The Family Man is Lipman's ninth novel, and by now she has her method down pat: a screwball plot with a tone and in a territory that veers from Paul Rudnick to Nora Ephron, driven by copious rapid-fire dialogue and quickly sketched scene-setting details…She has a penchant for slapstick, or even slapshtick, but so did Preston Sturges, and so you forgive her. What redeems the mayhem of the sitcom story line of Family Man and the unlikely behavior of its voluble, careering characters is the author's abundant good will.
The New York Times
Just because something is "light" doesn't mean it's not masterful. Lipman's use of dialogue, for instance, is exquisite…Though I read this book twice, I see that I stopped taking notes both times halfway through. Lipman mesmerized me. She hypnotized me. I admit it freely: I fell victim to the Elinor Lipman Effect.
The Washington Post
A divorced gay man's vanquished paternalism returns when he reconnects with his long-lost stepdaughter in Lipman's hilarious and moving 10th novel. Set in New York, the book opens with Henry Archer phoning his ex-wife, Denise, to offer condolences over the death of her husband, the man Denise divorced then-closeted Henry for. Upon visiting Denise, Henry notices photos of now grown stepdaughter Thalia, a charming wannabe actress he recognizes from the hair salon in his neighborhood, and determines to reenter her life. What ensues is a heartwarming reconnection as Henry and Thalia relearn what it means to be a father and daughter, respectively. When Thalia is hired by a PR firm to play the role of real-life girlfriend to a struggling actor, Henry's fatherly instinct and legal background compel him to ask Thalia to move in with him and to serve as her attorney. During the process of managing Thalia's career, Henry also grows closer to Denise, meets a handsome man and rediscovers the joy of family. The plot alone will suck in readers, but Lipman's knack for creating lovable and multifaceted characters is the real draw. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
With all the requisite elements, including sparkling dialog, a clash of personalities, and delightfully flawed characters-not to mention unusual family situations and overbearing matriarchs-this book offers readers hints of Lipman's previous books, from Then She Found Me to The Dearly Departed. When the comfortably wealthy and homosexual Henry Archer's recently widowed ex-wife, Denise Krouch, reappears after 24 years, his ordered life is turned upside down. The unwelcome reunion with the brash and socially inept Denise brings with it a silver lining: his reacquaintance with Denise's estranged daughter, Thalia, and a blind date with Todd. Henry soon finds himself in the midst of Denise's familial drama and struggling actress Thalia's doomed-to-fail publicity stunt with a horror film star. He also finds himself happily in love with both his daughter and Todd. Evocative of both Jane Austen and Entertainment Weekly, this will be another hit with Lipman fans. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/09.]
Lipman (My Latest Grievance, 2006, etc.) returns with the story of a retired, gay New York lawyer who finds himself happily embroiled with his ex-wife's now adult daughter. Back when he was still in the closet, Henry married Denise and adopted her daughter Thalia from her first marriage. He adored Thalia, but after two years, when Denise left Henry for another man, Henry lost parental rights. Twenty-four years later Denise's third husband has died and his sons from a previous marriage are getting almost everything, so Denise turns to Henry for legal help. At Denise's apartment Henry sees a picture of Thalia, from whom Denise is currently estranged-a little brouhaha at the funeral-and realizes Thalia works as a receptionist at his barbershop. Soon they are lunching and bonding to make up for lost years. Before long Thalia moves into his brownstone's basement apartment. An aspiring actress, Thalia takes a job pretending to be horror-movie actor Leif Dumont's girlfriend to make him more palatable to the public as romantic lead material, and Henry helps her negotiate her contract despite misgivings over the risks and ramifications entailed. Thalia and Leif's phony romance proceeds, although Thalia is seeing at least one other guy and Leif claims he is secretly involved with the president of the Beverly Hills High School abstinence club. Meanwhile, Denise, who is overbearing but almost likable for her lack of pretension, sets Henry up on a blind date with Todd. It is love at first sight, but Todd lives with his mother and has not told her he is gay. Along the way, Henry helps Denise's stepsons see the light and Thalia reveals big news. Another romantic comedy from the always clever Lipman.Author tour to New York, Boston/New England, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego