, author of SWEET SALT AIR (2013), ESCAPE (2011), NOT MY DAUGHTER (2010), WHILE MY SISTER SLEEPS (2009), THE SECRET BETWEEN US (2008), and FAMILY TREE (2007), has written more than twenty-one bestselling novels with over thirty million copies in print. She has been published in twenty languages worldwide. Barbara's fiction centers upon everyday families facing not-so-everyday challenges. She is particularly drawn to exploring themes of motherhood, marriage, sibling rivalry, and friendship in her novels.

A lifelong New Englander, Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. As a breast cancer survivor who lost her mother to the disease when she was only eight, Barbara compiled the non-fiction book Uplift: Secrets From the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors, a handbook of practical tips and upbeat anecdotes. She donates her proceeds from the sale of this book to her charitable foundation, which funds an ongoing research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Barbara enjoys knitting, photography, and cats. She also loves to interact with her readers through her website at www.barbaradelinsky.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bdelinsky, and on Twitter as @BarbaraDelinsky.

Customer Reviews

My rule with books is that if I don't like it by page 100 or don't understand what's going on by then, put it down.
Kate M. Brown
The story is about an author who is haunted by the stigma she felt from her small New England town and the haunting influence of the author of Peyton Place.
Long Island Lady
I enjoyed reading this book, and being the first Delinsky book that I have read, I picked it up and couldnt put it down.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bear Creek Nana Bookworm on April 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Over the past five years I have been reading Barbara's books and I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. She always includes the right ingredients-romance, mystery, suspense, and a thoroughly happy ending. This one is no exception....it is also very informative, and she appears to have done sufficient research on the topics of which she speaks. I read all the other customer reviews and I don't understand why some people read her books with such a critical eye. Some people are just too picky!! This is a great read and I look forward to her next novel. I may even suggest this one for our neighborhood book club to read. Thank you, Barbara.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Long Island Lady on July 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have just finished another great book by Barbara Delinsky. She never fails to educate me about something in a thoroughly enjoyable novel. This time it was Grace Metalious and mercury poisoning.

The story is about an author who is haunted by the stigma she felt from her small New England town and the haunting influence of the author of Peyton Place. In an effort to find out why her mother died she goes back to the town she grew up in to finds answers. What she also finds is love, family, a home and peace of mind.

As usual I love Barbara's plot, characters, the building of relationships and what I learned.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Wagner on August 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have been an avid Barbara Delinsky fan since reading THREE WISHES - her newest novel definitely lived up to my expectations. It was an excellent read and, when putting it down, I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I am planning on reading the original Peyton Place novel by Grace Metalious, which is an important part of the story. I would highly recommend LOOKING FOR PEYTON PLACE.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kate M. Brown on August 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I LOVE Barbara Delinsky, but I think this had to be her worst ever. Coast Road, Lake News, The Vineyard, The Summer I Dared....they're all fabulous but this one I couldn't even finish.

My rule with books is that if I don't like it by page 100 or don't understand what's going on by then, put it down.

Well, I tried past 100 and went to 200 and still didn't like it. I didn't understand the point or the characters. There were so many characters and she got so absorbed in describing the characters *who were all townspeople anyway* that I just got lost (and bored).

So if you have the patience to continue on with this book, more power to you.

If I like a book, I read it fast. If I don't, it takes forever and this one would have taken forever.

Sorry, Barbara, this one wasn't you.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Middle River is the New England town that Grace Metalious' novel Peyton Place was based on. Middle River looks quaint and wholesome, but people have secrets would ruin them if they get out. It is a company town and Sandy Meade owns the Northwood Paper Mill that employs most of the townsfolk so people are very reluctant to talk about the wrongdoing of Sandy and his son Aidan.

When Annie Barnes, a famous writer, thinks about her mother's death, she isn't sure that the official verdict tells the whole story. She returns to Middle River where she sees Phoebe have the same symptoms that her mother had. After doing some research, she thinks that they and other villagers suffer from mercury poison. The only place in town that uses mercury is the paper plant. The Meades try to turn the townsfolk against her and run her out of town before she learns what they are trying so desperately to hide. Making matters worse is that Annie falls for James Meade who refuses to tell her what he knows about his family and the possibility of mercury poisoning afflicting the people of Middle River.

The best part of reading a Barbara Delinsky book is that she never tells the same story twice and she imbues her storyline with a relevant social issue. LOOKING FOR PEYTON PLACE is a fabulous mainstream women's fiction book focusing on a spunky protagonist. Annie is determined to find out what is wrong in her town because she doesn't want to lose her sister or have other innocent people fall ill or die. Ms. Delinsky puts her heart into her work.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By quiettime on July 19, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm with the other reviewers who did not enjoy this. As I have enjoyed many of Delinsky's other books, I expected a lot more from this. I was not really engaged in the characters or the story, and found the first person format somewhat jarring for some reason.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Hall on July 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As usual, Barbara Delinsky has provided me with an outstanding summer read! Looking for Peyton Place is not just a mindless romance story. It involves little known facts about mercury poisoning, chelation, and the original Peyton Place author, Grace Metalious. I have enjoyed all of her books so much, and this one was not a disappointment. This is an excellent choice for travelers who spend time in airports as well as beach bums.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Northrop on August 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It took well over 500 pages to write what should have been written in 300 or so pages, and in those last 200 pages, my interest was sorely flagging.

I didn't find Annie particularly compelling on any level. Her personality, while supposedly she was the town pariah since her teens, was more milquetoast than troublemaker. How an entire town could come to despise her for vague things she did when she was young is beyond my comprehension.

The exchanges between Annie and Grace Metalious were bizarre, and I didn't buy that they were the product of a creative writer-type.

Frankly, I felt that the author basically used Ms. Metalious and her novel Peyton Place to piggyback on to sell this mediocre novel of her own.

I would only recommend this book to a masochist.
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