Palisades Park

Alan Brennert, Author
Alan Brennert. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-312-64372-0
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 04/09/2013
Hardcover - 707 pages - 978-1-4104-5717-2
Paperback - 421 pages - 978-1-250-03817-3
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-250-02433-6
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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 park, and closing in 1974, with Eddie’s daughter witness to its demolition, the novel traces the ups and downs of this classic park during its heyday–and of the Stopkas’ similarly variable fortunes. When Eddie’s home life falls apart, he returns to Palisades determined to recapture the sense of wonder he felt there as a young boy and soon marries fellow concessionaire Adele, a former child actress who still dreams of the stage. Various challenges—fire, war, protests, and infidelities—shape not only the Stopkas but also the park. The couple’s daughter, Toni, demonstrates the best qualities of her flawed parents in her dedication to becoming a high diver rather than simply relying on her looks. Brennert convincingly incorporates into the narrative authentic figures and anecdotes about the park, and creates a real emotional pull in his evocative descriptions of the eccentric, hardworking people who made up the Palisades family in good times and in bad. Announced first printing of 100,000. Agent: Molly Friedrich, the Friedrich Agency. (Apr.)
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