Alternate Side - Anna Quindlen

Alternate Side

Artist Anna Quindlen

  • Release Date: 2018-03-20
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4
From 95 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Captures the angst and anxiety of modern life with . . . astute observations about interactions between the haves and have-nots, and the realities of life among the long-married.”—USA Today

A provocative novel that explores what it means to be a mother, a wife, and a woman at a moment of reckoning, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Miller’s Valley and Still Life with Bread Crumbs.

Some days Nora Nolan thinks that she and her husband, Charlie, lead a charmed life—except when there’s a crisis at work, a leak in the roof at home, or a problem with their twins at college. And why not? New York City was once Nora’s dream destination, and her clannish dead-end block has become a safe harbor, a tranquil village amid the urban craziness. The owners watch one another’s children grow up. They use the same handyman. They trade gossip and gripes, and they maneuver for the ultimate status symbol: a spot in the block’s small parking lot.

Then one morning, Nora returns from her run to discover that a terrible incident has shaken the neighborhood, and the enviable dead-end block turns into a potent symbol of a divided city. The fault lines begin to open: on the block, at Nora’s job, and especially in her marriage. 

Praise for Alternate Side

“[Anna] Quindlen’s quietly precise evaluation of intertwined lives evinces a keen understanding of and appreciation for universal human frailties.”Booklist (starred review)

“Exquisitely rendered . . . [Quindlen] is one of our most astute chroniclers of modern life. . . . [Alternate Side] has an almost documentary feel, a verisimilitude that’s awfully hard to achieve.”The New York Times Book Review

“An exceptional depiction of complex characters—particularly their weaknesses and uncertainties—and the intricacies of close relationships . . . Quindlen’s provocative novel is a New York City drama of fractured marriages and uncomfortable class distinctions.”Publishers Weekly


  • The Alternative Side

    By Amma Jan
    I’ve read a lot of this author”s books, but found this one a little disappointing. The characters were all so similar and not very complex and the plot was not well developed until the end. I was glad to be done with it, though it did leave me with plenty to think about retrospectively.
  • Pointless

    By Weather girl 64
    Have read all of this authors books. I have enjoyed all of her other novels. This book was very disappointing and pointless. Not worth reading
  • Keeps going until the end

    By JCColor
    No dumb subplots, just a realistic, interesting story. Lots of true life type vignettes and New York style philosophy. Good solid read.
  • Not Finishing

    By LoriChukk
    Based on the author’s previous works, I gave this a try. Now I’m wondering why. I am a third of the way through it, and have just discovered what the “terrible incident” is. Without spoiling it for those of you who might pick up the book, suffice it to say that it is so meaningless/inconsequential that I am going to stop reading. I have only done that with 1 other book in my 50 years of avid reading. This is a total waste of time! As patts552 stated, BORING.