The Family Man

The Family Man

by Elinor Lipman
4.1 28

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The Family Man by Elinor Lipman

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 mother—Denise, 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 life—and maybe even new love—in the commotion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547394299
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/05/2009
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 65,159
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

ELINOR LIPMAN is the author of ten novels, including The View from Penthouse B and The Inn at Lake Devine;one essay collection, I Can’t Complain; and Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus. She lives in Massachusetts and New York City.


Northampton, Massachusetts, and New York, New York

Date of Birth:

October 16, 1950

Place of Birth:

Lowell, Massachusetts


A.B., Simmons College, 1972; Honorary Doctor of Letters, Simmons College, 2000

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The Family Man 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have long been a fan of Elinor Lipman, and I think this book is her best yet. The quirky characters that are her signature are drawn with a light hand and a tender heart. Even the annoying character is given sympathetic treatment. There are some laugh-out-loud moments, and the rest of the book had me smiling. The family that is created in this novel is so unconventional that it makes perfect sense. This book is truly a joy to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was much better than I expected. The characters have depth and the story line is rollicking but highly enjoyable. You wind up rooting for ALL the characters, no matter how annoying they are because they are so human. Highly readable and highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is highly stylized without being cloying or annoying. The characters are endearing and the story is scaled to life. Hilarious and heartfelt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My second Eleanor Lipman read was another delightful experience. I love her fast, witty conversations and quick change of pace. Her characters feel real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute book! so many personalities and bizarre adventures..made me jealous!! it proves, anyone can be a just have to want it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
,=Line finished. Im making a song. It goes like this: A rock in the water sinks to the deep, but you and me float to the surface.A secret so hidden and hard to keep,her head on my shoulder we're thinkin about past and the present, there are many things kept to hearts content,like the memories weve spent together, but love is a different thing. (Guitar solo)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello son
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slithers More than 1 year ago
This is sort of like Sex in the City with gay protagonist; I wouldn't say the characters are "realistic" or in any way "down to earth", but they sure are fun. I greatly enjoyed this novel about 2nd chances for family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is acute story. Great light reading. Interesting characters, fun premise. Definitely worth a read.
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huckfinn37 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book because it was funny and topical. Elinor Lipman deals with the topics of divorce, blended families, and homosexuality beautifully. The plot is witty and the ending is wonderful. Todd's and Henry's relationship was written well and I liked Thalia. Denise is bananas but she works in the story. I would recommend reading The Family Man.
MicheleDana More than 1 year ago
I'd fallen in love with two of Elinor Lipman's books, The Inn at Lake Devine and Isabel's Bed, and read as many of her others as I could find, following those. I was a bit disappointed in the last two I'd read , My Latest Grievance and The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, so I was a bit hesitant to read The Family Man. I actually stayed up half the night reading because I was so drawn into the story and the characters. I loved the relationship development, especially between Thalia and Henry. One of the things I love most about Elinor Lipman's writing, is that there's always a sense of familiarity with her characters - they remind me of my own family and friends - I felt like these were real people being written about, fully fleshed out characters. I highly recommend starting this book early enough in the evening, that if you have to go to work the next day, you'll be able to get to bed on time. I finished it in just one evening - fast paced and engaging. The last time I did that was reading The Wife by Meg Wolitzer, which I also recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
roswell47 More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan Elinor Lipman. Her books are funny and always a page turners in good story telling. My favorite is still The Inn at Lake Devine. The story does start off a little slow but does pick up and doesn't disappoint. I laughed a little more this time than with her previous outings. If you're looking for something to delve into or just a beach read, then this is it.
Evanstonreader More than 1 year ago
"The Family Man" is a delightful, funny read, with quirky and charming characters. Lipman is a master of making her characters come alive through their dialogue and interaction. I loved that Henry, the narrator, was so smart, gracious and witty even in his initial loneliness. And it was entirely believable that Henry should fall under the spell of Thalia, who is just charm personified. Todd, and his mother, and even nutsy Denise are irresistibly engaging. The characters are drawn so well you "buy" the goofiness of the plot and have a great time going along for the ride. I actually didn't want it to end, and I'm thinking about rereading it already just to spend time with the characters again.
bookwoman More than 1 year ago
Elinor Lipman writes stories about relationships with a wonderful light touch and a continuing theme - what goes around comes around. I think this story of a man trying to connect with his lost adopted daughter is one of her most delightful. The mother character will remind you of the mother in And Then She Found Me. My only complaint is that it is a very fast read and then we have to wait a long time for another one.