Palisades Park by Alan Brennert

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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 Brennert

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ALAN BRENNERT grew up in Edgewater, New Jersey, at the foot of the Palisades. He won an Emmy Award in 1991 for his work as a writer-producer on L.A. Law, and was nominated for two other Emmy Awards as well as a Golden Globe. He won a Nebula Award for his story "Ma Qui." The author of the national bestsellers Moloka'i, a "Bookies" award-winner for Book Club Book of the Year, and Honolulu, winner of Elle's Lettres 2009 Grand Prix for Fiction, he lives in Sherman Oaks, California.
Published April 9, 2013 by St. Martin's Press. 448 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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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

Publishers Weekly

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Brennert (Moloka’i) grew up in the shadow of this New Jersey amusement park and wrote the book as a love letter to Palisades—and to a bygone age. Opening in 1922, when young Eddie Stopka visits the pa

Feb 25 2013 | Read Full Review of Palisades Park

Book Reporter

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

Red Room

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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