Monday, January 18, 2010

The Inn at Lake Devine



Elinor Lipman is a fabulous find! I first heard about her and her book, The Inn at Lake Devine over at  My Porch . Thomas listed it as one of his ten best books of the year and I was intrigued. It sounded like the perfect read for the holidays. I'm so glad I picked it up as it did turn out to be a delightful, hilarious and enjoyable book.

It's 1962 and the Marx family are keen to spend a holiday in Vermont. They write an inquiry letter to the Inn at Lake Devine and get a response that ends with "our guests who feel most comfortable here and return year after year are Gentiles." So begins, 12 year-old Natalie's life-long obsession with the Inn at Lake Devine which starts off with a few scathing yet funny anonymous letters and phone calls to Mrs.Berry, the inn keeper. A few years later she manages to wriggle an invitation to the inn from a summer camp friend, Robin Fife. A hilarious stay wtih the Fifes follows and ten years later she travels back to the inn for Robin's wedding. Anyway, I don't want to give too much of the plot away but suffice it to say that this was a truly delicious and easy read. Lipman does an excellent job of tackling the subject of anti-semitism in such a light-hearted and stylish way.  She's been described as the modern-day Jane Austen but I think she's more like the modern-day Dorothy Whipple or Barbara Pym. She writes effortlessly and wonderfully. I'll definitely be picking up more of her novels. She's the type of writer I'll just purchase without even looking at the blurb at the back of the book. There's no need to because based on this book alone and her writing style I'm sure all her books are fun, fun, fun!

9 comments:

  1. Okay..this sounds really my type of book. I'm not sure if I can find Elinor Lipman's books her in India, but I'm definitely going to try getting them! :)

    Thanks for the review.

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  2. You've convinced me! Elinor Lipman is added to my list of authors to read. This sounds like a perfect summer book!

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  3. I so LOVED this book that I read it twice (and I rarely re-read)! Try My Latest Grievance by Lipman (loved that one too).

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  4. Wow, I will put this one on my list! And Elinor Lipman on my watch list.

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  5. I read this years ago and enjoyed it as much as you did. I wouldn't mind revisiting it sometime!

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  6. Hi, Mrs. B! I've never read a novel by Lipman. I've always thought that she wrote chick lit. Anyway, I'll be sure to check out this particular title. I just love novels set in New England. (I guess that's why I'm a big fan of John Irving.)

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  7. I agree with Diane, My Latest Grievance is also really good. The Ladies Man comes in third and The Dearly Departed I haven't finished yet so I can't judge. I am so glad you liked Lipman!

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  8. I'm intrigued. I really want to read this novel. Checking Amazon right now!

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  9. I really enjoyed this book too, and I don't see it blogged all that often. Glad you liked it!

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