A Friend of the Family

By Lauren Grodstein
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565129160, 302pp.)

Publication Date: November 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Compact Disc, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the November 2009 Indie Next List
“The story of Pete Dizinoff, a successful suburban doctor, and his son, Alec, whom Pete dotes on, takes a decidedly Shakespearean turn in a story about the lengths to which a father will go to protect his child. This brilliant literary thriller will leave readers emotionally rent, as the protagonist's life collapses while he reaches out for what matters most to him.”
-- Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton, MA

Pete Dizinoff, a skilled and successful New Jersey internist, has a loving and devoted wife, a network of close friends, an impressive house, and, most of all, a son, Alec, now nineteen, on whom he has pinned all his hopes. But Pete hadn t expected his best friend s troubled daughter to set her sights on his boy. When Alec falls under her spell, Pete sets out to derail the romance, never foreseeing the devastating consequences.
In a riveting story of suburban tragedy, Lauren Grodstein charts a father s fall from grace as he struggles to save his family, his reputation, and himself. "

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com


  1. Discuss whether you think Pete Dizinoff is a reliable narrator—that is, whether you believe his account of the events in the story from beginning to end. Much of the novel is composed of Pete’s memories, but how do we know whether we can trust what he says? Are there such things as reliable memories? 

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