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Cul-de-sac: A Novel de Joy Fielding
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Cul-de-sac: A Novel (edició 2021)

de Joy Fielding (Autor)

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697311,634 (3.47)1
Títol:Cul-de-sac: A Novel
Autors:Joy Fielding (Autor)
Informació:Ballantine Books (2021), 384 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Cul-De-Sac de Joy Fielding

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Cul-De-Sac, Joy Fielding, author; Lauren Fortgang, narrator
Set in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, a location that consists of diverse, quiet neighborhoods with young families and retired seniors of all economic levels, one finds gated communities, golf courses, shopping malls, nearby beaches and good schools. On a quiet cul-de-sac, with five modest homes, in a non-gated community, the secrets revealed within each house will soon tear each family apart, quite unexpectedly. Chaos will enter their lives as their secrets and lies change the course of their daily routines and interactions with others.
Maggie and Craig are a recently separated couple. Maggie witnessed a murder when they lived in California, and her fears of retribution, because of the testimony she gave, that did not result in a conviction, have magnified and followed her to the East Coast of Florida. Those fears are now destroying her marriage and her family life. She sees an attacker everywhere, and Craig, no longer able to handle her suspicions and panic attacks picks up and moves out. Her daughter Erin, going through the angst of teenage years, is a thorn in her back constantly calling attention to her “crazy” behavior.
Julia is 84. She enjoys a special relationship with her wayward grandson, 20 year old Mark. Mark does not get along with his father or his dad’s fourth wife, Poppy. Mark has lost his way. He is unemployed and marginally involved with drugs. Although his behavior is affecting Julia’s health, she insists he is a good kid who will find his “changing room”. Erin has a crush on Mark who doesn’t realize she is only 16.
Sean and Olivia are having financial troubles. Sean is the house husband because he lost his job and is unable to find another one. He drives the kids to school, does the shopping, cleaning and cooking. He feels like less of a man, begins to drink, spend money they don’t have, and lives a double life, lying to his wife. She begins to realize that she cannot trust him.
Nick and Dani are a professional couple; he is an oncologist and she is a dentist. From the outside, they seem like the perfect couple. Inside the house, however, trouble is brewing. While Nick seems kind and caring, he has manhood issues and loses control of his temper more and more often. He resents his older son Tyler because he is sensitive. He falsely accuses Dani of all sorts of infractions and blames her for his tantrums. When Maggie begins to notice Dani’s bruises, she suspects all is not well in the Wilson household, in spite of Dani’s denials.
Heidi and Aiden, a former soldier suffering from PTSD, have domestic problems. He is a mama’s boy with a very controlling, wealthy mother who supports them. She attempts to undermine Heidi’s relationship with Aiden, one she hopes to destroy. She doesn’t think Heidi is good enough for her son. Lisa uses her money to control their lives with threats to disown Aiden, which she believes will leave them helpless. She has turned Aiden against his own father Gordon, who could not tolerate his mother any longer and abandoned them when he was just a boy.
As the characters are developed, their problems seem insurmountable with the possibility of violence more and more raising its head. Weapons are in most of the homes, and often, some of the characters dream of using them to hurt others. As they each try to work out their problems, Maggie seems to be the catalyst that brings their issues to the forefront. As she comes out of her shell and becomes more involved with her neighbors, she slowly learns about or surmises the depth of their problems. She gets involved in their personal lives and business, putting her nose into places that she is not wanted, at times. She hears Craig telling her how unwise she is, but she persists anyway. She identifies the issues that each of the households is dealing with and refuses to remain on the sidelines. minding her own business, instead offering her help if needed. Lies, secrets, power, lack of money, alcohol, self-esteem, and guns are symptoms and symbols of the troubles these couples are facing and the solutions some of them seek.
All of the families are typical in some way, and yet unique in others. Because of the specific problems each is facing, with limited solutions and prospects, all feel hopeless to some degree. Because the problems tend to the extreme, and occur almost simultaneously for each of the homeowners, even though they do seem authentic enough, and plausible, they sometimes do require the suspension of disbelief. How could the planets all align this way at the same time. As a reader, I also think that there was too much emphasis on unnecessary sex, which is prevalent in so many novels today, regardless of whether or not the erotic scenes enhance the storyline. It made the book seem more chick lit than thriller. However, it would make a good beach or travel buddy, since it is a fast, engaging read that does not require intense concentration. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Nov 7, 2021 |
3.5/5 Stars

This books starts at the ending and then gives you the backstory. A Cul-de-Sac with 5 families, all with different secrets and issues. Told in the voices of the owners this is a very fast, enjoyable, good vacation/beach read. The chapters are on the shorter side which made it harder for me to put down once fully vested.

Plot was good, but just soo many issues and some tough, unlikeable characters. Ending was as expected, with no great surprises. The writing style was enjoyable, pulling me in immediately. I look forward to reading this author again.

Thanks to Ms. Fielding, Ballantine Books and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone . ( )
  LoriKBoyd | Aug 24, 2021 |
Cul-De-Sac by Joy Fielding is a recommended psychological thriller.

Right at the start we know someone living in one of the five houses on the quiet cul-de-sac in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, will be dead, shot by another resident. What resident from one of the five homes is going to be responsible? Maggie and her husband are currently separated and have two children. Maggie is scared and paranoid after a frightening incident which propelled the family to move from LA to Florida. Julia is an 84 year-old widow whose grandson is staying with her while her son is trying to talk her into moving to a retirement community. Sean is unemployed, drinking heavily, and lying about going to job interviews while Olivia, his wife, is doing well in her return to the job market. Nick is an oncologist and Dani, his wife, is a dentist. They have two sons. Nick is controlling while Dani seems to be giving the other neighbors the cold shoulder. Aiden and Heidi are newlyweds. Aiden suffers from PTSD and his mother, Lisa, is the controlling, shrewish mother-in-law from the abyss. They all have secrets and fears. And everyone owns a gun.

This is akin to a closed room murder mystery, where we are looking at a small group of people and all their problems, while knowing one of them is going to murder another one. The characters are all caricatures of a kind of person. It is successful in this closed-room plot element. You do have to set disbelief aside several times and approach the novel as an often over-the-top melodrama.

They are all dislikeable characters, most of them extremely so, with the exception of Julia who is a rational, sensible woman. Maggie is the one character who experiences growth. There are going to be several characters whose actions and problems may anger, disgust, and exasperate you. There is abusive behavior and an assault which actually sickened me and I almost set the novel aside at this point. I did go on to finish it and the denouement is satisfying. Fielding makes it clear that we know everyone in the novel has a gun. She apparently wants to equates this to danger and carelessness, which is a nonsensical and objectionable presumption to apply in such a broad general way, especially considering the actual events in the novel and the reason for the lethal force, the use of which most readers will applaud. (And in light of the fact that we all have knives, which can also be weapons.)
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Aug 7, 2021 |
Wow, I usually have mixed feelings about an alternating narrator but I don’t think I’ve ever been so invested in characters lives!! Devoured this book from start to finish and loved every second of it! ( )
  Nikkicolee | Jul 27, 2021 |
Alfred Hitchcock once said "there is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it" and Joy Fielding is a master at using this concept to build suspense and tension in her writing. This is nowhere more evident in her book, Cul-de-sac. The novel is set in what seems like a quiet upper-middle-class neighbourhood on the surface, an idyllic peaceful cul-de-sac, hidden away from all the violence and chaos of city life, There are five houses occupied by five different families, all apparently well-off and happy. But behind closed doors, well, that's another story and a sense of imminent violence permeates the tale as secrets start rising to the surface.

Cul-de-sac is compelling, suspenseful, and engaging.Through the use of short paragraphs and dialogue and her use of what should be a safe haven that most readers can relate to, Fielding builds a real visceral feeling of impending disaster. Cul-de-sac begins introducing us to the characters in each house but, right from the start, there are hints that things are not what they seem and violence is only barely kept in check, As the story progresses so does the tension and it's clear it will take only a spark, like that of a firecracker on July 4th, to start a conflagration - the only question is which house will explode first.

This is the kind of book that immerses the reader from the first page and never lets go until the final explosion and I can’t recommend it highly enough. One word of caution though -once started, it’s completely unputdownable so best to start it when you know there will be no distractions like, oh, need to get some sleep.

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review ( )
  lostinalibrary | Jul 12, 2021 |
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