Palisades Park

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Macmillan, Apr 9, 2013 - Fiction - 421 pages
18 Reviews
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.


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Mr. Brennert's storytelling doesn't disappoint. - Goodreads
Antoinette (or Toni) is a very strong female character. - Goodreads
He was 'dead-on' with his research! - Goodreads
I like leaving a book with that kind of ending. -

Review: Palisades Park

User Review  - Dana - Goodreads

Read more of my reviews on my blog: My feelings about "Palisades Park" could best be compared with the way Clark Griswold feels when he reaches Wally World and ... Read full review

Review: Palisades Park

User Review  - George - Goodreads

CAPTIVATING NOSTALGIA. “Evenings at the Stopka home, as in most homes in America, revolved around the welcoming voice of the radio—a tall, mahogany-veneer Philco console, standing solemn as a church ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

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.

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