Elinor Lipman has populated her fictional universe with characters so utterly real that we feel like they're old friends. Now she shares an even more intimate world with us - her own - in essays that offer a candid, charming take on modern life. Looking back and forging ahead, she considers the subjects that matter most: childhood and condiments, long marriage and solo living, career and politics. Here you'll find the lighthearted: a celebration of four decades of All My Children, a reflection on being Jewish in heavily Irish-Catholic Lowell on St. Patrick's Day, a hilariously unflinching account of her tiptoe into online dating.
Born and raised in a college dorm and chafing under the care of the most annoyingly evenhanded parental team in the history of civilization, Frederica Hatch is starting to feel that her life is stiflingly snug. But 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.
"All around terrific"
Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband when her sister, Margot, invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot's luxurious Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal, 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 Anthony. As the three swap money-making schemes and Gwen ventures back out into the dating world, the arrival of Margot's paroled ex in the apartment downstairs creates not just complications but the chance for all sorts of unexpected forgiveness.
"A Must-Listen Lipman Novel"
April Epner teaches high school Latin, wears flannel jumpers, and is used to having her evenings free. Bernice Graverman brandishes designer labels, favors toad-sized earrings, and hosts her own tacky TV talk show: Bernice G! But behind the glitz and glam, Bernice has followed the life of the daughter she gave up for adoption 36 years ago. Now that she's got her act together, she's aiming to be a mom like she always knew she could. And she's hurtling straight for April's quiet little life....
"An Entertaining Book"
A hysterical phone call from his ex-wife upends Henry Archer's well-ordered life - and brings him back into contact with the child he adored: Thalia, now 29, an aspiring actress. Hoping it will lead to better things for her career, Thalia agrees to pose as the girlfriend of a current horror-movie luminary who is down on his romantic luck.
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: "Book in progress? Why not share my Cape Cod retreat? Roomy and peaceful, your life will be your own."