Alice Mattison’s North Peak

Although it’s called North Peak in The Book Borrower, East Rock Park in New Haven, CT, is the inspiration for, and real-life setting of, many scenes in Alice Mattison’s 2008, best-selling novel.  Main characters Toby Ruben and Deborah Laidlaw—young mothers who become close friends—meet at the park and take several walks there during their 20-odd years of friendship. The entire book, in fact, takes place in a city very much like New Haven, where Mattison lives. “In my mind it is New Haven,” Mattison says, “but I don’t say that in the book because I wanted to be able to alter the city as I needed to.” The Book Borrower was named a New York Times Notable Book.

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