New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Alternate Side

Posted on Feb 11, 2018 |

Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen



3.5 stars. The first twelve percent of this novel drops so many names it’s dizzying. You learn the name of everyone in the neighborhood, including children and dogs. I was keeping notes so I could remember in case anything ever actually happened. MY GOD GET TO THE STORY.

There is a lot of funny commentary about marriage and the quirks of living in New York City. It turns out that, while eventually there is an inciting incident that pits neighbor against neighbor, really, the real story is about being a New Yorker, race and class, and what it means to be married over the long haul.

Nora and Charlie Nolan have been married for twenty-five years and have a pretty damn good life living in a dead-end cul de sac where everyone knows everyone. Told from Nora’s perspective, we get funny observations about what it means to be married to a man in his early fifties: “All the men seemed more attentive at dinner parties these days because they needed hearing aids and refused to get them.”

I loved Quindlen’s book Black and Blue, in part because that had instant tension and this fun thing that I like to call “plot.” She’s obviously a hugely gifted writer, and while eventually I liked this story, it took perseverance.

Thanks so much to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES MARCH  20, 2018.

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