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Elinor Lipman's sharp, funny, life-enhancing fiction is loved by readers everywhere, and by writers as varied as Anita Shreve and Nigella Lawson, Maggie O`Farrell and Carol Shields. Her novels include The Inn at Lake Devine, Isabel`s Bed and The Way Men Act, and, most recently, My Latest Grievance: three are currently in development as feature films. Lipman`s novel Then She Found Me was the basis for a major film of the same name, released in 2008. She divides her time between Massachusetts and New York City.
A gentle story of complicated relationships, very American – language, characters, life-style, every aspect – and very entertaining. With a light touch, amusing and witty dialogue amongst largely intelligent people, it’s certainly one of her best. Comparison: Elizabeth Berg, Anne Tyler, Laurie Graham.
At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her suburban hometown where she works in the fundraising department of her old school, writing thank-you notes to benefactors. Keen to get her life back on track, she buys a sweet but dilapidated bungalow on Turpentine Lane. Never mind that her fiance is currently 'finding himself' while walking across America and too busy to return her texts, that her witless boss has accused her of fraud, or that her father is going through a mid-life crisis that involves painting fake old masters and hooking up with a much younger woman - Faith is looking forward to a peaceful life in her new home. But when a policeman knocks on her door asking to look in the basement, she discovers that the history of 10 Turpentine Lane is anything but peaceful. On Turpentine Lane is a madcap comedy from one of America's most acclaimed novelists.
Decluttering her tiny New York apartment, Daphne Maritch decides to throw out any belongings that do not spark joy. These include a high-school yearbook inherited from her school teacher mother, June, to whom the class of '68 dedicated the volume. June in turn attended every class reunion, scribbling notes and observations - not always charitably - after each one. When neighbour Geneva Wisenkorn finds the discarded book and wants to use it for her own ends, Daphne realises she wants to keep it after all. Fighting to reclaim it, she uncovers some alarming Maritch family secrets and sets in motion a series of events that prove to be both poignant and absurd. Good Riddance is a vastly entertaining screwball comedy from the Jane Austen of modern New York.
For longtime fans and new readers alike, Read, Love, Repeat: Three Novels by Elinor Lipmancollects three beloved works (My Latest Grievance, TheFamily Man, The View from Penthouse B) by the ';enchanting, infinitely witty yet serious, exceptionally intelligent, wholly original, and Austen-like stylist'* Elinor Lipman. (*Fay Weldon, The Washington Post)MY LATEST GRIEVANCEMy Latest Grievance stars the beguiling teenager Frederica Hatch, the ';Eloise of Dewing College.' Born and raised in the dormitory of this small womens college and chafing under the care of ';the most annoyingly evenhanded parental team in the history of civilization,' Frederica is starting to feel that her life is stiflingly snug. That all changes with the arrival on campus of a new dorm mother, the glamorous Laura Lee French, the frenetic center of her own universe.THE FAMILY MAN A hysterical phone call from Henry Archer's ex-wife and a familiar face in a photograph upend his well-ordered life and bring him back into contact with the child he adored, a short-term stepdaughter from a misbegotten marriage long ago. Henry is a lawyer, an old-fashioned man, gay, successful, lonely. Thalia is now twenty-nine, an actress-hopeful, estranged from her newly widowed eccentric motherDenise, Henry's ex. Hoping it will lead to better things for her career, Thalia agrees to pose as the girlfriend of a horror-movie luminary who is down on his romantic luck. When Thalia and her complicated social life move into the basement of Henry's Upper West Side townhouse, she finds a champion in her long-lost father, and he finds new lifeand maybe even new lovein the commotion.THE VIEW FROM PENTHOUSE B Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband, Edwin, when her older sister Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot's luxurious Greenwich Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal (hint: her husband was a fertility doctor) and then made Ponzi-poor, it's a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief and help make ends meet. To further this effort, she enlists a third boarder, the handsome, cupcake-baking Anthony. As the three swap moneymaking schemes and timid Gwen ventures back out into the dating world, the arrival of Margot's paroled ex in the efficiency apartment downstairs creates not just complications but the chance for all sorts of unexpected forgiveness. A sister story about love, loneliness, and new life in middle age from one of our finest comic writers.
Everyone in King George, New Hampshire, loved Margaret Batten-part-time amateur actress, full-time wallflower-and single mother to a now distant daughter, Sunny. But accidents happen, and the death of Margaret, side by side with her putative fiance, brings Sunny back to the scene of her unhappy adolescence, to the community that remembers her solely, nervously, as the girl who golfed. Reentry is to be dreaded; there's no hiding in a town with one diner, one doctor, one stop sign, one motel. Yet allies surface; the country club opens its doors to its former Orphan Annie caddie. High school classmates, even the tormenters, have grown up nicely, matured in unforeseen and gratifying ways. Maybe, Sunny begins to think, she wasn't as beleaguered as she felt she was, maybe her mother's life was richer than anyone suspected, and maybe the man at the funeral-the one with her face, her flyaway hair, her golf swing-is the half brother she doesn't know she needs.
A hysterical phone call from Henry Archer's ex-wife and a familiar face in a photograph upend his well ordered life and bring him back into contact with the child he adored, a short-term stepdaughter from a misbegotten marriage long ago. Henry is a lawyer, an old fashioned man, gay, successful, and lonely. Thalia is now 28, a hopeful actress, estranged from her newly widowed crackpot mother-Denise, Henry's ex. Hoping it will lead to better things for her career, Thalia agrees to pose as the girlfriend of a former child star and current horror movie luminary who is down on his romantic luck. When Thalia and her complicated social life move into the basement of Henry's Upper West Side townhouse, she finds a champion in her long lost father, and he finds new life-and maybe even new love-in the commotion.
Frederica Hatch, born and raised in a college dorm and chafing under the care of "e;the most annoyingly evenhanded parental team in the history of civilization,"e; is starting to feel that her life is stiflingly snug. Then into this cozy but claustrophobic world comes Laura Lee French, a wannabe Rockette and the new dorm mother at the lackluster women's college where Frederica's parents teach and agitate. Further disturbing the peace is the fact that Miss French-in the distant past-had been married to Frederica's earnest and unglamorous father. Fearing scandal and campus glee, the three Hatches and Laura Lee attempt to keep their secret.
No one writes like Elinor Lipman; her novels are heart-warming, life-affirming, funny, sharp and wise. And in THE WAY MEN ACT she turns her attention to small-town life, and to trying to fall in love when everyone is watching... Melinda is a florist. She doesn't want to be. She never intended to come home to Harrow, Massachusetts and, if she did, she planned to be married with a great job, not single and designing her former classmates' wedding bouquets. What's worse, why does she care so much that her sort-of friend Libby has set her sights on a fellow shopkeeper? She doesn't have a crush on handsome, chivalrous Dennis herself. Does she?
It's 1962 and Natalie Marx is shocked when her mother receives this reply to her enquiry about summer accommodation in Vermont: 'Our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles.' It was not complicated, as her mother pointed out. 'They had a hotel; they didn't want Jews. We were Jews.' For the intrepid twelve-year-old Natalie, the words are an infuriating, irresistible challenge. She manages to wangle an invitation to join a friend on holiday there - and, as her obsession begins with the family that has excluded her, she sets in train events which will change her life, and which will tie her forever to the eccentric family who run the Inn at Lake Devine
'When I was born in 1961, it was to instant campus celebrity.' Frederica Hatch, the charming, precocious child of sweetly bonkers parents, has an idyllic if spoilt childhood in the grounds of the small, not very good, Dewing college. Everything is perfect - and then she discovers that her father has a secret. Worse still, his secret has a name: the glamorous and untrustworthy Laura Lee French, his estranged wife. And worst of all, Laura Lee's new job at Dewing is going to shatter the Hatches' little world.
When Harriet Mahoney first saw it, Isabel Krug's bed was covered in sheared sheep and littered with celebrity biographies. The unpublished, fortyish, and recently jilted Harriet had fled wintry Manhattan in response to a mysterious ad in the New York Review of Books: "e;Book in progress? Why not share my Cape Cod retreat? Roomy and peaceful-your life will be your own."e; In a room with a view atop a Truro dune, Harriet starts on a different path to fulfillment by ghostwriting The Isabel Krug Story, based on the sexy blonde's tabloid past-specifically, a nasty night in Greenwich, Connecticut, when Guy Van Vleet died and Isabel lived to tell about it. Unusually talented in the man department, Isabel revamps and inspires Harriet as they gear up to tell all. Life according to Isabel is a soap-opera extravaganza, an experience to be swallowed whole-and the attitude is catching.
Isabel is a glamorous blonde with a sensational past; Harriet is a bookish single would-be writer who never takes risks - except once. That risk is to answer an advert; Isabel wants to tell her story and only a ghostwriter, constantly on-hand in her luxurious Cape Cod hideaway, will be able to do it for her. The job goes to Harriet, who quickly discovers that living with Isabel is a lesson - in sex-appeal, in secrets and in seizing the moment - she's needed all her life.