Local Knowledge

Local Knowledge

3.7 11
by Liza Gyllenhaal
     
 

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From an exciting debut author-a novel about three people haunted by the mistakes of their past and their plunge into an uncertain future.

Maddie Alden has always longed for more than her small town could offer. Now that it's being overrun by wealthy New Yorkers looking for a respite from the city, Maddie has gotten herself a lucrative new job in real

Overview

From an exciting debut author-a novel about three people haunted by the mistakes of their past and their plunge into an uncertain future.

Maddie Alden has always longed for more than her small town could offer. Now that it's being overrun by wealthy New Yorkers looking for a respite from the city, Maddie has gotten herself a lucrative new job in real estate. And her first sale brings her a charismatic new friend who is everything Maddie longs to be. Little does Maddie realize that the glamorous Anne will shake up her quiet marriage? and will force Maddie to face the truth about the past, and the terrible secret she shares with her husband and his best friend?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451225788
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/06/2009
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Liza Gyllenhaal is a graduate of the Iowa Writing Workshop and former chairperson and current board member of The Academy of American Poets.

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Local Knowledge 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Jotis More than 1 year ago
When my best friend and I started our book club four years ago this June, the first book we read was "chic-lit" and took place in the South - Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrew. I love to read books set in that area of our country; among other reasons they always make me feel like I'm enjoying a gorgeous summer day - no matter what the weather (and I live in Montana, so I'm often snuggled under a blanket avoiding a snowstorm when I read!). In need of a new book and on the wings of a 73-degree weather forecast, I did a search for women's fiction in the south and came across Local Knowledge. While not as light as a summer read, I fell in love with this book instantly. I was hooked by the third page, always on the edge of my seat. I really REALLY enjoyed the author's writing style, she reminded me of Jodi Piccoult in the way that she made the characters so relatable, you really care about them. In a very distant way she also reminded me a bit of Dan Brown, you could really tell how much research and knowldege went into the book. The major thing that struck me about this book was it's honesty. Having been written from the main character's perspective, you had an inside look at all her thoughts and dreams and hopes, and she really bared it all. It felt like you were inside her brain because there was no censorship of her words; you felt them as she though them. I also loved her description of her marriage. Being married less than five years myself, I really felt like I learned a lot about relationships from this book. It was like having a backstage pass to a great marriage with director commentary. All in all, while this book wasn't exactly what I had in mind, I absolutely loved in and am definitely looking forward to Gyllenhaal's future releases.
pmarkert More than 1 year ago
Real estate in small towns a stone's throw from the city is attractive to those looking for weekend houses. Maddie is a local realtor who depends on the weekenders for her bread and butter; her friend Luke resents them for destroying the land that made the location wonderful in the first place. How land is used is a timely subject which Gyllenhaal mines well. She writes knowingly of small town life , and creates a convincing set of characters and situations. The way family predetermines your fate -- the events, the resentments, the petty feuds and tragic rifts-- these are all described in a way anyone could relate to. I especially liked the way the vulgar businessman befriends the police he can use for his own agenda.
tw73 More than 1 year ago
The author captures the feeling of the small town, especially the resident's secrets, relationships and scandals. The book builds up to an exciting climax. Definitely recommended for book club discussions.
Marty22 More than 1 year ago
I took the book on vacation and couldn't put it down. We rented a jeep and when we ran errands we didn't want to put the top up to lock it, so I told my husband, no problem, I'll just stay here and read while you run into the store.

It was a very fun and enjoyable read. I was sorry when it ended and I can't wait until Liza finishes her next novel. She writes very well.

I am not a writer - so I won't go into the content or the plot of the book too much. However, this story has some interesting twists to it. A day or two after reading Local Knowledge, I started thinking about the character Richard. I plan to go to a book club gathering in March and I hope to discuss him with the group.

I recommend this book to everyone to read!
JackieWein More than 1 year ago
I was thoroughly involved in the Aldens¿ lives and felt I knew Maddie, the narrator of the story, because she represents so many women ¿ wives and mothers ¿ striving for their own identity while immersed in their family¿s. Her developing relationship with her first big real estate client, a sophisticated, successful gal from Manhattan, is so real, and reflects the insecurities which make us all seek out those friendships at some point in our lives.

The plot emerges seemingly effortlessly, the narrative flows smoothly, the descriptive passages are vivid and beautiful. The small-town politics and personalities expose the world of rural communities and second-home residents, something I as a Florida "snowbird" can relate to.

I was especially impressed with the maternal insights; I would¿ve sworn Gyllenhaal was the mother of three girls, dealing with her teenage daughter¿s developing maturity and independence. Yet, when I read the conversation with her at the end of the book, I discovered that the author has no children.

The story is convincing, the characters believable, the writing wonderful.

The author, and her novel, are great finds.
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MrsO More than 1 year ago
I read the other favorable reviews, but thought the book was a little confusing going back and forth. All the drama over something that happened so many years ago was unrealistic. The characters seemed to be in a fog and I can't say I liked any of them. I'm sorry I wasted so much time reading this ''stinker''.