December 8, 2023
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Book Reviews Fiction

A Journey of Moral Crossroads: Swimming Across the Hudson Review

Author: Doug Lalli

Genre: Fiction

Year Published: N/A

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Worth to Read”

Adult readers who love books about self-discovery and life lessons will be intrigued by this. Meet Alan Agnalini, who wants to live without too much excitement and moral dilemmas.

But fate has something else planned for the lead character of this story, as Doug Lalli will show you. Bad decisions and everyday life experiences are how the main character of Swimming Across the Hudson must learn the hard lessons along the way.

See how Alan’s early decisions catch up with him later in his life and how he handles them in his own tortured way. It is the story of the life of an Italian snob and a fascinating take on how he solves life’s dilemmas in his own way.

Spoiler-free Summary

Set in the 1960s, the story follows Alan Agnalini from his college years where he had a one-night romance with his friend, Brooke. A few years after college, following his divorce, Alan reconnects with Brooke, only to find out that she became pregnant after their encounter and gave birth to a daughter, his child, Stephanie. 

After an unfortunate accident changes the path of their lives, the mother of his child moves away, leaving him feeling empty and miserable. Then, he meets the beautiful Marissa Liotti from New Jersey, after his cousin introduces them. Marissa has a dark past and comes with her own share of tragedies. He falls in love with her but, for many reasons, decides to break it off with her after a short, passionate affair.

The problem is he can’t forget her and discovers that she is expecting a child, forcing him into another tough decision-making event. Throughout the book, you learn about Alan’s large Italian family, including his aging father, stepmother, his cousin-brother, and the memory of his mother.

After discovering this pregnancy, the story fast-forwards to the end, where he has to make another decision. In the end, he tries to make the right decision for everyone.

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My Take Away on Swimming Across the Hudson

The story spends a lot of time on the dilemmas of Alan’s life and many plot incidents that don’t always fit properly with the theme. I also felt that the events at the start were a bit rushed, leaving me feeling a bit whiplashed, initially. It’s still an interesting account of the life of the main character. The reader has to decide whether all the coincidences and devices fit in with the theme.

There is one interesting fact revealed about the lead player of this story, who grew up in Morehead, New Jersey. He can be quite a jerk sometimes, and he is a snob. Luckily, he learns that about himself and faces it when he can.

Readers will find the story is well-told, and the plot is quite clever to provide an easy-flowing storyline. The story is told with clever insights to make the characters come alive and provide many lessons to learn from.

It is an excellent story for young and older adults who have to face life’s dilemmas and need to be reminded they are not alone. The story from the author makes you feel it is good to know we are not alone when tough decisions are to be made.

“Swimming Across the Hudson is a captivating exploration of self-discovery and life’s complexities, featuring a flawed but relatable protagonist, Alan Agnalini, whose journey of moral dilemmas and personal growth resonates with readers of all ages.”


Young adults and adults

About The Author Of Swimming Across the Hudson

Doug Lalli is an award-winning jazz pianist and a former direct-mail copywriter. He is also the author of the novel Peter and Beth, which was published in 2006. He lives in suburban Chicago with his wife, Wendy, and together they are co-owners of Words & Beyond LLC, an advertising agency.

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