Bestseller Alan Brennert's spellbinding story about a family of dreamers and their lives within the legendary Palisades Amusement Park
Growing up in the 1930s, there is no more magical place than Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey—especially for seven-year-old Antoinette, who horrifies her mother by insisting on the unladylike nickname Toni, and her brother, Jack. Toni helps her parents, Eddie and Adele Stopka, at the stand where they sell homemade French fries amid the roar of the Cyclone roller coaster. There is also the lure of the world's biggest salt-water pool, complete with divers whose astonishing stunts inspire Toni, despite her mother's insistence that girls can't be high divers.
But a family of dreamers doesn't always share the same dreams, and then the world intrudes: There's the Great Depression, and Pearl Harbor, which hits home in ways that will split the family apart; and perils like fire and race riots in the park. Both Eddie and Jack face the dangers of war, while Adele has ambitions of her own—and Toni is determined to take on a very different kind of danger in impossible feats as a high diver. Yet they are all drawn back to each other—and to Palisades Park—until the park closes forever in 1971.
Evocative and moving, with the trademark brilliance at transforming historical events into irresistible fiction that made Alan Brennert's Moloka'i and Honolulu into reading group favorites, Palisades Park takes us back to a time when life seemed simpler—except, of course, it wasn't.
About Alan BrennertSee more books from this Author
Eddie is nothing if not goal-oriented, and he makes his way back to the shore and talks his way onto the crew, promising that he’s “torn down Ferris wheels and put 'em back up again.” One thing leads to another, and in time, Eddie’s a dad—though therein lies a story that’s not shaggy in the least.Jan 21 2013 | Read Full Review of Palisades Park
Brennert (Molokaâi) grew up in the shadow of this New Jersey amusement park and wrote the book as a love letter to Palisadesâand to a bygone age. Opening in 1922, when young Eddie Stopka visits the paFeb 25 2013 | Read Full Review of Palisades Park
PALISADES PARK spans over 50 years, and the characters are not immune to the world around them --- World War II, the Korean War --- as well as smaller scale problems pertaining to family life and work.Apr 11 2013 | Read Full Review of Palisades Park
A Hot Dog Program is a celebration of hot dogs and the people who love them ("It's the ultimate food," exults one diner), and who have made their hot dog joint their hangout from adolescence into adulthood, although those not stern of stomach may want to fast-forward through the sequence that sho...Jun 23 2013 | Read Full Review of Palisades Park
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