The tensions in a tight-knit neighborhoodand a seemingly happy marriageare exposed by an unexpected act of violence in this provocative new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Millers Valley and Still Life with Bread Crumbs.Some days Nora Nolan thinks that she and her husband, Charlie, lead a charmed lifeexcept when theres 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 Noras dream destination, and her clannish dead-end block has become a safe harbor, a tranquil village amid the urban craziness. Then one morning she returns from her run to discover that a terrible incident has shaken the neighborhood, and the fault lines begin to open: on the block, at her job, especially in her marriage. With humor, understanding, an acute eye, and a warm heart, Anna Quindlen explores what it means to be a mother, a wife, and a woman at a moment of reckoning....
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Alternate » Alternate Side|
Alternate Side Reviews
Nora and Charlie Nolan have been married almost 25 years. Their kids are Rachel and Oliver, twins who are away at their respective colleges. The Nolans own one of the brownstones on a dead end block in New York City. Where one of the buildings should be, there is a gap. Apparently, years ago one of the buildings had burned to the ground, but was never rebuilt. Instead, this space has been used as a parking lot for several of the buildings' inhabitants. There's only 6 available parking s ...more
*3.5 stars rounded up.
Alternate Sides: the theme of there being two sides to everything is examined over and over in this new book by Anna Quindlen. 'Alternate sides' could refer to something as simple as which side to park on street cleaning days. It could refer to have and have-nots, the rich and their servants. It could refer to differing personalities, different sexes, different opinions, two sides to a story. Real and fake...
Alternate Side seems to be, first and foremost, a love affair with ...more
I'm a big Anna Quindlen fan. You can always count on Quindlen for stellar writing and perceptive, insightful explorations into her characters and their life situations. That said, I was a little put off by the tone of this book at first - it came off as arch and sardonic, which I wasn't expecting. It didn't seem very "Anna Quindlen-ish."
But, hey.....she came through again. I fell into the rhythm of the story and the characters and the tone began to make sense. The story centers around a middle-a ...more
Anna Quindlen has been a favorite author of mine for several years, so I was excited to have the chance to read and review her latest, "Alternate Side," the story of a couple who live in a well-to-do neighborhood in Manhattan.
Several pages in, I became slightly disenchanted, as the story went on for what seemed like forever about a parking lot on the dead-end street where the neighbors lived. The lot does play a significant role in the book, and I’m sure it was meant to also be symbolic of somet ...more
This story couldn’t take place anywhere but New York City. It is almost a love story to the city. I mean, where else would snagging a parking space be such a huge event? It’s a story of first world problems and it’s the 1% of the first world.
But that doesn’t make it boring. In typical fashion, Quinlen nails the static existence of a long term marriage, the highs and lows of being almost empty nesters, the quirky neighbors. Thank God she explains the title. Living in the suburbs, I had no clue. ...more
Marital Complicity and parking spaces are really the driving forces in this book. Nora and Charlie Nolan appear to have it all. They live on a dead-end street in a very stately home in New York City. On the outside they seem as though they have a good life - if only they could have that prized parking spot! Their children are older and are away at college, Nora and Charlie should be enjoying their time together - but then a violent incident occurs and rocks their tight knit happy little communit ...more
“Their marriage had become like the AA prayer: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.’ Or at least to move into a zone in which I so don’t care anymore and scarcely notice. Nora had thought this was their problem alone until she realized that it was what had happened to almost everyone she knew who was still married, even some of those who were on their second husbands.”
This quiet novel has a subtle profundity do it. There are so many sentences within it that are worth ...more
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Random House
Pub. Date: March 2018
The author, Anna Quindlen, writes something you do not often find: bestseller literary fiction. Most books on the bestseller list are usually commercial fiction, not literary. Both types of fiction require talent. But the aim of commercial fiction is entertainment. The aim of literary fiction is art. Generally, there is a more attention to style. Also, the plot is usually less obvious. I’m a big fan of liter ...more