Alternate Side

Alternate Side

A Novel

Large Print - 2018
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "Captures the angst and anxiety of modern life with . . . astute observations about interactions between the haves and have-nots, and the realities of life among the long-married."-- USA Today

A provocative novel that explores what it means to be a mother, a wife, and a woman at a moment of reckoning, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Miller's Valley and Still Life with Bread Crumbs .

Some days Nora Nolan thinks that she and her husband, Charlie, lead a charmed life--except when there's a crisis at work, a leak in the roof at home, or a problem with their twins at college. And why not? New York City was once Nora's dream destination, and her clannish dead-end block has become a safe harbor, a tranquil village amid the urban craziness. The owners watch one another's children grow up. They use the same handyman. They trade gossip and gripes, and they maneuver for the ultimate status symbol: a spot in the block's small parking lot.

Then one morning, Nora returns from her run to discover that a terrible incident has shaken the neighborhood, and the enviable dead-end block turns into a potent symbol of a divided city. The fault lines begin to open: on the block, at Nora's job, and especially in her marriage.

Praise for Alternate Side

"[Anna] Quindlen's quietly precise evaluation of intertwined lives evinces a keen understanding of and appreciation for universal human frailties." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Exquisitely rendered . . . [Quindlen] is one of our most astute chroniclers of modern life. . . . [ Alternate Side ] has an almost documentary feel, a verisimilitude that's awfully hard to achieve." -- The New York Times Book Review

"An exceptional depiction of complex characters--particularly their weaknesses and uncertainties--and the intricacies of close relationships . . . Quindlen's provocative novel is a New York City drama of fractured marriages and uncomfortable class distinctions." -- Publishers Weekly
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, [2018]
Edition: First large print edition.
ISBN: 9780525637318
0525637311
Branch Call Number: LARGE PRINT QUINDLEN
Characteristics: 372 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print

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n
njaneal
Dec 03, 2018

Her other books are much better. I felt the first 240 pages set up the last 40. Nothing really happened in those first 240 pages - nothing to hook you into reading the rest. I did enjoy the last 40 pages - but it took a LONG time to get there.

a
annbiggar
Nov 08, 2018

Recommended by Strib

mko123 Jul 11, 2018

This book Pulled me in at the beginning but it left me disappointed and bored toward the end.
The set-up was great: an insulated upper middle class Manhattan neighborhood gets shook up when one of their own assaults Ricky, their much-needed handyman. But it turns out the story was more about the unraveling of marriages and finances then about any concern for Ricky. I did not care for any of the characters, other than Ricky and a Haitian nanny called Charity. All the rest seemed to spend their idle time being cleverly sarcastic and complaining about food served at all the ubiquitous dinner parties. In the meantime, Ricky is forgotten in the hospital with a lost leg. A city person could probably appreciate more what this author is trying to say.

_joanna_ Jun 21, 2018

Quindlen is always fun to read, but I struggled with this one. There is a lot of sympathy here for rich people behaving badly, getting off scott-free with no one really having to face up to the consequences of their actions, beyond moments of "feeling stupid." I went into the book expecting it to be a book about what happens when working class and upper class lives intersect, but it turns out that this is just the backdrop for a novel about marriage. I was also left wondering why Nora did not stand up more to her boorish husband and neighbors.

f
fashiongirl
Jun 05, 2018

Loved it, quick, and easy read for the summer! City dwellers can relate to a few of the daily dramas of city living described in the book.

b
bronteside
Jun 01, 2018

The dead end street of this novel is metaphorical
And oxymoronic : while dogs , neighbours and marriages die-
There is life leaving it.
Everything that happens here - happens everywhere else.
The only difference?
In the end Almost everyone comes out on top.
Written with humour and insight..Quindlen gives us
The happy ending we all long for.

a
AnneCarolineDrake
Apr 27, 2018

Not Anna Quindlen's best. The tension between have's and have not's is a bit trite.

Yet, the book redeems itself with an honest portrayal of family and neighborhood dynamics in NYC. I read it in one day and didn't want to put it down. I was drawn into the life of the central character, Nora Nolan. And, I loved the honest portrayal of lives behind closed doors that don't glitter quite as brightly as the inhabitants pretend.

ehbooklover Apr 09, 2018

What at first seems to be an exploration of a New York City neighbourhood actually morphs into an examination of a disintegrating marriage. I loved the characters, flaws and all. And as always, I really enjoyed Quindlen's writing style.

d
darladoodles
Mar 19, 2018

A big thank you to Random House and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this book and at times I did enjoy it. NYC is a compelling setting for a book and I did appreciate that facet of the book the very most. We are viewing a dead end block in southern Manhattan from the viewpoint of Nora, an empty nester in her early 50's. Events large and small converge together and like dominoes changes happen around Nora and in her own life, her marriage included. Some of this book rang true for me, other parts did not. Anna's writing style is one that from time to time suddenly gives you an aha moment. There were a few in this novel, but this was not my favorite of the Anna Quindlen books I have read so far.

c
carolefort
Mar 01, 2018

I must admit that I am a fan of Ms. Quindlen's writing, be it fiction or non-fiction. This particular novel tells the story of Nora and Charlie Nolan, who live on a dead-end upper-crust block in NYC which provides them with close relationships with their neighbors, at times too close. It is apparent that living there can and does become somewhat claustrophobic. One violent incident sets off a chain of events that will affect almost everyone on the block, including Nora and Charlie. The book is well-written and a most enjoyable read. Highly recommended for fans of relationship fiction.

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