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A Friend of the Family Hardcover – November 10, 2009
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Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
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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
Two families enmeshed with secrets and feelings that will be disturbing to some; but its a good story, well written and is hard to put down.Published 21 days ago by Bill P. Stauss
It was a page turner that kept me captivated for a whole weekend. Well done.Published 1 month ago by B. Ellerin
A must read. The characters are full body and friendship takes a turn.Published 1 month ago by Loni
A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY by Lauren Grodstein
A very jumbled story for me. The storyline jumped all around in time, which made it hard to transition at times. Read more
Another one of those stories about modern day couples who love to believe that they are always right and that life is really all about them. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jan D.
This was an interesting book with an interesting plot and characters . It is a reflection of real life with all the ups and downs. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kindle Customerz
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 7 months 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 8 months ago by Ruthy Wexler