Best seller 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 listener favorites, Palisades Park takes us back to a time when life seemed simpler - except, of course, it wasn't.
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I usually don't write reviews, but had to for Palisades Park. I feel Alan Brennert is a wonderful writer and he writes meaningful fiction with non fiction mixed in. I learn so much from each book. It was the same with Palisades Park. I could see the Park when traveling in a car by the Hudson River and know I went there at least once. After listening to this book, I was sorry that I couldn't go there right now one more time. He makes the story and characters so real that I could connect with each one. Besides the writing, the narration was wonderful and fit the book perfectly. I loved listening to it, and am sorry it is over.
Brennert does characters best
Yes. This book was an incredible addition to the genre of historical fiction set against the backdrop of an amusement park. I will definitely think twice about amusement park workers - even though the days of self-made men and women and amusement parks are over. Brennert does a wonderful job of describing his characters, and while I couldn't agree with all action of characters, I could understand why they did what they did, which sometimes if half the battle.
The narrator was quite good for this book, though in parts read a little too slowly for my liking. His dialogue was very good. The book itself was well-written and imaginative.... I always look forward to Mr. brennert's books and was thrilled when this one came out. If you have never read a Brennert book, you will not receive a fast-action plot, but a character-driven growth and buildup with true historical figures sprinkled in realistically. Bravo!