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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Anna Quindlen’s close-up snapshot of Manhattan's elite isn't very pretty. Nora Nolan once derived a thrill from the city's 24/7 bustle, but now she’s mostly consumed by ladies' lunches and parking-space envy. When a violent incident shatters her close-knit block, cracks become exposed elsewhere: in her life, her marriage, and her perception of New York itself. Quindlen's sharp, character-driven story offers an honest but sympathetic look at the lies people tell themselves in order to project "success."
Customer ReviewsSee All
Keeps going until the end
No dumb subplots, just a realistic, interesting story. Lots of true life type vignettes and New York style philosophy. Good solid read.
I thought it was much longer than it needed to be. She weaves a good story and is an excellent story teller but this story didn’t really resonate as much as her others.
Stream of consciousness writing
While offering a basically good storyline, the author seems to stand apart from her characters in a way that keeps the reader from fully investing. Huge segments of the story are interjected at random points in the narrative, which makes it all seem disjointed. Still there is a certain beauty to the way the author puts sentences together that kept me turning pages.