Thursday, March 18, 2010
My Latest Grievance
After reading the sad novel The Easter Parade by Richard Yates, I felt I really needed a break from serious novels so I turned to an Elinor Lipman book. I recently reviewed her novel, The Inn at Lake Devine and I also managed to wriggle an interview from her (see here). Her books are light and fun yet still very intelligent and well-written. My Latest Grievance... (I just love that title don't you?) is another one of her books with a screwball comedic plot, snappy dialogue and unique characters.
It's 1976 and fifteen-year-old Frederica Hatch has spent all her life living with her academic parents at a dorm at a small New England college. Her liberal upbringing has made her an outspoken and articulate teenager. David and Aviva have always been frank with their daughter to the point of even anatomically correcting her Barbie dolls. The sudden arrival of a new dorm mother in the person of Laura Lee French, David's ex-wife, leads Frederica into rebellion as she befriends the fascinating Laura Lee who causes her own series of chaos on campus.
Though I preferred The Inn at Lake Devine, My Latest Grievance is also a fun read with another excellent young teenager in the character of Frederica. I do agree with Miss Lipman. I wish I had been more like her teenage characters when I was their age. I love their spunk, bravery and cheekiness. This is the book to check out if you're looking for something light for a holiday or a quick fix in between your more serious reads.